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Tips for Maximizing Your Travel Budget

Travel has become an inextricable part of the modern consciousness, thanks to the rise of social media and travel blogging. Coupled with the growing number of low-cost airlines and other modes of transportation, going on vacation is now easier than ever. While some people save up for their once-in-a-lifetime big vacation, many others prefer the excitement of budget travel, which can be done multiple times a year. Budget travel can give you more than just savings — the Washington Post says it can help you make new connections and experiences that you might never have had otherwise. If you’re planning on going on your next adventure, or wondering about how to save a little more on your trip, then here are a couple of tips.

Pick Carefully

For many people, budget travel’s most important factor is the cost of transportation, which is typically airfare. The easiest route is, of course, to pick the cheapest ticket, but going for the lowest price can come with a cost. Budget airlines or airfare promos may be easier on the wallet, but they also have the risk of overbooking, lost luggage, and poor service. While you might be paying less out of pocket, the emotional and mental toll of poor service or delays may be far more. Aviation JobNet recommends looking at a variety of factors before buying your ticket, including price comparisons, consumer ratings, and luggage surcharges, in order to get the most value for money.

Research Passes

One way that you can get around for cheaper is by using travel passes. Depending on the country or region that you’re in, you may have the option of limited or unlimited ride passes for trains or buses. These can be especially helpful if you’re planning to move between several cities within a short period of time, as they can net you huge savings on fare. The Japan Rail Pass is one example of this — depending on the type of pass you buy, you can have unlimited travel on any one of the participating regular or Shinkansen (bullet train) lines for a set number of days. If you have a packed itinerary, you can save up to hundreds of dollars using passes, and can even plan to sleep on the overnight train or bus, negating the need for hotel accommodation.

Explore Booking Sites

While booking with a hotel will probably net you the better customer service link and more flexible cancellation dates, it may cost you a little more. If you aren’t afraid of a little risk and are looking for a good deal, you can opt to look at booking through third-party sites instead. These metasearch engines offer a variety of accommodation options, and even let you filter according to preferences. They also have site-exclusive deals that can save you up to half or even more of the original room price. Smarter Travel has put together a list of the 10 best hotel booking sites, including their best features and a look at their interfaces. Each site will have its pros and cons, but for a traveler on a budget their discounts can be lifesavers.

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