15 can't-miss tricks to help you plan a cheap vacation

October 16, 2014

Forget what the big hotels say: you can plan a cheap vacation that's also luxurious and relaxing! These fifteen can't-miss tips will save you big bucks so you can travel more often.

15 can't-miss tricks to help you plan a cheap vacation

Look for lower rates

1. Travel out of season. Peak season varies from one place to another, so adapting your trips accordingly will save you money. For example:

  • Holidays in the sun are less expensive at Easter than during the Christmas holidays or March break. However, do keep the weather in mind. You wouldn’t want to spend your holidays in a tropical clime during hurricane season, unless you’re willing to splurge for full coverage travel insurance. And visiting East Asia during the monsoon will leave you and your holiday more than a little soggy.

2. Subscribe to social networks and newsletters. You’ll find valuable discounts when you join travel newsletters or promotional programs.

  • Check out various airline companies and hotel chains, as they also offer worthwhile loyalty programs.

Seek out affordable transportation

3. Reserve early. The earlier you reserve, the more you’ll save on your airline ticket. An exception to this is the last-minute-booking option some people use to buy all-inclusive holidays.

4. Don’t decline stopovers. Flights with one or more stopovers are often less expensive than direct flights.

5. Be flexible. Having some leeway around your date of departure or return can often save you money.

6. Avoid travelling on weekends. Flights are typically more costly than they are on weekdays.

7. Look into transportation alternatives. Some destinations are quite affordable to visit if you’re willing to go by bus or train.

8. Use public transportation for your airport transfer.  You could book a shuttle service as an alternative. Travelling by taxi is expensive.

Discover inexpensive meals

9. Look for student neighbourhoods. Chances are you’re more likely to find good restaurants that cost less.

10. Don’t focus on sit-down, full-service restaurants.

  • Try dining at the food courts in malls or at the local market place.
  • Eat at bakeries, pubs and delis.
  • Pick up some groceries and pack your own picnics.

11. Treat yourself at lunch time. Restaurant meals are often less expensive at lunch than in the evenings.

12. If you’re abroad, choose local cuisine. American-style meals tend to be more expensive.

13. Opt for a hotel room with a kitchenette if you plan to stay at the same hotel for a while.

  • You’ll save a lot of money by preparing your own meals.

Consider affordable accommodations

14. Consider staying in hostels. Some of them now provide quadruple occupancy rather than the usual dormitories. It’s a great way to plan a cheap vacation for the entire family.

15. If there are several of you, rent a house.

  • When the cost is shared, a rental is a much more affordable option than a hotel.

Patience is well rewarded

The best way to plan a cheap vacation is to do a lot of research. Just a little patience will bring you big savings, and even bigger memories of a wonderful holiday!

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