Tips for Travelling on a Budget

Taking a trip doesn't have to empty your pockets. Follow these helpful tips to plan the trip of your dreams without depleting your bank account

Want to keep your travelling budget on track? Save money and truly experience the culture by eating as the locals eat

Learn to stretch your travel dollars further by following these handy tips before or during your next trip

Just because you’re travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the trip of your dreams.

All it takes is a little creativity and some savvy spending to stretch your dollar further.

Things to Remember When Travelling on a Budget

  • Travel off-season: Or, at least avoid peak season. Think the Caribbean or Mexico in late spring or early summer, or Europe in September or October. When you travel off-season, you can avoid long lines, crowds and higher prices.
  • Wait for sales: Start looking at flights 45 to 60 days before you’d like to travel. Airline systems are set up to look at the supply and demand of flights. Although you can never fully rely on what flight prices will do, you likely won’t see any sales before this period.
  • Stay flexible: I’ve mentioned this before, but flexibility really is key to reducing costs. If you have some leeway in your vacation dates, you can research your options online before booking anything. The more flexible you can be with dates and flight times, the more you can save.
  • Look around: Speaking of research, check out a few different booking methods. Look at a consolidator website that can book your flight and hotel as a package but also compare booking them separately to see what’s cheaper. And don’t forget to look at options through a travel agent. Sometimes agencies get special rates that aren’t available to the general public.
  • Eat like a local: We all know just how expensive dining out can be in general, but eating at a tourist trap three times a day can put a serious dent in your bank account. To save money, eat where the locals eat. This may mean bypassing your hotel’s recommendations and instead approaching someone on the street to ask where they would eat.
  • Dollar deals: Finally, consider a destination where your dollar takes you further. If high exchange rates are putting a damper on your travel plans, try somewhere where our dollar has higher purchasing power. Think destinations in South and Central America, as well as overseas destinations like Turkey, Switzerland and Croatia that haven’t switched over to the euro and remain more budget-friendly.

Claire Newell is the travel media expert for Global BC, host of the travel series Operation: Vacation, best-selling author, spokesperson, wife and mother of two.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.