Additionally, you go camping stocked with all your own supplies and accommodation i. Your food bill can be whatever you spend on groceries and nothing more. Personally, I hate camping.
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Luckily, many parks provide cabins. While hiking the Grand Canyon, I stayed at a national park lodge at the bottom. I had a room in a dormitory, but for a few nights, it was the cheap accommodation I needed. Got an RV that needs parking? Cruise lines always offer incredible last-minute deals. If you wait until a few weeks before departure, you can find some really amazing deals as cruise lines scramble to find passengers. Plus, cruise operators always throw in some on-board amenities, free upgrades, and cash vouchers to sweeten the deal. Conversely, if you book over a year in advance, cruise lines also offer amazing low fares for early birds.
They have wonderful working relationships with the operators and can score better packages than booking online. After you book, keep an eye out on prices, because if they drop, you can often call your travel agent or the cruise company itself to get a partial refund or vouchers to use for dining and alcohol on the boat.
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Forget Mexico and go to Guatemala. Skip Paris and head to Budapest. Ditch Brazil and take on Bolivia instead. The list goes on and on. There are countless cheap alternatives and budget destinations around the world! If people are going in the summer, you go in the spring or winter. Skip the popular destinations and head off the beaten path a bit. Contrarian travel will save you a bundle of money. While others heading into the city in the morning for work are stuck in traffic, you breeze the opposite way hassle free. The same is true for travel.
No one loves a crowd! Just like cruises, tours are best booked last-minute. Tour companies need to fill the seats just like cruise companies, because once that trip departs, they still have the same costs. Last-minute tour bookings work the same way as cruise bookings. Why are tours so cheap last-minute? Well, think about how people plan vacations. You get the time off work, you book your vacation, you buy your flight, and you go.
Since people pre-book, prices are higher in advance because these companies understand booking patterns and then price accordingly. Accommodation can eat into the cost of a trip big-time. You might get a flight deal , but then accommodation — even if you can find it cheaply — might push the cost of your trip into unaffordable territory. A way around that is to stay somewhere for free. A unique way to overcome this is to house-sit for someone while they are on vacation.
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You get free accommodation, a kitchen to cook in, and the chance to explore a destination in depth. You can even do this in your own region too, to cut down on transportation costs. You can look up a whole list of flights from cheapest to increasingly more expensive using a site like Momondo or Google Flights. Then a list of the cheapest flights appears in front of your very eyes, so you can choose where to go within your budget.
Not everyone can jump overseas at the drop of a hat or spend six months backpacking around Europe or Asia. A fancy vacation to Mexico may be out of your reach. Travel is simply the art of going somewhere new and different and exploring everything the place has to offer. Use these cheap vacation ideas and go explore — on a budget! Want more? Read these articles to get more specific destination ideas for where to have a budget vacation:.
Amazing 1-Week Vacations You Can Do for Just $1,000
Stop paying full price! Download our free guide to travel hacking and learn:. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Book Your Accommodation To find the best budget accommodation, use Booking. I use them all the time. You can book your hostel — if you want that instead — with Hostelworld as they have the most comprehensive inventory. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:.
Looking for the best companies to save money with? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel — and I think will help you too! Want to share your tips and advice? Got questions? Visit the community forum to ask questions, get answers, meet people, and share your tips! Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.
I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free. Also try CouchSurfing your way through a country.
If your only major expense is transportation and food, in many countries you can travel on nearly nothing. Also, if you have a decent home you can trade houses. I was going to go that route but it is too confining for me. I want to wander. Great list Matt. I work in a different city each week, and that has made coming home on the weekends seem like a vacation to me. Excellent list. I especially like the first two suggestions. I would have seen and done much more!
And when I go home to visit I look forward to doing just that. Can you imagine cashing in half your retirement savings to buy a condo in a foreign country? Take the risks, they are the pay offs. Love the concept of being a tourist in your home town! Recently did a photography challenge which had me looking at my home town differently. Was great fun to get out there over the duration of the challenge, open my eyes and look at things in a different light. Have not tried the house sitting option, but have friends who have, and love it!
Keeping that on the radar for the future! We took our kids 4 and 7 last summer and it was surprisingly stress-free. Our American friends thought we were nuts, but it totally worked, and was cheaper for two weeks even including our airfare than driving to and staying at the beach. Great tips here, Matt — especially about being a local tourist. I know more about other countries than I do about my own. When I asked my parents about this the other day I found out that a cousin of mine had recently moved to Argentina and another was working in Prague!
I had no idea. Great ideas, esp thinking outside of the box. Contrarian travel is something every traveler or backpacker should do. This article really comes at the right time for me. None of these things are true. I also like the idea of being a local tourist. I used to live in Tokyo for a while and I used almost every day off to explore the city and its surroundings. Excellent tips here — especially about being a local tourist. No matter what the size, your city has a number of wonders just waiting to be explored. You may want to try Cancun options or Dominican Republic options.
Those are the 2 least expensive vacation destinations with amazing AI resorts, and lots of flight options, making for less expensive. Good luck - I would be shocked if you found something for longer than 3, maybe 4 nights though. All the best! This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.
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