Tips for Stretching Your Dollars from a Seasoned Traveler

ID-100236098If you are one of those people who can go on vacation without giving any thought to cost, chances are you would not be reading an article like this; if you are one of those people, and are just reading this for kicks, lucky you.

I am going to assume you are interested in putting together a great trip while sticking to some sort of budget. As someone who has a lot of travel experience under her belt, and like you, can’t just spend freely without hesitation, I would like to share some tips that have helped me get the most out of my trips while staying within my means.

Look into Houses and Apartments Rather than Hotels

It would seem renting a house or apartment would be more expensive than just one hotel room, and depending on the house, it certainly can be. But, for the most part, no matter where you are, you can almost always find one that is the same price or less money than a hotel. So, if you may not be saving money but just spending about the same, why am I recommending this? Because houses and apartments have kitchens, stoves, ovens, and all that good stuff you need to make your own food. There are lots of great resources for finding short term furnished housing for holiday rentals, such as

But, I’m on vacation….I don’t want to have to cook. I want to go out to eat every meal. If that is what you really want, then go for it, but do it happily, not complaining about how much you are spending on food. If you really don’t have a lot of wiggle room, this one strategy can make a world of difference in what you spend. You don’t have to cook every meal, you are on vacation after all, and should enjoy some nice meals out. Sure, food is great, but think about all the other more awesome uses for that money while traveling.

Don’t Do Stuff Unless You REALLY Want to Do It

It took me awhile to learn this lesson. When I first started traveling, I felt that I should always be doing something or I wasn’t taking full advantage of my location. But, as you know, a lot of ‘tourist’ activities can be quite pricey, and while you should make the most of your trip, you are simply wasting money if you are partaking in activities in which you have little to no interest. I would stress about how much money I would end up spending, and I finally realized I didn’t have to be spending this money. I gave up the idea that I should always be doing something, and just did the stuff I really wanted to do. My wallet was very happy with that decision, and so was I.

Skip the Expensive Locations if You Really Can’t Enjoy Them on Your Budget

We all have our preferences when it comes to travel. Some people are perfectly happy staying in hostels, and sharing a bathroom with 15 other people, and eating the cheapest food available; others are just fine with the bare bones budget hotel—after all, they won’t be doing much but sleeping there, so no need for anything fancy. Then you have people who desire a bit higher standard when it comes to rooms, and want to eat out in nice places.

While it is okay to cut some corners to make travel possible, be realistic about your own personal standards—if you stray too far away just to visit a particular destination on which you have your heart set, you probably won’t have a good time. Think about where your money will take you the farthest, and if any of those places really appeal to you, consider them this time around, and vow to sock a bit extra away for your next vacation to the more expensive locales.

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