Little Known Tricks for Low-Cost Trips
Want to take a trip without spending a fortune? The secret is planning and taking advantage of a few time-tested hacks for scoring bargain rates on hotels, flights, and tours. Additionally, you can significantly reduce your meal expense while traveling, see all the sights without paying for a rental car, and avoid burning up all your vacation days at once. How? Here are a few suggestions that will get you all that and more.
Book Hotels and Flights Far in Advance
It’s the oldest travel hack in the book. If you plan to stay in a hotel and fly to your destination, timing is everything. With air tickets, booking 90 days or more ahead can typically chop as much as 30 percent off regular prices. Hotels operate a bit differently because you often run into seasonal pricing walls. But, if you know when those high-cost weeks are, it’s easy enough to reset your travel schedule for the low-price periods.
Time Your Tax Refund
If you need a cash infusion to pay for a trip, time your getaway around a tax refund. How much will you get? Here’s the good part is you can quickly estimate your next tax refund with TaxCaster, a free tax calculator that will give you a clear idea of how much to expect in that upcoming refund check. And if you will be owing money, you can use the calculator to find out that amount too. When you consider the fact that the average refund amount is in excess of $2,700, timing a trip around a refund makes excellent sense.
Pack Your Own Food
In an era where food preservation and packaging are a high art, it’s entirely possible to pack dozens of meals for an upcoming vacation. For example, say you’re headed to Las Vegas for a nine-day summer fun session with the family. Plan to pack as many as 25 full meals and an equal number of snacks in a separate suitcase. Choose items like protein bars, fruits, canned vegetables, and frozen dinners. All you’ll need is access to a microwave or hot plate, which is something you can being along if you plan to camp out or stay in a motel that doesn’t have cooking devices. By not eating every meal out during a trip, you stand to save hundreds of dollars on the total cost of the vacation.
Consider bringing the laptop along and checking into work for a couple days. This is a solution that works best for people who already telecommute, but is becoming more common in the digital age. On a nine-day getaway, plan to stay in the room or tent for a few work sessions. You’ll be earning income and avoiding the use of saved time-off days at your job.
Opt For Group Excursions
Skip the car-rental routine and instead opt for group bus and van tours in your destination city. Even using cabs and buses to get around, especially if you stay in an urban area, is more efficient and much less costly than forking over money for a rental vehicle.