Even if you didn't start saving early, that doesn't mean you can't go anywhere this summer.
Last year, a friend randomly invited me to join him on a trip to Brazil. He was leaving in a month, and I thought it was going to be impossible because flights there are so expensive (from Mexico, where I live, it's basically like going to Europe). However, I really, really wanted to go. Brazil had always been at the top of my travel wish list, so before saying no to my friend, I decided to do a quick search on the internet to see what was the cheapest price I could get. One of the sites said that the best time to look for tickets was Tuesday morning because that's when airlines release their lowest prices. I was a little skeptical, but I decided to give it a try, and man, was it worth it. The following Tuesday, tickets were almost fifty percent cheaper than they were on the weekend. It was a miracle! I bought the ticket immediately and called my friend to let him know I was doing it. That was the first of many trips I've been able to afford because I bought my ticket on a Tuesday, and obviously, it's my number one tip for making vacations more affordable.
So, if you're like me, and you never save any money (for traveling or anything else), you're probably feeling pretty down right now because you think you're not going to be able to go anywhere this summer. But I'm here to help you with some of my favorite tips for saving some money at the last minute.
Choose your destination wisely.
In case you don’t know where to go, it would be a great idea to find a place that is affordable, like the beach. You wouldn’t want to travel to a big city on a tight budget because you are likely to pay more for tourist attractions, public transport, taxis, and expensive restaurants, whereas the beach is free and you can get away with making your own food and dining in front of the perfect sunset, while looking at the horizon. Your only expenses would be a hotel and the plane tickets – and maybe some shopping here and there.
Get the lowest prices on Google Flights.
There are tons of websites out there that promise to have the best deals available. However, unless you have an account with them, long-term client benefits, or privileges with the company, you'll probably get the same prices as everyone else. What I suggest is using Google Flights to compare rates. Just search for “flight from [your city] to [your destination],” and Google will be kind enough to break down the cheapest options for you. You definitely need to do this before planning your vacation, since Google Flights shows you how prices go up and down, depending on the date you decide to purchase them. This will give you a solid idea of how much money you’ll need for the entire trip.
Forget about a hotel: Airbnb is way better.
The beauty of Airbnb is that you can stay in a nice apartment or house, have the place all to yourself, and not have to pay ridiculous hotel rates. The app allows you to narrow down your search according to your budget, which helps a lot. And, of course, the earlier you book, the more options there are, and the cheaper it is. My experience has taught me that finding a place on here is usually much better and interesting.
Cut all unnecessary expenses.
Okay, now that you have the place and the ticket to get there, it’s time to crunch some numbers and see how much you can save by cutting any extra expenses. This includes those little “treat yourself” expenses, as well as going out and eating out. Going on a trip requires some sacrifices, but it'll be a new adventure far away from your routine, so it'll be worth putting in the effort. You can open a saving account to place the money you’ll need for this trip and grab a calculator to see how much you can save after cutting your expenses.
Make some extra cash by selling your stuff.
If you are still low on money for this trip after following all the steps mentioned above, it’s time to look around in your place and find stuff that people would want to buy – believe me, there must be something you can sell. I realize it can be really hard to part with some of your things, but just think about the adventure you’ll have. Plus, it’s a nice way to declutter your place. You can use a selling app (like Letgo) to help you sell your stuff faster.
Buying a plane ticket or booking your Airbnb a couple of months ahead is a great way to save money on your next trip. But of course, sometimes we forget about it, and we only remember when all of our friends are talking about where they're going that summer. These tips can potentially turn your next trip into a wonderful experience and you can always start planning for next years.
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