Keeping an eye on your finances? That’s smart, but it’s no reason to skip on taking trips, vacations and exploring the world around you first-hand. There was a time when frugal traveling was the only way to travel, and fortunately those days are returning. If you’re seeking adventure and a new landscape, you don’t need to break the bank to make it happen (you just need the right approach).
First, don’t underestimate the wonder of your home country or even home state or city. For those on the east coast, checking out a reputable NYC or Washington DC bus tour is a great way to tap into all the sightseeing options at your doorstep. Take a look at your immediate offerings and then branch out from there. However, keep these frugal tips in mind to save big on your next getaway:
- Revere the off season
This isn’t applicable for every region, but several places have a clear “off season” where you can score half prices or better on everything from activities to hotels. For example, Costa Rica’s off season means 50 percent off several resorts, ziplining and tours. Check out Lonely Planet’s suggestions for the best off seasons around the world and start your unorthodox adventure plotting.
- Get a buddy pass
Whether you ask an airline about flying standby or seek out a buddy pass from an airline employee, this is a great way for those with flexible schedules to save. In exchange for a ticket costing half price, you need to wait until there’s room on an airline before you’re allowed to board (despite the fact that it almost always happens within two days of your scheduled flight). You can get more tips on standby from USA Today or simply embrace your inner laidback traveler vibe and play it by ear.
- Use an alternative housing option
Whether it’s AirBnB or finding a bed and breakfast on Craiglist, it’s almost always cheaper to choose an alternative housing option rather than going with a hotel. Of course, another option is going with a hostel where you can meet like-minded travelers and even make friends for life.
- Seek out free entertainment
In New York, an abundance of museums are free and it’ free to go wave surfing at any beach location. You don’t need to spend a lot (or any) money to really discover your destination. Seek out freebie options and you may be surprised by the outcome (in a good way).