When it comes time to create the budget for a little weekend trip or longer vacation, those travel costs can really start to add up. And while some of them can be reduced, not all of them can. So, let’s look at some of the more costly areas of travel and a few ways to reduce them so that you travel budget does not get maxed out before you even leave home.
Transportation is probably the biggest of the travel expenses. At least if you are not single. Think about it – there are lots of ways to travel but what is most expensive really varies by family size. For instance, flying is very costly for a family of five while it may be the cheapest for a single person. So, you need to add up the costs to see which is cheapest for you. For most people, the transport ways to choose from would be:
- car (road-trip style)
If you are leaning towards driving your own vehicle, then do not forget to include the cost of gas and any tolls – as well as wear and tear to the vehicle. I like to use the Gas Buddy website to get an estimate of fuel costs for a potential road trip.
If you are flying, then you can use sites like Travelzoo to look for any airline discounts that you can use for some low airfare. You can also use the same site for hotel deals, if you plan on staying in a hotel.
Speaking of hotels, lodging is probably the next biggest area for people’s spending when traveling. While you can find great deals on rooms using sites like the one mentioned above, you do not actually have to stay in a hotel when traveling. You might prefer to spend less and stay in a hostel, a vacation rental or even do a bit of camping. Each of these can offer substantial cost savings depending on the number of people in your traveling party.
Food is another one of those big budget areas when taking a trip away from home. This is because most of the time you do not have access to a stove, refrigerator or any other way to make some of your own meals. That leaves you to dining out, which is usually overpriced compared to grocery store prices. However, you can save money on food a few different ways.
Pack a cooler with cold items that won’t spoil like salad stuff, bite size veggies and bottled waters. This is a great way to have snacks and drinks on hand without having to spend anything else. And if you end up staying in a place with a mini-fridge, then you can transfer stuff from the cooler to the fridge.
If you’re a coffee drinking, then those coffee shop visits will really add up and bite a hole out of your budget. Instead, check out some of the best portable travel coffee makers so that you can make your own cup o’joe and save a lot of money in the process. Or, book a room at a hotel with a coffee maker!
If you are doing a hotel stay, then you can opt for one that kitchenette so that you can do a bit of cooking. Or, just a simple microwave gives you an easy way to heat up some soup or other food on your own.
I hope that these tips have made your travel planning a bit more affordable. If you have some tips of your own to share, just leave them in the comments below.