By: Jesse Clark, @soulful-travel
Guest Article – FEATURE
Author: Jesse Clark
“From spiritual journeys to gap years, Jesse loves guiding mindful, free-spirited people like herself through life-changing journeys around the globe. As you connect with our planet and with other people through the gift of travel, you’ll also reconnect with yourself.“
Traveling is a great way to expand your horizons, learn about different cultures, and spend some time doing things just for yourself, but it can be costly even if you aren’t leaving the country. Food, accommodation, gas, transportation, and activities can really add up no matter where you go, so it’s essential to make sure you have a plan in place for making the most of your travel budget. Preparing ahead of time is the name of the game, since it will mean no nasty surprises down the road. Keep in mind, however, that sometimes things go wrong no matter how well you plan, so it’s wise to have a backup plan in the wings.
If you haven’t traveled much before, consider sticking fairly close to home the first time around. Taking a few smaller trips to get some experience under your belt will really come in handy once you’re ready for a bigger journey. It will also be helpful to go along with a close friend or family member, since this can help you save quite a bit of money all around.
Here are a few tips on how to save when you’re ready to take a trip.
Keep it local
One easy way to save money when traveling is to stay close to home. You can go in on a vacation rental with friends or family members and have a blast for less money spent than a bigger trip. Look online to find a rental that is close to the activities you’re most interested in.
Avoid extra fees
If you’re not staying local and are traveling out of the country, be careful about getting caught having to pay costly overage and roaming charges. A prepaid international plan will allow you to stay connected to friends and family, and if you get an unlimited data plan, you can use your smartphone to run any travel-related apps without worrying about extra fees.
Cook for yourself
Eating out at restaurants can get pricey, even if you stick to mostly fast-food and other low-cost fare. One easy way to avoid spending too much on food is to cook your own meals, so look for accommodations that include a kitchen or kitchenette where you can prepare food at least part of the time you’re away. Keep in mind that groceries can also add up in certain parts of the country, so do a little research before you leave and make a list of potential meals and healthy snacks that won’t break the bank.
Plan ahead for deals
There are always great deals online for various aspects of travel, from airfare to activities, so plan ahead and do a little research before you book your trip. Make sure you read the fine print, as many coupons or discounts have a firm time limit or are only available with certain purchases. You can also look for deals on all the things you need for your trip, such as bathing suits or athletic gear, by using coupon apps for your smartphone.
Make your car as efficient as possible
If you’re taking a road trip, it’s essential to make sure your car is as efficient as possible. Before you leave, get an oil change, have the tires rotated, and have the fluids topped off. The windshield wipers should be in good condition, as well, since this can prevent some nasty surprises when you’re on the road. It’s also a good idea to make sure there’s no excess weight in your car, so pack light if possible. When you’re on the open road, use cruise control to get better gas mileage.
Saving money when you travel can be a challenge depending on where you go, but by planning ahead, you can ensure that your journey won’t break the bank. The key is to be prepared, so have a backup plan for your biggest expenses so that you won’t be stuck making more costly decisions at the last minute.