Traveling can be expensive when you don’t know how to make the most of your resources. By utilizing resources, we mean scouring deals, careful planning and a lot of thorough research. Having a dream vacation without having to spend a fortune is the ultimate goal. Sure, there are plenty of ways and ideas you can do for your travel plans. The problem is, you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, we scored some tips from a savvy traveler. Loralee Baron-Soong, co-founder and executive director of SoFa Design Institute, shares with us her top 10 tips on how to travel for cheap.
To travel as cheaply as possible, Loralee shares with us some of her street-smart ideas.
1. Plan at least six to nine months in advance.
"If you plan early, it’s most likely that you will be able to get the best deals in airfare, hotel accommodation, show tickets, and even tours."
2. Use websites like Kayak and Skyscanner.
"To get the best deals in airfare and ideal travel schedule, you would need to be able to search through hundreds of travel sites all at once. This is how you can compare prices and schedules to find the ones that fit your budget."
3. Always compare prices of hotels using different hotel search engines.
4. Travel during off peak season to get better deals.
"One big reason to travel off-season is because of cheaper…well, everything! Low season often leads to drastic reduction in hotel and flight rates all over the world."
5. Research using guidebooks, blogs, and websites to find the most interesting restaurants and attractions in the places you plan to visit.
"For guidebooks, my personal favorite is still Lonely Planet. When you figure out the places and restaurants you want to visit, it’s easier to pin down a budget."
6. For the city you’re traveling to, always search for discount coupons.
"With a quick and simple Google search, you can find lots of discount coupons that are available for city attractions."
7. Use Google maps to plan your daily itinerary.
"For one thing, Google maps is free. Second, planning your route properly can and will save you bus and train fares."
8. Find a credit card with a frequent flyer reward program.
"Great news, you can actually convert credit card points into air miles for travel! With miles, you can actually redeem flights from partner airlines. So now, you can put your love for shopping to good use—of course, you need to be sure you’re spending on qualifying purchases. For this, you need to check on your credit card agreement."
9. Avail of free walking and bike tours in major cities.
"Want to learn about the city on a deeper level and see major sights? Join a free tour. You can find these tours with the help of the local tourist office, your hotel or even with Google."
10. Combine hole in the wall places and eating fresh local food in markets with rated restaurants for a more authentic experience.
"Michelin-rated restaurants are great, but have you tried honest-to-goodness comfort food by the street or in the market? The best part is, you get to enjoy great food without breaking the bank."