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4 Ways to Save Money While Traveling

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IMG_1839Going on vacation can be expensive. While people need to go on vacation to relax and recharge from a busy working year, the cost associated with traveling turns many people off. However, there are four main ways you can save money while traveling.

Know the Best Times to Fly

Keep your travel dates flexible to secure better flying days. By changing the search by a couple of days, you can find cheaper flights. Also flying at odd hours will give you cheaper flights. Flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday during the week is cheaper than flying on the weekends or Monday. Securing a connecting flight is often cheaper than a direct flight and always get a round trip ticket.

Even if you are not coming back within a roundtrip time frame, it is sometimes cheaper to buy roundtrip than single trip tickets. It all depends on the airline, so do your homework to make sure you get the best deal. Make sure to travel as light as possible, since most airlines are starting to charge for even one extra suitcase.

Book Hotels Outside the Tourist Area

Most locations have a main tourist area where all visitors go to eat, sleep, and explore. While it is convenient to stay in this area, by going two or more streets over, you can find spectacular savings on hotel rates. Hotels, along with shops and restaurants that sit on the perimeter of the main tourist area are overlooked by travelers; therefore they offer cheaper accommodation than those in heavy tourist spots.

Many locales have cheap and efficient public transportation that does not make travel from hotel to city very difficult. Smaller hotels may offer free upgrades or nights for staying there. You will also find cheaper hotel rates if you stay longer than a week. Communicate with the hotel directly to find these savings. You will also get cheaper rates if you stay over until Sunday or Monday as most travelers only need weekend rooms.

Prepare Your Home Before You Leave

This may not sound like a money-saving tip for a vacation, since you won’t be home and that ultimately saves money. However, you can save money on your energy bill by finding competitive energy rates and by taking a few steps while you are away. Depending on the time of year, you need to adjust the thermostat while you are gone.

In the warm months, turn the air conditioning up to 85. This will protect your furniture and plants from heat while saving money on the electric bill in the cool months, turn the heat down to 55 degrees. This will protect the home from freezing temperatures while saving money on the electric bill. Turn the water off by the main shut off valve so pipes will not burst. Set the water heater to vacation mode and unplug everything in the home.

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Plan your meals wisely

Research the prices of nearby restaurants before picking one at random to eat at. If you are staying in a cottage or condo, you can save a lot of money by cooking yourself. This adds to the vacation experience since you get to check out new supermarkets and explore the local food offerings. It is also a fun experience to cook somewhere you have not been before. If you are staying in a hotel that offers free breakfast, take advantage and eat your fill. If your hotel room has a refrigerator and microwave, go to the supermarket and buy some instant meals or sandwich fixings for your lunches.

Many restaurants offer lunch specials and cheaper meals during lunch hour than at dinner. Travelers who cannot make their own food should fill up on a hearty lunch, making dinner time less expensive with small food portions. If your hotel does not offer free breakfast, do not eat there. Breakfasts at hotels are often overpriced. Instead, you can walk around and find a small café with great food at cheap prices.

Going on vacation does not have to break the bank. There are many ways you can save money while still getting a fulfilling vacation experience.

Do you have any penny pinching tips for traveling?

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