How to Plan a Trip On a Budget
If you are anything like myself, you have been seeing a heap of people on your timeline flaunting their trip to Europe this summer. And if you’re still anything like me, you are probably wondering how so many people on your homepage are just casually kicking back in Europe this summer as if it isn’t expensive to travel.
Well, wonder no longer, because I have the right tips and tricks for you that will help save some money for your glamorous trip to Europe (or anywhere else you desire).
Photo by @rparmly on Unsplash
A Good Starting Point
With any trip it is good to map out your budget. On vacations it's super easy to overspend, the money practically slips out of your pocket. Not to say you shouldn’t treat yourself on vacation. However, being mindful of your spending will make you thankful in the long run. The easiest way to budget is through excel or spreadsheets. There are loads of super helpful templates online
Realistically you should have five categories to budget for:
Travel and accommodation will naturally take up most of your budget. After that it’s up to you on how you would like to allocate funds accordingly.
How to Find Cheaper Accommodation and Flights
Everyone has different methods as to how they find cheaper accommodation and flights. My biggest piece of advice is not going to be loved by spontaneous people but booking flights months in advance will save you lots. Other than booking in advance, Google Flights is pretty good for showing you cheaper flights. When using Google flights the trick is to switch to incognito mode. Google will tend to show you more expensive flights once you’ve exited the tab and come back.
Airfarewatchdog.com is also a really helpful tool to track flight prices to catch the cheaper flights. It also highlights less expensive flights for certain destinations, so if you’re looking to do a last-minute trip, this is the place to go.
Know When to Book your Flight
Knowing when to book your flight is crucial to getting a solid price. So while you should book it months in advance if you already have a destination in mind, there are other tips to reduce the cost. Booking on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days because airlines have cheap flight tickets on these days.
Know Where to Book your Flights
If you live by an international airport, chances are you can score cheaper flights. Regional airports that might be closer to your home may charge you more for a flight destination.
Having someone who can drop you off would be the most optimal, as it will save you money on gas and the flight.
Just as coupons can save you money at home, they can save you at your travel destination. If you’re looking for deals on activities in the city you’re traveling to, Groupon is a good go-to. If not Groupon, Restaurant.com is also a good alternative.
Join a Rewards Program
Lots of hotels and airlines offer a rewards program. When you sign up, you’ll be able to rack up points for flights and hotel stays, oftentimes, allowing you to grab some free flights if you’ve garnered enough points.
Booking your Itinerary
Once you have saved a little more with flights and accommodation there is more spending room for activities. Ultimately you don’t want to have to sacrifice activities because you spent way too much on the flight and hotel. That would be counter-intuitive now wouldn't it be.
Booking your itinerary in advance also helps with saving. Most of the time tickets upfront for different activities will cost you more than if you were to purchase online.
Do Not Rent a Car
Renting a vehicle in a foreign country can get unnecessarily expensive. In most foreign countries, public transportation is fairly cheap and can get you around to most areas, in Europe specifically.
Most other countries use public transportation as their main form of transportation so it is not hard to find and can save you a few extra bucks.
Don’t be shy to overspend a little more than the budget if it means memories will be made. Remember clothes, shoes, and other material items are temporary but memories last a lifetime.