05
Jan-2015

Travel Tips :: How To Save Money While Traveling

Travel Off-Season

With all the strategies to save money, traveling off-season would be the first recommendation. Airlines, hotels, and tour companies will almost always offer cheaper rates to attract customers. Destinations are less crowded and lines for major attractions are shorter.

Stockholm, Sweden | Visited during spring break and the museums were virtually empty!

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah | Exploring Bryce Canyon during the fall

Airfare

If you are flexible on travel dates, fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Morning or evening flights tend to be less popular and also offer lower rates. When purchasing your flights, book on a Sunday for the lowest fares. On Monday mornings, airlines increase the fares in order to fill seats. And don’t forget to sign up for those frequent-flier programs! (But honestly, this stuff changes frequently so sign up for deal alerts on Airfare Watch Dog, Google Flights or Skyscanner.)

Honolulu Airport | Waiting patiently for a flight

Toronto Airport | Waiting patiently for a flight

Accommodations

Sign up for hotel loyalty programs (Marriott Rewards, Hilton HHonors, etc.). You’ll earn free nights and receive extra perks such as free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Some hotels even offer additional discounts by booking directly with the hotel, rather than a third-party.

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa | We’ve been Marriott Rewards Members for years

Another option is renting a timeshare—not only are they typically cheaper than most hotels, but you get amenities you wouldn’t find with other forms of accommodation. A few places you can book these timeshares are on Booking.com or RedWeek.

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Captain Morgan’s Resort, Belize | Timeshare rental on a beautiful beachfront property

Marriott MountainSide, Park City, Utah | Enjoying an evening activity of roasting marshmallows

APARTMENT/AIRBNB/HomeAway

For significant savings rent an apartment or airbnb. We are huge fans of Booking.com and Airbnb! Read more on our experiences here:

Belfast, United Kingdom | Amazing apartment with a view (Booking.com)

Kinsale, Ireland | Charming cottage view (Airbnb)

Last-Minute Deals

Register for last-minute travel e-mail blasts and remain flexible on dates for better rates. Two weeks in advance, airlines, hotels and cruise ships will offer discounts if not fully booked. Some great sites we frequent are Travelzoo and Groupon.

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Coronado Island Marriott Resort | Last-minute summer getaway

Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego | Found a great deal on a January weekend when most families aren’t traveling

Transportation

Avoid taxis—walk, bike, or use public transportation. Taxi fares can add up quickly! If you are in a city for an extended period of time, consider purchasing a subway pass that gives you unlimited rides.

Dublin, Ireland | Day train trip to the countryside

Portland, Oregon | Walking across the Tilikum Crossing Bridge

Food

Pass on the upscale restaurants and hunt for street food. Exploring ethnic neighborhoods can also offer unique meals at affordable prices.

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Vienna, Austria | Enjoying some street food

Paris, France | Hot cocoa under the Eiffel Tower

Stockholm, Sweden | Fika

Also, stay in a hotel that provides a complimentary breakfast. It may be small but enough to start your day and treat yourself to a hearty lunch later.

Condovac La Costa Hotel | We enjoyed our complimentary breakfast with this view everyday!

PIcnic Lunches

On road trips or long day excursions we always pack lunches for the kids. You just never know what you are going to encounter or when we will be able to stop for a meal.

 

Morro Bay, California | Kids are enjoying their packed lunches while we enjoy an appetizer with beer

Lake Tahoe, Nevada | Quick snack before a kayaking trip

Entertainment

Skip the hop on hop off sightseeing tours and opt for a free walking tour. You make a better connection with your destination and the local tour guides are extremely knowledgeable. Visit museums on free days or purchase city passes (some city passes even include transportation!)

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Casa Loma Castle, Toronto | Saved a bundle with our Toronto CityPASS

Budapest, Hungary | Enjoyed our Free Walking Tour of Budapest

Tikal, Guatemala | Explored the ancient Mayan Temples with a local guide

WHERE TO SPLURGE

It’s not really a vacation without some indulgences, right? What we do splurge on are experiences. If we are in a different part of the world, we want our children to leave with an appreciation for the culture and environment they’ve just visited.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada | Kayaking

Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica | Jungle Cruise with crocodiles and monkeys

Stockholm, Sweden | Viking Museum

But most importantly…we aim to connect as a family!

Magnificent Niagara Falls

Giants Causeway, United Kingdom

Hermosa Beach, Costa Rica

Beautiful Sunset in Hawaii


(Disclosure: Burbs2Abroad was not compensated for this review. As always, our opinions are our own.)

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  1. kari /

    Great tips!

  2. Burbs2Abroad | Live, Travel and Blog /

    […] considering the relatively short time the blog has been going. I particularly liked the post on saving money whilst abroad and browsing the destinations visited by clicking through ‘Where We’ve […]

    • Elizabeth /

      Thank you for your kind comments!

  3. Renee /

    Great group of tips!

  4. Susan /

    These are great! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Belinda /

    Just found your site on Pinterest. Very helpful tips!

  6. Ruth /

    Very inciteful article!

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