Money-Saving Travel Tips

Posted on July 1st, 2024

Financial Tips

Summer is here, which means that kids are out of school, and more people are going on trips that they’ve been waiting months for, or sometimes even impromptu road trips to the lake or a state park. As fun as it is to travel with friends or family, or even a solo trip, it’s certainly not cheap to go on any kind of trip, even if you’ve saved up the money for it ahead of time. However, there are a variety of ways that you can save money while you travel, so you don’t have to break open your piggybank. 

How to Get Around

A big aspect of travelling that can add up quickly is transportation. While you might need to take a plane, train, or automobile to get to your destination, there are ways to cut down on your transportation costs while you’re exploring your new surroundings. It’s understandably tempting to order a rideshare or taxi when you’re trying to go places, but with all the added fees it can get pricey. That is why looking into cheaper public transportation options is a good idea. 

Many cities that have public transportation will offer free or discounted passes for students, seniors and children under a certain age. They might even offer weekend or day passes for their buses and trains. For example, in Chicago, you can get a 3-Day Chicago Public Transit pass that gives you unlimited access to the buses and ‘L’ trains for only $5 – perfect for a weekend in the city! Before you leave for your trip, it’s worth looking into what the public transportation system is like, if any, and what kinds of discounts or passes they offer, so you don’t have to rely solely on rideshares and taxis. 

Where to Eat

Even when you’re not travelling, eating out is expensive. When you’re travelling, eating out is the most convenient option, especially if you want to try something new. While you want to be where all the action and attractions are, restaurant owners are all too aware of that and will often hike the prices up on their menu items, sometimes sacrificing quality at the same. 

It could be helpful for you to take the time to look at restaurants located a little outside of the more touristy areas, since they might have similar food for cheaper. With resources like Google Review and Yelp, you’ll be able to see what other tourists, as well as locals, have to say about the restaurant’s food to decide if it’s worth it. 

Don’t forget, though, that you don’t have to eat out for every single meal. Check out some local grocery stores, or even a farmer’s market, to get some items to make a few meals on your own if you’re able. Even keeping some bagels and cream cheese, or cereal and milk around in a mini fridge can help a lot in cutting down the costs of your food bill while you’re on your vacation. 

What to Do

Museums are always a fun option on a trip to somewhere new to learn about history, art and science while you’re there – an ideal option if you’re traveling with kids. While museums can definitely be pricey depending on how popular the museum is, there’s often discounts for students, seniors and children like there is with public transportation. Many museums also offer certain free days throughout the year, and while the lines may be longer and the museums are a little busier, it’s worth looking into them to save you some money on the fees. 

Local street festivals are also a great activity, especially during summer when they’re more common because of the nicer weather. Many street festivals will be free, or have a “suggested donation,” where you could get into the festival for $1 if you wanted. They often have local businesses, food vendors and activities to try out, and are a great way to get outside and discover local businesses in one place. Do some research ahead of time to see if the place you’re visiting has any festivals going on that coincide with your trip. You might be able to save a few bucks if you do! 

Planning trips can be intimidating, stressful, and most of all, expensive. It’s understandable that the potential cost might make someone feel like they can’t afford to take a break from their daily routine. However, there are all kinds of ways that you can save money even while you’re on vacation, so you can have the relaxing (or adventurous) trip away from home that you’ve been craving.

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