Travel Tips

Saving Money on Travel in 2017

By on February 11, 2017

You can still save money on travel without being a backpacker or a “budget traveler.” In this modern era of travel, there are several ways to to save money without diminishing quality or comfort. I believe there is a better way of saving and a new kind of budget travel. Smart and savvy travelers looking for ways to stay on their budget in 2017 will enjoy these travel tips.

Getting Good Deals on Airfare

Airfare is one of the biggest expenses for travelers, especially for families who travel together. Personally, I have found the cheapest time to buy airfare is Tuesday or Wednesday. There are several budget airlines like WOW, Norwegian & XL offering incredible deals (mainly to Europe). Other airlines such as American & United are offering new basic economy fares for those looking for a deal. Credit cards that reward cardholders with points is another great way to help cut the cost of airfare. Also, be sure to search for airfare from a private web browser, disable cookies and clear the cookies on your web browser so the airlines do not track you. Don’t forget to sign up for airline alerts, newsletters and follow your favorite airline on social media.

British Airways Window View.

Paying reasonable effort takes some research and diligence but is worth the time.

Hotel Room Strategy

Airbnb now has more rooms than any other hotel chain. Especially if you are traveling in a group or as a family, renting a holiday home or a self-catering apartment can be less expensive than a hotel and give you a local experience. On a recent trip to Italy, I rented a farmhouse with my Mom that included breakfast and dinner at an amazing price. For those looking to be a little bit more flexible, Hotel Tonight (use Promo Code: ACastellanos16) continues to lead the industry in selling remainder inventory at very low prices, all at the touch of a button.

Our Ryad in Fez, Morocco

Our Country Farm House (Agriturismo) in Umbria, Italy

Budget Destinations 2017

I’m a big believer that you should follow your travel dreams, but sometimes our vacations are dictated by our budget. Start by thinking about where the US Dollar is strong and travel to destinations where your dollar goes far. Currencies like the Euro, British Pound and Japanese Yen are currently at historic lows and offer travelers incredible value compared to previous years. Destinations like Morocco and Indonesia can offer travelers a wide variety of experiences fitting into various budgets.

My daily gelato fix in Italy just got a bit cheaper.

Morocco can be easy on the wallet, culturally diverse and full of amazing experiences.

Travel Smart Sightseeing

For most people, time is money when we are traveling. A good way to maximize time (and save money) is to invest in handy city or regional sightseeing passes. These passes often allow the holder to skip the que since the pass is a valid admission ticket. Smart travelers can invest in these passes to have the city by the tail, stay flexible and save money. Another way to beat lines is to purchase admissions to major attractions on the internet (often at a discount). Lastly, if you are traveling in a group or as a family, it can be very easy to hire a guide when you arrive at your destination to show you around or help you skip lines. For example, in Rome we hired The Roman Guys to get us into the Vatican before it even opened.

Sightseeing is so much better with no crowds or not having to waste time in long lines. My Mom & Wife enjoying the Vatican without crowds.

Go Local to Save Money

The ultimate budget strategy for any traveler is to go local. For those who can’t travel far, gas is cheap and there is nothing like a “Great American Road Trip.” We are lucky to have amazing national parks spread out throughout the country, giving travelers a phenomenal experience. The NPS often offers tours of various sights, monuments and parks for absolutely free. The ultimate budget strategy for any traveler going abroad is to go local. Avoid the restaurants that have big plastic menus in 7 different languages. Having a picnic, eating street food or dining at a local restaurant gives travelers a true experience at a fraction of the cost.

I actually felt bad for this couple. Most savvy travelers avoid tourist traps like this.

Picking up picnic supplies in Beaune, France

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Angel Castellanos
Pasadena, CA

I'm a US based travel expert and spend my time teaching people how to travel well, smart and often. I'm passionate about travel and helping people save time & money. This blog, or travel lounge, is a collection of my practical travel advice and experiences from traveling 8-10 weeks internationally each year. I believe that travel has never been easier and that everyone can achieve their travel dreams. Happy Travels!

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