Strategies To Stretch The Travel Budget

by Guest Contributor

This Yakezie Blog Swap post is from Kay Lynn Akers who writes about money and life on the way to retirement at Bucksome Boomer. Head over there to read my best travel budget tip.

Save money on an Alaskan CruiseDo you love to travel? Me too but the costs can add up. I don’t want to be limited to camping trips or couch-surfing in order to travel. Fortunately, my family has found a way to stretch our vacation dollars regularly by utilizing two strategies.

Travel off Season

One way to save money is to travel to destinations when the weather is less desirable to most visits otherwise known as shoulder or off seasons. This tip made our last vacation to Alaska much cheaper.

Most people want to visit Alaska during warm, sunny weather which is why June through August commands higher prices. We went on the last cruise of the season in September and saved hundreds per person. The risk for bad weather is increased, but we decided we wouldn’t let rain stop us.

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Although the sailing before had great weather, our trip encountered rain several days and missed one port. Even though the gamble didn’t result in the best of weather we still enjoyed the beauty and grandeur of the Alaska wild.

This strategy works with more than cruises. You’ll find hotel rooms, airfare and vacation package pricing all fluctuates based on the popularity of the season.

Be Flexible About Destination

It’s customary to decide where you’re going to go and then start looking at the time-frame. We ignore that conventional wisdom. By limiting yourself to a specific place, you may be missing out on deals to similar but alternate locations.

Sign up for email notifications from various travel providers to learn about special offers as they become available. If you want a warm beach, be open to other locations than the Caribbean and Hawaii. For example, you could look at Mexico or Thailand for great beaches and good prices.

A few years ago we had an excellent Panama Canal cruise that was an unexpected destination. When a family member ran across an unbelievable deal while surfing the internet, 10 of us decided to take advantage. We had a wonderful trip we talk about still for a great price!

Enjoy the Vacation

There’s so many places still to visit and cultures to experience that we’ll be using these tips and more for years to come. What is your money-saving travel tip?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jai Catalano

We only travel off season when going to Colombia. It’s just too crazy expensive with 2 kids during peak. I mean CRAZY.

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Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer

I can’t even imagine what that would cost for a family of four. I bet you’re always on the lookout for deals.

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John @ Married With Debt

I like to keep my destinations open to save money. Rather than trying to hit up the Canary Islands a few years ago, we hit Malta because of cheaper and more available flights. I don’t regret it one bit.

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Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer

John, I never thought about Malta. I’ll look into that.

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Paul @ The Frugal Toad

I try to fly Southwest when I can and staying in a town just outside a major city is a great way to save money on travel!

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Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer

Paul, that’s a great tip. I’ve found good deals on downtown hotels during the weekend when business travelers are gone.

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Jackie

I love traveling. A lot! I do much of the same things you suggest, especially the not looking for a specific destination. There is a site called skyscanner that’s awesome for this.

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SB @ One Cent At A Time

I like the last one most. Enjoy your vacation. That’s what we earn or that is part of the reason we earn, so you deserve a good break.

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Marissa @ Thirty Six Months

I love going a week or 2 before the end of off peak season. Watching the rates skyrocket within a 2 week period is a great motivating factor.

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Addie

I couldn’t agree more, travelling off-peak season is the best way to stretch the budget. And less crowed, too. The best time to relax.

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Derek

My wife and I always look at traveling in the off season or even off days. If you book flights during the week, sometimes prices or airline miles are less than booking over a weekend. We also try to travel when no one else is.. definitely not during the holidays. This way we save from travel expenses that we can use on other things like food, or lodging, or we just keep the extra money we would have spent.. but most of the time we spend it on food!

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