Budget Travel Tips on Saving Money on the Road

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With everyone pinching pennies and tightening their belts in the face of higher oil and gas prices these days, vacationing seems like a luxury most of us simply can’t afford. But if you choose your destinations carefully and take advantage of a few tricks, you can still make traveling the joy it’s supposed to be.

Tip 1: Overnight trains and buses
This is one way to kill 2 birds with one stone, save time AND money. By opting for a train or bus you save one night’s accommodation and cover distance at the same time.

India, and Thailand’s overnight trains are quite comfortable and not much more than a night’s accommodation. Waking up to a fantastic sunrise in Northern Thailand while speeding along to the rhythm of the tracks is one of this writer’s most cherished travel memories.

In Spain, however, the overnight train can be quite costly, so check the prices carefully.

As for overnight buses, none compare to Turkey. Coffee, tea, cakes, clean rest stops, and lemon cologne put Turkey’s bus system in a league of it’s own.

Tip 2: Pick a hotel that delivers the extras
Some hotels offer a place to sleep. Other hotels offer a place to sleep, plus complimentary breakfast (and maybe dinner), airport pickup, Internet, walking tours, tea and coffee, and other creative extras. Usually small budget and boutique hotels are eager to please as they survive on word of mouth referrals and recommendations.

Tip 3: Pick a hotel that isn’t in a guidebook
A hotel owner in a popular destination in Turkey once shared a story about his first years in the hotel business. Every person who arrived in town was headed to the same competing hotel because it was given a glowing review in one of the “Travel Bibles”. Try as he might, he could not break the cycle of people flocking to his competitor. Finally, he started offering the first night free and unbelievable cheap beer to lure customers to his hotel. It worked, and ironically, today he is given glowing reviews in all the “Travel Bibles”.

Another seasoned traveler once related that as she looked back over her six-week trip to Rajasthan, India, she realized she had not once spent a night in any of the recommended hotels in her guidebook. She was perfectly happy with each and every one. So take a chance and spread your business around, you may be pleasantly surprised!

Tip 4: Day trips
If you check carefully, you’ll find some day trips are definitely worth their money, especially if you are paying in the local currency. Some places just can’t be visited on your own, or if you could, it would be such a hassle it would take the enjoyment out of visiting altogether.

The floating market in Bangkok and the underground cities in Cappadocia, Turkey spring to mind. Considering that many of these day trips include lunch and entrance fees on top of transportation it doesn’t take superior math skills to figure out that some are a good deal.

Tip 5: Look online and book locally
Not the huge, well-known, Internet booking monsters out there; think smaller, local agents. A travel agent based in Bali can recommend a reputable hotel in Ubud that will suit your honeymoon or family needs, compared to a huge booking site that lists overbooked hotels in every country on the planet. If you run into unexpected trouble, (missed flights, delays), or just want to spend more time somewhere, a travel agent will be able to shift your reservation at no cost to you. With a booking site, you will have just lost your hotel deposit.

Tip 6: Pick an off the beaten path destination
Get off the “banana pancake highway”. Every country has a “route”, take a few days to step off track and you’ll notice the people are friendlier, the experience is richer, and the prices are lower. How do you find these places? Continue to the next tip.

Tip 7: Get help
Although budget travelers are often reluctant to get professional help, often an agent working on your behalf will save you time and money. Local agents know of great places that are under-visited, new hotels that offer specials and ways to make connections that will save you time and money. Generally, agents don’t make their commissions from the customer, but from the hotel or ticket company you have booked with. Again, you’re spreading your money around and reaping the benefits.

 

Steps and Tips to Buying Cheap Tickets

With just a little planning and flexibility, it is possible to reach your desired destination without breaking your bank. Follow the steps and tips given in this article to make sure you buy the cheap tickets for your travel.

Step 1: Always update yourself on airfares by reading the newspaper and watching the news. Wait for the announcement of promotional cheap tickets and fares released by different airlines.

Step 2: Have a flexible flight schedule. You can normally buy cheap tickets for flights scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, late-night or red-eyes flights, very early morning flights and flights with at least one stop.

Step 3: Ask airline companies if they offer travel packages so you can save some money in some areas. For example, you can get discount for a hotel room or rental car when you purchase them with the airline ticket or vice versa.

Step 4: Inquire if the fare stated on their website is the cheapest. It’s also best to check more than one site and make a comparison of the rates.

Step 5: Ask for standby fares if you are planning to fly off-season. It’s bad to fly standby during high season because most airline companies overbook their flights, making it hard to find cheap tickets for available seats.

Step 6: You can buy cheap tickets from consolidators as they purchase blocks of tickets and offer them at discounted prices to help airline companies fill up their available seats. You can find ticket consolidators from the newspaper’s travel section.

Step 7: Book flights early. You can buy cheap tickets if you will reserve your flight 21 days ahead.

Step 8: Use the same airline for the entire trip so you can receive connecting or roundtrip fare discounts.

Other Tips:

  1. Refund and exchange policies on airline tickets are quite strict especially on sites offering tickets at discounted price.
    2. It’s a good idea to join a travel club if you travel frequently in a year.
    3. If you have the same trip to different countries, ask your travel agent if you can have open-jaw flights.
    4. Ask airline companies or your travel agent if you can get student, military or senior discounts, or whichever may apply to you.
    5. Cheap tickets are really cheap and may save you money but before purchasing them, make sure to read refunds or exchanges policies as well as the terms and conditions of the sale.

Budget Travel Tips to Save Big on Hotel Stays

If you are a frequent business traveler or planning on being on the road for leisure with your family, there are plenty of ways to save big on your next hotel stay. Many people may not like to stay constantly at hotels and motels when they are on the road, but it is sometimes necessary in order to complete business. Here are some tips on saving money at your next hotel stay.

Hotels can be very expensive. You can easily spend over $100 a night when out of town. Most business hotels can charge much more and if you are staying in a top city or destination expect to pay over $200 for a night at a hotel. If you are looking to save on your hotel stay here are some things that you can do.

If you find that you are using a certain hotel often, sign up for a frequent customer program. Many hotels have a frequent customer programs in which you can save easily 10 to 20% right off the bat. This adds up over the course of a year.

Many hotels also offer specials if you book very early in advance and during off peak times of the year. You may save lots of money on how early you book. Many hotels have liberal cancellation policies that if you cancel within a few days of your booking you won’t lose any money.

If you need to spend a weekend at a hotel, look for hotels that cater to business travelers. Most of these hotels are usually very empty during the weekend when most business travelers are at home with their families. So follow these great tips to save bring on your next hotel stay.

Light Wind Sailing Tips

Learn to sail like a pro with these sailing tips for light wind sailing. Use these easy tips for light air sailing in the gentle winds of dawn’s first light or the ghost-like breezes of a moonlit night.

Keep Your Boat Moving Forward

Imagine that you have your foot on the accelerator of your car, moving ahead at a slow speed. All of a sudden, you run out of gas. You need to find a place to pull off to the side of the road. You see a spot way up ahead about a half mile. Your car slows down more and more.

You will need to use every trick in the book to keep your car’s forward momentum going to make it to the pull-off ahead. You could try to keep the wheels straight to provide less resistance, look for inclines to build up a bit of speed, keep the tires on the smooth part of the road, or steer as straight as possible. All of these could make a difference in the acceleration or deceleration of your “out-of-gas” auto.

You can use these same techniques in super light air in sailing. For this article, we will concentrate on winds of 0 to 5 knots. Some sailors call these winds ‘zephyrs’ or refer to this type of sailing as ‘ghosting’. Your #1 goal will be to maintain forward momentum at all times. Just like the opening scenario, you want to keep moving to reach your objective. Slow down too much or stop and it will be difficult to get her going again. Follow these five fast tips to maintain momentum in light air sailing.

Use Smaller Sails to Fill and Go

You might think that light wind means you need a bigger sail to catch all the wind you can. But sails have weight–lots of weight–and weight won’t keep your boat going forward. Use a little-known strategy and go for a smaller sail on a super light air day. Choose sails that are smaller, lighter weight to help your boat maintain forward motion in zephyr winds.

Under Trim Your Sails

Wind flows onto both sides of your sails. Your objective will be to keep that wind attached from the luff to the leech as long as possible. In light air, you will have more wind near the top of the mast. That’s because less surface friction allows the wind to flow without resistance. Ease your sails more than you think necessary. This will cause the upper part of your sails to ‘twist’ just a bit to help the wind stay attached longer. Use the magic of under-trim in ghosting conditions and you will often be rewarded with better performance.

Move Like You Whisper

Ask your crew to move fore and aft along the center-line as much as possible. Keep the boat level to prevent loss of speed. If they need to shift to the other side, move at a slow pace. This will help keep the boat flat with forward momentum.

Sit Forward and to Leeward

Sails have a tough time in light air. The weight of sailcloth can cause them to flap like clothing on a line. Shift the crew weight forward and to the downwind (leeward–pronounced “loo-ward”)side. Weight forward lifts the stern a bit, which means less hull friction; weight to leeward will help the sails fall into their natural shape through gravity and prevents ‘slatting’ (flapping in light air).

Use Swooping When Beating to Windward

Use swooping to maintain forward motion when your destination lies upwind. In light air on a close hauled course, your speed may drop off quite a bit. When it does, fall off to a close reach course. Wait for the boat to build up speed again. Use a slow, smooth motion with the wheel or tiller to ‘swoop’ back up to your close hauled course. Keep sailing close hauled until your speed starts to drop off again. Then, fall off the wind to a close reaching course to build up speed; then swoop back up to your close hauled course. Repeat this swooping sequence to keep your boat moving with good forward motion when beating in super light air.

Learn to sail like a pro with these light wind sailing tips. You will experience more speed, power, and performance in the gentle breezes over the water-wherever in the world you choose to sail!

Three Sailing Tips for Safer Sailing Today

What sailing tips could you put into play today to make your small sailboat a safer platform for her sailing crew? Do your inexperienced crew members know the body motions they must use for safety at sea? Follow this simple sailing safety advice and pass it along to your crew.

Falling overboard remains the #1 nightmare of sailors worldwide. Serious injury from the fall could render a person unconscious. Darkness and heavy seas hamper recovery efforts. If coastal sailing, you must set up the deck to aid the crew in moving about the boat.

Rig jacklines from a stout bow cleat back to a large stern cleat on both sides of the boat. Wear a safety harness if alone on deck, at nighttime, or during heavy sailing weather.

Equip harnesses with dual tethers armed with carbiner or quick-release hooks (such as those made by Wichard). Clip on to the windward jackline to move fore and aft. Keep the crew inside the cockpit as much as possible.

Practice these three basic sailing body motions for safety at sea in any sailing weather. When the heavy stuff hits the fan, you and your sailing crew will be ready:

  1. Grasp a Handhold

Hold onto something whenever aboard, whether at the dock, at anchor or underway. Grab lifelines, grab rails, sailboat mast or boom.

It’s rare to find proper overhead grab rails down in the cabin. Mount several between the galley and forward v-berth. Handicap grab bars provide a good alternative to teak handrails at a fraction of the cost. Cover them with rope fancy work for a practical, attractive, salty look.

  1. Look Before You Move

Look down, then forward before you move. Step over headsail sheets, winches, rope clutch gear, deck cleats and slippery boat sails. Keep lines coiled and out of the way to prevent injury.

  1. Squat Below Upper Lifeline Level

Keep your knees below the level of the uppermost lifeline. If thrown against the lifeline, this offers more area to brace your body. Squat like a linebacker to move fore or aft. This lowers your center of gravity toward the deck. In heavy weather sailing, lower your center of gravity even more. Crawl on your belly if necessary.

Pass these sailing tips along to your sailing crew today to keep them safe and sound on the waters of the world. You will enjoy stress-free sailing once you do–wherever in the world you choose to go cruise!

Budget Travel Tips to Save You Money

Saving money while traveling does not mean you have to scrimp on your vacation. You can enjoy the sights and sounds as well as the traveler who paid full price. And unlike the traveler who paid full-price for his/her vacation, you will have the benefit of knowing that you have money left over to plan your next money saving trip!

  1. Rent an automobile: sometimes the cost of renting a car can be cheaper than taking the airport shuttle. If driving on your next vacation, you can save money by renting a car that has better fuel economy than the one you own – not to mention the wear-and-tear that you save on your own vehicle
  2. Book your own reservations: One of the ways I have saved money for traveling is by booking my own hotel, air, and car reservations. Visit the all-inclusive websites (Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.); when you see a price that is appealing, go to the individual airline, hotel, or car rental website to book the reservation yourself. Become a frequent traveler and you may save even more! See about booking your own entertainment venues online as well – museums, theme parks, historical sights, etc.
  3. Eat meals in your room: you can save money while traveling by eating breakfast or lunch in your room or at the local park or beach. Go by the local grocer and pack a great lunch and, weather permitting, have a picnic! This is not only a great way to save money while traveling but can be an opportunity to get outdoors with the family or a romantic interlude for couples
  4. Travel during the off-season: in many cases, travel locations have a peak season (most expensive) and an off-season. If you have a flexible schedule, consider traveling during a non-peak season; this one budget travel tip can save you $100’s.

These are just a few tips to help you save money on your next vacation. Saving money while traveling is half the fun when planning my trips. I have found that budget travel affords me the same benefits as those who pay full price, and I do not sacrifice any enjoyment. Challenge yourself and see how much money you can save while traveling on your next vacation!

Tips on Finding Cheap Airfare

With the rising cost of gas prices, airline tickets are not cheap. Although finding cheap airline tickets can be time consuming, it is definitely possible. If you are looking to travel within the next few months and are looking to find a well priced flight than you have come to the right place. Follow the guidelines below to find affordable airline ticket that will not break your bank account!

When purchasing airline tickets, you will want to know when the best time to book is. Airline prices are constantly rising and falling, so knowing when prices are cheapest is very helpful when it comes to booking a cheap flight. It is important to know that airlines base their prices on competition and demand. If demand for a certain flight is high, the prices will also be high. If, however, the demand for a flight is low, prices will also be low. Thus, when booking a flight, it is important to check airline prices often. Unless it is a very good deal, do not book a flight right away. Airline prices change daily, so check your flight price on a daily basis and book only when you feel you are getting a good deal.

While airline prices change based on demand, they also change based on weekday. If you can, try to book a flight that departs on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday as flights departing on these days usually offer the lowest fares.

Also extremely important in finding a cheap flight, is booking early. Give yourself ample time to search for good deals. Also, booking your flight in advance will open your options to discounts. Most airlines will offer advance ticket discounts if purchased at least 21 days ahead of the departure date. If your travelling circumstances will allow for it, also try to look at departures for different dates. For example, if you are looking to leave on May 27th, also look at flights for May 26th and May 28th as sometimes a day can make a huge difference on flight prices.

When booking a flight, also consider looking at departures from different airports in your surrounding area. If you are willing to fly out of, or into, nearby airports, you can often find significant savings on flights. For example, if you are flying to Los Angeles, tickets may be cheaper at the Burbank airport than at the main airport (LAX).

Finally, instead of booking your flight directly from an airline, search the internet. Websites such as orbitz.com and cheapflights.com often offer flights at much cheaper rates than the actual airlines. Make sure, however, when using the internet, that the website is legitimate and that all purchases are secure.

If you are looking for a flight but do not want to break your bank, there are several things you can do. Research the best time to buy airline tickets, purchase on a weekday, become open to varying dates, book early, look into different airports in your surrounding area, and look for deals online. If you follow these steps you will be sure to find the best deal possible for your future flight!

Hot Budget Travel Tips For a Better Holiday

Just because you want to travel on a budget there is no reason why you should not have a fantastic holiday. Budget travel can still take you to exotic destinations if that is where you wish to go.

Budget travel is more about information and planning than it is about just ‘cheap travel’. Budget travel is means getting the best value holiday for the lowest dollar. That does not necessarily mean a cheap nasty holiday.

You can only make these decisions if you thoroughly research your destinations. As we all know it is a great big, big world out there and to catch the tourist, operators have to be inventive in their promotions and at certain times will lower costs or add in extras to get the customers. These promotions by the operators can make a big difference to your pocket.

Your research will help you find these facts and figures and when you have the answers you are searching for, then you can go ahead and book.

By researching everything in the area you are planning to go to, you can establish if there are any special events on at the time you are arriving, which of course will elevate the cost of accommodation and blow out any idea of budget travel. Such changes can
make a lot of difference and can cost you a lot of money.

Be careful when booking ahead and read the fine print on anything that you are paying. It is often in the fine print that there are extra charges. Examples that come to mind are extra costs for parking the car, extra costs for room cleaning, and other similar services that may have always been taken for granted in the past or on previous trips.

In certain places like Aspen for example, you are going there for the snow and the fun, so you could probably have just as much fun living in cheaper accommodation, whereas if you were going to a place like Ibiza you may wish to be able to have a room with a view and cut back on other costs.

It all depends on what sort of holiday you are looking for, and where you want to spend your time and money.

Of course, with any travel overseas always check before you book what documents, visas, duties, taxes, entry fees, etc you may need to visit certain countries. These costs and visascan make a big difference, and may even stop you wanting to go where you want to go.

When you are doing your research always check to see that the information you are gathering is current. This is most important because if it is a couple of years old, anything could have changed in the meantime.

Budget travel can be just as much fun for you as for someone with an open check book. In fact, you will probably meet more locals and have a greater experience by mixing with them. Locals make a trip. Geographical beauty is one thing, but leaning about the locals is another. With budget travel you can experience both.

Top Money Saving Budget Travel Tips

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All that is required when looking to travel on a budget, is a bit of planning. For instance, a great place to find a budget hotel is the internet. They often give you a discount for booking online.

Here are some more budget travel tips:

1) Set yourself a maximum spend amount on a daily basis.

2) Consider staying in a hostel if you are on a real budget. They are much cheaper than hotels. You could even take a tent – the ultimate cheap accommodation.

3) Go off-season. Because there is less demand at this time of year, the prices for accommodation are lower.

4) Look out for discounts. Make enquiries with travel agencies to see what is on offer. They often offer cheap packages.

5) Consider how you are going to travel. Decide if you are going to take your own car or if you are going to rent. Renting a car can work out more expensive. Other cheaper alternatives include taking the train or bus.

6) Consider paying for a flight only and arranging accommodation when you arrive ( Or arrange this in advance as oppose to paying for an ‘all-in’ package that can work out to be more costly ). Local prices are often cheaper as there is no middle-man to hike the price.

7) Ask your travel agent to search for an airline that offers a good discount.

8) Make sure you have travel insurance. Not having it can prove to be very costly if you are unfortunate enough to incur losses due to medical expenses or lost luggage etc.

If you arrive at a destination without a reservation, there are hotel booking services at most airports and train stations. They will charge for this service. A map can also help you to save money, not to mention making your holiday a more enjoyable proposition when you know where you are heading in the surrounding area of your accommodation.

Luxury on a Budget Travel Tips

Do you love travelling like a queen, but don’t have the money to do it often? It’s an issue many of us have, because quite simply travelling and staying in nice hotels is expensive. You can do it on a shoestring if you’re willing to head out with a backpack and nothing else, staying in hostels or on friends’ couches, and you can have an amazing experience that way. Let’s face it, though, we all like a bit of luxury and pampering. Here are five tips to help you get luxury on a budget while travelling.

  1. Go in the off season. Sure, you’re taking a bit of a risk. The rainy season can be, well, rainy. But most places are gorgeous year-round and hotels will be looking to fill their rooms with discounts and upgrades, especially if you’re going on a special trip like a honeymoon or a wedding abroad.
  2. If you’re trying to save money, make a budget and stick closely to it. Figure out how much you’re willing to pay for everything and don’t dismiss opportunities out of hand. Look for ways to cut corners, like on food spending, and use the extra on the parts of your holiday that really matters to you.
  3. Consider more out of the way places. Go to an unusual country – there may not be as many hotels to choose from, but you might find that food and activities are cheaper than places which can take advantage of tourists. Many Asian countries, like Bali, are cheaper to visit because of exchange rates. Head slightly further away from the centre of cities or islands. Investigate not only the cost of your resort but the cost of the things you might like to do while you’re away. Plus, see what activities are included with your hotel cost. You might find that you’re getting a lot for a small increase in price. If you were planning on those things anyway, go with it.
  4. Compare deals. Go to a variety of different travel agents and see what they offer you. They are always eager to win your business from one another, so see if any of them can do you a deal. Before getting companies involved, go online and see what you’ll pay if you purchase everything individually, and then use that quote to ask agents what they’d plan on charging you.
  5. Go last minute. It can be risky, but if you go check out the last minute deals you’ll find that they can be substantially cheaper than ordinary travel packages. Even better if you can go all-inclusive on something like a cruise – they’ll be losing money if they sail with empty berths, so you may just get an absolute bargain. Booking a week and a bit off and then taking a chance at the travel agents’ definitely means you’re taking a chance, but it can pay off in a big way.

Getting luxury on a budget is never easy, but with these five tips in place you’ll be well on your way to having holiday after holiday of your dreams without paying a fortune for it.