I love love love to travel. The problem is, traveling can be costly. The price of vacations is constantly increasing as well as the need for them. People today have a lot of stress to deal with and need time away from their day-to-day more than ever. So if you dream to travel, but are afraid you can never afford it, I have some tips for you. Below are nine ways you can save money while planning your dream vacation.

 

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Closer isn’t always cheaper

Have you ever just hunted for a vacation without a plan in mind? I have. One thing that has shocked me time and again is that the distance you travel doesn’t necessarily mean it costs more.  When hunting for plane tickets on a tight budget, I often thought I’d have to stay pretty close. Then, I found trips to Europe that were cheaper than flying four states away. Crazy right? So when you’re looking for a flight, be open.

DIY plane tickets

Opt for the path less traveled. What do I mean? I mean don’t give up on your dream destination if you can’t find a cheap route. Consider putting together your travel path. Check the pricing of flights yourself, and avoid the preplanned routes from the airlines. Sometimes you can piece together your flight plan at a lower cost.

Avoid traveling on popular weekends

Just like gasoline, the prices of flights, hotels, and activities increase during holiday weekends. If there is a long weekend coming up, you can bet people are making travel plans. This means packed planes and increased prices. It’s best to save your trip for a week that doesn’t fall on a holiday, even though that means taking another vacation day from work. Pick what is most important.

Visit during off-season

Every location has a peak season, and during that season the prices increase, sometimes more than 50 percent. One way to save some serious money is to travel outside of peak. Even planning your vacation for the week before or after peak season can save you money. So when you go to plan your trip, do you research on the area’s most traveled times.

Airbnb

Are you going on a trip with a group? Consider renting an Airbnb instead of a hotel. Your whole group can pitch in and still have their own areas. Air BnB is amazing and often has great rates for house rentals.  Compare the prices of staying in a rental as opposed to a hotel, don’t forget that there is often a deposit and cleaning fee added to Airbnb stays.

Sharing is saving

Just like I said above, sharing a house or a room will save you some cash. If you don’t mind sharing a hotel room with others, do it. You can split your nightly rate and use the money elsewhere. You could also consider getting a bigger or nicer room if there are more people in your group. If you’re not willing to give up your own room, then consider the option above and get an Airbnb

Save early

The best way to have your dream vacation is not constantly to worry about how much money is in your budget. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard, but being scared to order three meals in one day and having no money for souvenirs isn’t fun for anyone. So, the best way to have a great vacation is to save up. Try to put back as much money as you can before taking your trip.

Groupon

Did you know there are deals on Groupon for travel and activities? During my last trip, that wasn’t a cruise; I used Groupon to find hotel deals, outing deals, and even restaurants. I highly encourage looking up deals in the areas you will be visiting. You never know what you may find. Groupon also has vacation deals that can save you some money. I haven’t had a chance to use that feature yet, but I’ve been told they are great. The only piece of advice that was harped on is that you should do your research on the location before purchasing the vacation. But, you should do that before any major trip, so I don’t think it has anything to do with Groupon.

Consider a cruise

I have become a huge fan of cruises. I only started going on them recently, but I will say I love it. With all of your meals and on ship activities included in the price, it is a great deal. Excursions can get pricey, but you can find discounted ones through Travelocity or even on the piers where the ships are docked. Some places do not require taking excursions at all because the port is loaded with things to do. Taking a cruise can save you some money, and you will also get to see multiple places in a short amount of time.

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No matter what your dream vacation is, you can make it happen. It will take dedication and willingness to make compromises, but you have the ability to make it happen. But now I ask you, what kind of tips do you have for taking a dream vacation on a budget?

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