Travelling isn’t cheap and in order to do more of what we love we had to come up with some creative ways to save money while on our trips. We are providing you with some travel tips that we hope will save you some money on your next trip.
1. Don’t travel during peak times
The peak season of travel is June through August, the majority of people take time off of work and use this time to travel. This means that during this period prices are the highest. I’ve also found that weekends are a busy time to visit countryside locations (Parks like Grand Canyon and Algonquin Park, small towns) making it the most expensive time of the week to visit. For us, shoulder season has been the best time to visit our destinations, that’s the period between off season and peak season. Hotels know that summer and weekends are busy times and increase prices for both of these periods. We have saved lots of money by visiting countryside towns during the week and cities on the weekend. It has been my experience that the hotels in the city lower their prices on the weekend since the business travelers are gone. Not everyone has the ability to travel during shoulder season but if you do you can save lots of money by taking advantage and putting that money towards something useful on your vacation. Some of the advantages of shoulder season are less crowds, moderate weather and better prices.
2. Street Food/Fast Food vs Restaurants
We always like to have nice dinners in foreign places but we don’t do this every night. We usually reserve a few nights for nice dinners and have street food or fast food instead. It all depends on the type of vacation you are having of course, we value our time outdoors and seeing things so we cut back on our food budget sometimes to have more money to put towards the stuff we really want to do. I’ll use Toronto as an example, a sit down dinner for 2 at a bar these days starts around $55 if you add alcohol you can get up to $75-$100 pretty quickly. However if you go to Chipotle (a high end burrito place in North America) you are looking at about $25-28 for two people with a couple of drinks. When you are travelling for a few weeks that money that you spent on restaurants really starts to add up and becomes money that you could put towards something fun like horseback riding or some other activity.
3. Visit the Countryside
In all of the places we have been, the countryside has always been the cheapest. Prices to visit things, stay at an accommodation and do activities are usually cheaper, the same goes for food. If you visit a major city and visit a museum and have a meal, you will find that there is a premium for these urban activities. Much of what we like to do during our vacations happens to be in the countryside. We love the outdoors and with that comes hiking, canoeing, biking. If you visit a Park you will sometimes have to pay an admission charge, this is more the case in North America but you will also find that your costs go down significantly. Go outside and see something as your pocket book will thank you.
4. Do a Road Trip Instead of International Travel/ Stay Local
So traveling internationally has the ability to get expensive, another idea is to go for a road trip in your area. There are so many places to explore that we haven’t been to yet that are within 6-8 hours of us. It can get expensive to take a flight, book a hotel and go to restaurants in a foreign country all of the time so do something different. Take your car/ train or bus somewhere and stay at a B&B/ campsite or hotel and do something that you wouldn’t usually do. EXPLORE!
5. Buy Snacks and Drinks at the Grocery Store/ Look for Discounts
Your hotel will provide you with a drink or a snack for a hefty premium. When we are away we always make sure we get to a grocery store and buy some snacks/water/drinks to hold us over so that we don’t waste money on this stuff. We always need water when we go hiking but if we wait to buy it at the main gate we are likely going to pay 200-300% more for that same water that we could have bought in bulk at the grocery store.
We hope that some of these tips have been useful and that they save you some money on your next trip. We will provide some more money saving travel tips on another post!