We all have a list of places we want to visit in our lifetime but the key to saving money when traveling is to be flexible on where and when you want to travel. Usually if I am dead set about visiting a specific location I will try to find the best time to find deals on airfare and lodging. If I am dead set about a specific time period I will look to see what kind of deals are available for that time period. Not only am I slowly making my way down my list but I am also saving up enough money to put towards the next adventure.
(2) Coupon Sites
When used properly sites like Groupon and Living Social are your friend. Once my tickets are booked I will usually subscribe to coupon sites to score deals for my trip. I have done everything from swimming with the Manatees to a sunset wine tour all for half the price of what it would normally cost. Not only do I save money but I also get an opportunity to experience something that may have otherwise been out of my budget. Just be realistic when buying deals. Make sure that the expiration date is within your travel window. Also make sure it is something that you will actually do. Signing up for zip lining because it was 70% off is not going to work if you are afraid of heights.
(3) Be creative and do your research
Just because you are in Orlando doesn't mean you have to go to the amusement parks. Amusement parks can be expensive so it i helps to be creative. Find out what else there is to do. Chances are you will find some amazing gems off the beaten path that will most likely be kinder to your wallet. Also if you are looking to do a tour read reviews. Not only will you get great feedback from actual people but sometimes they will point you towards unadvertised deals and offers.
(4) Set a budget and stick to it
Before I go anywhere I usually do a little research to get an idea as to how much things will cost. From there I will set a budget and start planning what I am going to do. I will usually set my budget by day. Some days you will spend more than others so I try to keep that in mind when planning. A day at the beach may not be as expensive as a night out on the town so be sure to plan accordingly so that you do not find yourself counting pennies at the end of your vacation. Also don't forget to treat yourself to that fancy dinner or spa treatment. Just because you are on a budget doesn't mean that you don't get to indulge.
(5) Plan ahead but do not over plan
Planning ahead helps you to stay on budget but this does not mean that you need to schedule every minute of your vacation. Vacations are meant to be fun and relaxing and nothing is worse then packing so much in that you feel more exhausted than when you left. I will usually plan a day of R & R for every day of activity. So for example if I am spending the day sightseeing the next day may be a good day to lounge by the pool or book a spa appointment. Pulling the shades down and sleeping until noon is also permitted and is always a very budget friendly option.
These are only a few tips to keep in mind when traveling. Stay tuned for more posts regarding my travel adventures and how I indulge and save all at the same time.