How to Budget for Travel like a Pro

channel-692420_640We all dream of that epic travel adventure, going on a cross-country drive, or simply shutting our mobile devices off for a three day weekend, but most of us don’t ever do it because it’s expensive.

Finding ways to cut corners when organizing travel is a great way to get out on the open road and fulfill your travel heart desires. Below are some great tips and tricks on ways to save money on travel costs and get your adventure on!

Baggage Know How

The worst thing ever is getting all your stuff crammed into your dinky carry-on, getting to the airport, and having them tell you your bag is overweight. Next thing you know, you’re paying extra to check your luggage. Avoid the extra fees by putting some of your stuff into an extra hand-held bag. There’s not a limit on hand-held bag weight as long as it fits under the seat in front of you. For durable hand-held, small backpacks check out stores like Home Depot or Sears.

Odds and Ends, Bits and Bobs

Nothing like getting to Thailand and realizing that the toothpaste tastes like lemon flavored salt. No really, it does. Keep in mind when you go too far off lands and other countries, the products they have might not be like your favorite ones at home. To save big on travel toiletries, over-the-counter medicines, and first aid supplies, be sure to check out stores like Walgreens and CVS that have every day travel products at great prices.

Packing Right for Your Adventure

Sometimes we just need a reason to shop. Travel is an excellent time to get some new clothes and a great way to be super prepared for whatever weather you might run into. No matter where you head off to, check the weather–and be sure to check the night-time weather as well. A lot of places in Europe or Southern America are hot in the day, but chilly at night.

Of course, you might also have got that round trip flight and five star hotel rooms super cheap because it’s the rain season, so you’ll need an umbrella and some wellies. American Eagle, Nordstrom, and Forever 21 are great places to grab sweaters, cargo pants, shorts, tanks, umbrellas, and sweet shoes to match for all seasons–plus, they all have 50-90% off coupon codes.

Travel Keepsakes

We all want a pair of Dutch clogs or a back scratcher from Fuerteventura, maybe even an “I Heart NY” mug. Things get broken in luggage, or you simply don’t have room. Forget about trying to pack a million keepsakes from your adventures, memorialize them and get creative. Check out Shutterfly’s great deals on Groupon Coupons. You can print photos inexpensively, create memory books for each destination, and make your own quirky keepsakes right at home for 50-90% off the retail price!

Camper Trailer Or An RV and Working On The Road

vw-camper-336606_640Lately, we have been thinking more and more about getting either a camper trailer or an RV so that we can travel a little more easily. We are still undecided about whether we would actually live in it for months at a time (and still keep a home base for our belongings), or if it would just be a weekend type of thing.

There are just so many things to think about when it comes to traveling by camper trailer or an RV. My head has been spinning. This is a great situation to be in, but it is also an expensive one so I want to make the right decision!

Below are some of the different things we are thinking about when it comes to getting an RV:

How do I get internet?

I NEED the internet as I work online for a living. You would think internet wouldn’t be too hard to find, but it actually has been. I know that we could always just go somewhere that offers wifi such as Starbucks, but that’s not really something I want to have to resort to all the time. I would prefer to have internet right in the camper trailer, if at all possible.

The problem is that I cannot find any internet packages that allow me to have unlimited internet. Everything I have found now has a limit, which really stinks!

Also, the packages I have found are quite expensive, with the cost for internet being at least a few hundred each month. I’m thinking there has to be something a little cheaper than that? Hopefully?

What about the dogs?

We have two dogs. While our smaller dog will be fine with anything, our other dog is much bigger and I’m not sure how she will feel in an RV.

I work a lot so for the most part I will be cooped up in or around the RV. My husband will, of course, be taking them out a lot for hikes, but I’m not sure how she will like going from a rather large house to something that is just a couple of feet wide.

If it was just a weekend thing, then it most likely wouldn’t be a problem. However, if we are going to live in an RV then I’m not sure how she would handle it.

Should we keep a home base?

This is a big question we have been wondering. We have a lot of belongings and I don’t want to sell any of what we have left (we recently already did a big purge) as most of it is very important to me, such as the 100 photo albums that my dad left me after he passed away.

A storage unit for everything we have would most likely cost the same as a cheap apartment, so we are wondering whether we should just have a home base to come back to every now and then or not.

Do you travel with an RV, camper trailer, or something else similar? What tips do you have?

 

How Traveling Like a Local Can Save You Money

How Traveling Like a Local Can Save You MoneyVacations cost money. That’s no surprise. However, there are many ways you can save money and start taking more vacations.

One of the main ways you can save money on your vacations is by traveling like a local!

Today we will be discussing ways that you can save money with where you stay,

Couchsurf.

If you want to travel very frugally, then couchsurfing may be the way for you. While it is not something I have ever tried, I do have a few friends who have couchsurfed and thoroughly enjoyed it. Couchsurfing is where you travel from place to place and stay in people’s homes for free.

Short-term rentals.

Whenever I go on a vacation, I usually stay in a short-term rental. They are usually comparable in price to a hotel, and sometimes even cheaper. They also have a lot more space, grass for our dogs, and more. They are usually in great locations as well where you can actually see the city that you are visiting.

Short-term rentals are my favorite and I prefer them 100 times more than an actual hotel.

My favorite websites to find a short-term rental include: VRBO.com, AirBnb.com, and Homeaway.com

Local restaurants.

Most people spend way too much money on food when they are on vacation, and more of the time it is not needed. For me, I like to try local places. They are usually cheaper and you actually get to try food from the area.

Too many people just stick to the restaurants that are inside the hotel where they are staying. Restaurants in these hotels are usually overpriced and just traditional food that you can get back home.

Instead, venture out of your hotel and try some local flavors!

Local transportation.

We live in an area with really bad public transportation, so I can honestly say that this was a hard one to get used to. Since we don’t take public transportation unless we are on a vacation, it’s like a whole new world where we often stand there confused for at least a few minutes.

However, the few minutes of confusion can save you a ton of money when you are on vacation.

Instead of paying money for taxis or hundreds of dollars on renting a car, you should check and see how the public transportation is in the area where you are going on a vacation. You might find that the subway or bus system might be all that you really even need.

In certain areas, a sidewalk may be all that you need. There are certain areas where everyone hitchhikes as well such as in small mountain towns in the United States (it’s almost expected).

Do you travel like a local? Why or why not?