It’s time to start thinking about those epic summer vacation plans, people. Sure, it’s high season and hotels plus flight costs are sky high, but trust us when we say there are ways to save a pretty penny on travel this year. Need some guidance on how to keep those dollars from flying out of your wallet? We’ve got 7 tips on how to save you dough while you’re seeing the sights and taking in the R&R.
1. Follow the exchange rate: Be strategic and book a vacation to a country where the dollar is strong, like the EU. Our currency is currently stronger than it has been in a long, long time. In fact, it’s enjoying its fastest rise in 40 years. The Euro, for one, is 18% cheaper than it was in the first quarter of 2014, making most European countries an actual reality for US travelers for the first time in years. If you want the complete list of uber-exchange-rate-friendly spots, check out these 5 Vacations Spots That Offer the Biggest Bang for Your Buck.
2. Workation: If you’re flexible with plans, try working while on vacation for cheap to nearly free accommodations. It’s a great way to meet people and save a pretty penny. Work on organic farms and get free lodging via Worldwide Organization for Organic Farms or volunteer with non-profit organizations like Quetzaltrekkers or GoEco. If you live the freelance life, you can use a service like Caravanserai to help you find lodging for longer-term stays abroad.
3. Pick the cheapest times to travel: Cheap flight prices are available the first week of June and after mid-August. When it comes to scheduling, try mid-week flights. You can save almost $40 on average by flying Tuesday or Wednesday. Get the full details here.
4. Stay up to date on the latest deals: Keep your pulse on the latest deals. Use apps like Google Flights, Skiplagged or Hopper to save up to as much as 40% on flights. There is a lot you can do to score those cheap-y flights. In fact, we’ve sniffed out 15 Ways to Land Cheap Plane Tickets, and we’ll happily share the inside scoop with you.
5. Stay in a private room of a hostel: You can get all the same amenities of a hotel in a hostel. If you’re traveling with a group, you can opt for a private room. And many hostels even have private bathrooms attached.
6. Try package deals: While it requires a bit of research, looking for package deals may help you save on rental cars, flights and accommodations. Costco Travel, for one, has great deals.
7. Go minimal: Bring one carry-on bag to save on fees (learn how with these 7 Essential Packing Tips for Traveling With Just a Carry-On), do hikes and nature walks instead of art galleries and museums. Cook at your hostel to save money on food, or grab a sandwich from a local grocery store. The little things add up.
Have any other tips on how to save on travel? Let us know in the comments below!