Does that picture not just make you want to go to the beach? Since we have been doing some trips this Summer, and trying our hardest not to spend money, I was inspired to devote my Tips and Tricks Thursdays to one of my favorite things in the world – traveling.
1. Go to Cancun.
Okay, maybe this title should read something along the ideas of look for affordable destinations. But friends, there is nowhere more affordable and beautiful as Cancun. Under $1000 a person will buy you airfare and 7 nights at a nice ALL-INCLUSIVE resort. Yes this means you won’t be buying alcohol, food, or anything except things outside your resort while you’re there. You seriously can’t beat that. Plus I love Cancun, there is a ton to do there and it is absolutely breathtaking. Another good budget trip is a cruise. While I know not everyone loves cruises, I do, and you can get some seriously good deals depending on when you go. Check Expedia for deals or consider contacting a travel agent, who can sometimes find deals not listed on websites.
2. Visit Friends.
Only if you are invited, no one likes that friend who invites themselves. But chances are, you have some friends or family members who live in some pretty neat destinations who would love for you to come visit them. Cutting out hotel costs can save a ton on a trip. Sure it might not be your number one choice destination, but I bet you will have a great trip and try some new things. You’d be surprised what some not as popular destinations have to offer!
3. Check Local Groupons.
If you are traveling somewhere in the United States, check local groupons for where you are traveling, and other groupon-like sites. When we did a trip to the Boston area a few years ago, I found some great deals for whale-watching and another boat trip that turned out to be some of the highlights of our trip. I’ve also used groupon in NYC to score a half of meal.
4. Google Flights.
My mom recently told me about Google Flights, and now I think it’s the best way to search for and find your cheapest flight options. Simply tell it when and where you are looking to go, and it shows you the cheapest airfare, and will even show you pretty wide range of dates if your options are flexible. Know you want to go to Italy but not sure when? Try it out, find your cheapest option, buy ticket – or set it to send you updates on when prices go down. It’s a great tool for budget travelers.
Hopefully you are already using SkyMiles, but if not you are missing out! Tom and I paid for our flights to New Jersey over Labor Day completely using SkyMiles. Since we both have the SkyMiles credit card we also checked our bags for free. I’ve heard people say that they are worried their points will expire before they get to travel anywhere – it takes relatively long for points to expire, and I’m not sure about how other airlines work but with Delta’s you can also use your SkyMiles to buy items in their marketplace. And the marketplace isn’t just cheap trinkets – I’ve used mine to buy both a Michael Kors watch and Ray Bans.