Travelling can be one of the best experiences in life. It’s the ability to break free from the known and visit new and exciting places. What’s more, you can do it without spending as much money as you thought.
A large majority (78%) of domestic trips are taken because people just need a vacation, yet it represents a cost that many people can’t justify. The good news is that with a little bit of guidance and a few helpful hints, you can travel like a millionaire on a tight budget.
What? No hotels? Then where could you possibly stay? Well, with that handy-dandy smartphone you’re surely carrying around (or possibly even using to reading this article), you have access to hundreds of vacation rental sites. Vacation rentals make a lot of sense if you’re traveling with the family. Trying to make one hotel room for you, your spouse, however many kids, Aunt Robbie, Uncle Terry, your second cousins, and the neighbor can drain you. Obviously, you’re most likely not traveling with those many people, but even trying to make it work with more than two people can get rough. And trying to book more than one hotel room, especially if you want them to be adjoining rooms, can get expensive.
Using a site like Airbnb can provide you with multiple options that can house (quite nicely) as many people as you need them to. You could find anything from a small little bungalow for you and your favorite person to a three-story house that sleeps 15 people and has a pool.
Simplify the Ride
If you’re searching all of the popular sites to compare plane tickets, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that they’re going to cost you. A lot. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling out of the country then you don’t have much of a choice unless you charter a boat. If you’re staying in the United States, then taking a plane isn’t the only option, especially if you’re traveling with a lot of people.
The next option is to drive yourself, but with multiple people and their luggage, most vehicles don’t cut it. Not to mention that more than half of America’s interstate miles are at 70% traffic capacity, and almost 25% of them are at more than 95% capacity.
So taking your minivan is out, which leaves motorcoaches. Yes, the traffic won’t go away but the difference is that you have a professional driver who can get you where you need to go stress-free. In fact, 751 million annual passenger trips are taken via motorcoaches, moving more people in certain years than some commercial airlines do. They have more than enough spacious room for you and everyone you’re bringing with you, including their stuff. They also can be much more inexpensive than buying 12 round trip plane tickets. If you do decide to fly, pack light to avoid extra luggage costs.
Go in the Off-Season
While it can be tempting to visit the beautiful places of the world during traditional vacation times, it can also be expensive. Really expensive. By traveling during the off-season, you can actually save a lot of money on vacation rentals — even up to 85%. An article by Forbes points out some of the most notable savings when you travel during the off-season, with savings like 40% if you travel to Hawaii in May rather than December. So if you can manage to hold out until nobody else is going to where you want to go, you could potentially get a much better deal.
Want more tips?
There are numerous other things you can do while on your vacation to help you save money as well (but still enjoy yourself), like:
- previewing a restaurant’s menu online before you visit
- visit Groupon for travel deals, or to explore deals on attractions at your destination (i.e. if you’re going to the Wisconsin Dells, check for a deal on Groupon ahead of time!)
- search for local mom or family blogs in the area of your destination for ideas of cheap or free attractions, parks, or entertainment (and if you’ve landed on this site and are visiting the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, check out my Deals & Events Calendar and Discount Guide for ideas and deals!)
As much as you just want to pay off an air cargo service employee to sneak your family on a cargo plane, it just isn’t worth the oxygen deprivation and hypothermia. Despite the fact that air cargo services manage and control the flow of goods, energy, information, and even people from manufacturing to their destination, they’re really not meant to fly you and your children to Grandma’s house in Oklahoma. So don’t try to save money by cutting corners. Remember, this is all about traveling like a millionaire without actually being one.
Using these tips, you can budget a great luxury vacation on a tight budget, making you (and your wallet) happy.
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no cost to you. All opinions are 100% mine.)