Lots of people would love to travel as much as possible. But to most people, taking more vacations often mean more time and money to do so. Travelling can be tough at times, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. There are lots of ways to make it more inexpensive and less of a hassle.
Here are some tips on how to travel smartly, how to maximize your vacation time, know when to go where, and find the best deals. This often involves being creative, open-minded and flexible, as well as taking the time to plan your trips, something that is sure to pay off in the end. (However, don’t feel pressured to travel more if you don’t want to).
1. Go on many smaller weekend trips rather than longer ones.
Vacations don’t always have to means two-week long trips abroad. While these are often fun, it’s just not possible for many people. Instead, you can split that time into smaller weekend trips throughout the year to places close by.
2. Travel during the off-season.
If you can travel at any time of the year, consider going during the off-peak season at your chosen destination. For example, most people visit Spain and Italy during the summer months, so try visiting in the winter. You’ll also be able to save money and skip the crowds.
3. Plan your trips well in advance.
Planning your vacation in advance will ensure that you actully go on vacation. Being spontaneous is fun, but such plans often may not work out. Also, planning trips at the last minute often mean that they can end up being more expensive.
4. Combine your own vacation days with public holidays.
If you add your own vacation days to a public holiday, you’ll get more days off without using up your own. A drawback is that most popular destinations are more crowded during public holidays, but this can be worth it.
5. Research your destination(s) to avoid having any unnecessary expenses.
This is especially true if you’re travelling to a foreign country. It is important to both research the customs of your destinations and to look into prices and costs for things like taxis, public transport, food and so on. For example, water and bread are often offered at many European restaurants, but they aren’t actually free of charge.
6. Do your research and compare before booking tickets.
When you travel you usually need tickets for everything from airplanes and trains to museums, galleries, and more. The internet has lots of great deals, so be sure to explore and research them all, rather than just booking the first thing you see, so that you get the most out of your booking.
7. Fly during the week instead of during the weekend.
Consider flying to your destination and back during the week instead of the weekend. In general, this costs less than flying on weekends (and Fridays). So, you can fly out on Thursday evening instead of a Friday morning. It’s the same amount of days you’ll be taking off, but you’ll save money on flights.
8. Be flexible about flight times.
Much like looking into alternate flying dates, if you want to travel smart, you should also consider being flexible about flight timings. For example, look into travelling at night so that you can sleep en-route and maximize the time you have at your destination.
9. Check if your credit card has travel perks.
Lots of credit cards come with travel perks. For example, you might be able to get frequent flyer miles without even flying, or you might get points that can be redeemed anywhere from travel insurance and dining to airport lounges.
10. Stay at Airbnbs instead of hotels.
Hotels are great on vacation, they have lots of cool amenities like restaurants, pools, housekeeping, and lots more. But hotels can also be quite expensive. If you’re looking to saving money so that you can take more vacations, look into taking Airbnb rentals instead. You can rent a small apartment or a room for a much better price than a hotel.
11. See if getting city passes will help.
If you plan to travel to a large city and visit a lot of its popular attractions, get a city pass. These passes will give you access to a wide range of places in the city, often even letting you skip the queues and save money on individual tickets. Examples are: the Paris Museum Pass, with entry into over 60 popular museums and monuments; the Firenze Card which has access to all major museums; and the London Pass, which lets you enter more than 80 top attractions.
12. Try to use public transportation.
Using public transportation in another city can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you don’t know the language. No one wants to get lost, leading to many people relying on Ubers or taxis, or even rental cars. But this can turn out to be quite expensive. Many popular destinations have excellent public transport systems, whether they’re subways, trains, or buses. They are also often a whole lot cheaper. Just make sure you do some research beforehand, and maybe download relevant maps onto your phone.
Do you have any more tips on how to travel smart and to be able to take more vacations? If so, be sure to share them in the comments below.