How to Travel on a Budget
Travel can be fun, and for some it is downright necessary to recharge their batteries. Travel can also be expensive and cost-prohibitive. However, travel does not have to cost you all of your savings. Here are some travel on a budget ideas that will help you get out and see the world without spending a fortune.
Flying can be extremely expensive, especially if you are looking to take a transcontinental trip. If you are looking to travel cheaply, it would be wise to avoid air travel completely. However, if it is the most efficient and timely way for you to venture forth, then try to book as early as humanly possible. Post 9/11, the option of standby has gone extinct, for all intents and purposes, and buying a last minute ticket is really pricey (not to mention it will earn you a bunch of security headaches). So, if you have to fly, book early, search sites that offer deals on flights, or take advantage of the airfare sales that airlines have.
Trains are the forgotten mode of transportation outside of large cities. There was a time when the train was the most efficient and extravagant way to travel. There are still luxury coaches you can find that take certain rail routes. Rail travel is a great way to see the sights while you relax. The best thing about rail travel being forgotten is that it is cheap. There are deals that you can get that can take you a few hours or days from where you currently sit.
My favorite way to travel is the road trip. The rigors of driving for several hours a day can be hard, so it is best to travel with a companion that can switch driving responsibilities with you. But, there is something adventurous about seeing the country from the comfort of your own vehicle while being totally in control of your route and destiny. Gas is not cheap, but with the increase in gas milage and hybrid car production, auto travel is definitely getting cheaper.
You do not have to go across the world (or even the across the country) to be “traveling”. A road trip to a secluded campground, a cabin in the mountains, or a bungalow on the beach can be a few hours from where you currently sit. The less distance that you travel the less money that you will spend. Do some research. Find a time frame that you are willing to drive (or that works best for your scheduled time off), and do internet searches for places of interest that aren’t too from your house. Planning can save you a lot of headache. On the other hand, if you are the type that wants to be spontaneous, pack some necessary supplies and head out.
Food is one of the greatest considerations when trying to travel on a budget. We have to eat right? If you are traveling within the United States, then you should be able to find a market with groceries anywhere you go, or you can buy food at home and take an ice chest with you as well. With the new trend in premium coolers, you can keep food cold for a VERY long time. Shopping or packing your food can make you feel like you are missing out on the best experience of traveling, but packing food is probably the best way to save while traveling. Also, lunch menus tend to be a bit cheaper, so maybe plan to go out for lunch every day and save the groceries for breakfast and dinner.
Here are some tips for travel on a budget. Tell us some of your travel on a budget tips in the comments, we’d love to hear them.