Smart Ways To Keep Travel Spending In Check

With more people getting vaccinated, many are looking forward to reuniting with loved ones and making up for lost vacation time. However, budget is often a primary concern when planning a trip.

To help make your money go further, consider these tips from the travel experts at Vrbo.

Explore a new destination: With pent up travel demand, many popular travel destinations have already been booked months in advance. Instead of visiting traditionally popular locales, consider an under-the-radar destination like Cherry Log, Georgia; Bella Vista, Arkansas; or Slade, Kentucky, which all offer scenic views and outdoor adventures. Before booking, check for any travel advisories or restrictions for your destination.

Be flexible with dates: Rather than selecting your dates first and finding a destination that works for your selected date range, choose a destination then see what accommodations are available. For example, doing an undated search through a vacation rental company like Vrbo can yield a wider selection for a particular destination, including some budget-friendly options. After selecting your lodging, check the dates to determine when it’s available or most affordable and plan your trip accordingly.

Fly on off-peak days or times: If flying to your destination is necessary and you’re not on a tight schedule, being flexible with the time of day you fly, the number of stops or having a longer layover can translate to a more affordable price. Generally, flying earlier in the week or later in the day is less expensive than flying closer to the weekend or taking the first flight out.

Book now, pay later: When securing lodging and other amenities like rental cars, you can often book your reservations without paying the full amount up front. Whether you simply place a deposit at the time of booking and pay the rest upon arrival or split the total cost into monthly payments, this type of option can provide an added level of flexibility when budgeting for and planning your trip.

Book accommodations that offer length-of-stay discounts: These days, remote work and school allows for flexibility while traveling, and there are discounts to be found if you choose to stay for longer than just a few nights. In fact, some vacation rental hosts offer discounts for new listings or week- or month-long stays. Vacation rental companies like Vrbo allows travelers to use filters to find discounted properties when searching for a place to stay.

Look for free activities: If you research your destination before departing, you’ll likely be able to find free or low-cost activities that interest you. Check community calendars to find events while you’ll be in town and consider options like museums, art galleries or national parks, which are often free to the public or offer discounted admission on certain days or at specific times each day.

Take advantage of public transportation: One of the best ways to get to know a city is to walk everywhere, but that isn’t feasible in all cities and locations. Rather than renting a car or using ride-sharing services, look for public transportation options such as buses or subways that are more cost-effective when possible. Also consider a frequent-travel card if you’ll be traversing your destination more than once or twice.