Traveling can be an exciting adventure full of fun and unexpected surprises. The cost of traveling, however, can be a major concern to people on a budget. Everything from hotels and car rentals to plane tickets and even food can be a huge expense. If you’re itching to get away on a trip, but don’t want to drain your bank account, you have to travel smart. This means taking advantage of discounts and cheap offers where you can, which often means traveling in a somewhat non-traditional way. Instead of purchasing a plane ticket blindly, shop around. Rather than stay at expensive hotels, consider shopping for furnished apartments to help reduce your overall costs.
Avoiding Hotels to Save Money
It still surprises some people how expensive hotel rooms can be. If you’re planning on taking a vacation for more than a few days, hotel costs can quickly bust your entire budget. How much you are willing to sacrifice in terms of amenities will determine how much you will be able to save. Young people often like to stay in hostels, but the comfort level may not be adequate for some travelers. Some people like to camp or rent an RV to use as lodging, but this may not be possible for certain destinations. If you’re committed to staying in hotels, you may be able to find great rates by not being picky about specific locations and companies. You can also use short term rentals if you’re not worried about things like room service and chamber maids.
Taking Advantage of Short Term Rentals
There are lots of people worldwide who own apartments and condos that don’t live in them year round. In order to make up the costs of their rent or mortgage, they rent out their space as a short or long term vacation rental. The cost of such a rental will almost always be far less per day than a comparable quality hotel room. Make sure the places you stay are furnished apartments, as you wouldn’t want to drag furniture around with you. It’s a good idea to check out photos of the rental before you sign your final agreement.
Finding the Right Vacation Rental
There are thousands of websites and services out there that claim to help travelers find the perfect rental for their vacation. Of course, not all websites and services are created equally. Your first step should be to see if anyone you know has a rental in a location you are looking to travel. You can find this information by calling your friends, or even better, make a few Facebook, Twitter or Google+ posts requesting if anyone has a vacation rental they’re willing to share. You can usually find much better deals among friends than you would through pure commercial means, and you may even be able to take advantage of rentals that are owned by people in your extended social network. These are deals that you may normally never be able to take advantage of.