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  • Writer's pictureDorothy Snyder

How To Travel For Cheap (or Free!)

As a young couple, we found a few hurdles that prevented us from being able to travel: finances and vacation time.

As we were new in our workplaces, having vacation requests granted during peak times was something only the senior staff could enjoy; Add some kids and the 2009 global recession, and travel seemed to be a dream that would never happen for us.

Now that we are facing another global financial recovery, our writers think this is a perfect time to share how you could travel on a limited budget.

If the travel bug has bitten you, but your bank account is more mosquito than a wasp, never fear! Many people think that travel is a luxury they cannot afford, but that doesn't have to be the case! With creativity and resourcefulness, you can enjoy all the benefits of travel without breaking the bank.

Probably the best money-saving tip we can think of:

Travel off-season.

One of the best ways to save money when travelling anywhere is to travel during the off-season instead of during peak tourist season—you'll often find lower prices on accommodation and flights and smaller crowds at popular attractions. The off-season is the perfect opportunity to get the best pictures of your travels and enjoy the places you visit.

Dorothy Snyder Canada In Australia
Off Season Remarkable Rocks

Dorothy Snyder Canada In Australia
Start of peak season

Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, is a must-see attraction. We went during the Off-Season, and we were the only people there. Yes, the weather was not the usual " Australia Hot," but not having to fight crowds to enjoy the landmark and having the time to appreciate the sights made it the perfect thing. The bonus was that we weren't sweaty and didn't have to worry about snakes or other bugs that wanted to kill us.

Set A Budget And Stick To It.

Budgeting may seem like an obvious tip, but it's often overlooked. When planning your trip, sit down and figure out how much money you have to spend. Once you have a number in mind, make a budget and do your best to stick to it. This will help you avoid overspending and putting yourself in financial debt. When you know that you can afford $X by April, have your travel agent keep watch. They will usually get notifications of deals, and you may score.

Do Your Research.

Before booking anything, take the time to research your destination and find out what kind of activities or attractions are available. Travel Agents say that "usually" companies will release "all-inclusive trip specials" on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Your agent will have the inside scoop on these deals and, if they know your budget, can snag a deal for you.

The research you do will also help you plan to make the most of your trip without spending too much money. Some examples include walking tours, parks and museums (especially on days when admission is free), and local festivals and events. Bonus points if you can find something uniquely local to the area—that way, you can say you did something that not many other people have done!

Many museums and attractions offer discounts or free admission days, so check for those! Most cities have several free or very cheap attractions worth checking out. Many times, I have emailed a company and asked if there were any upcoming promotions, and they just offered a discount on my purchase.

It never hurts to ask; be reasonable and respectful in your enquiry. NEVER and I MEAN NEVER... tell them you are an "influencer" and will do a "quid pro quo"... regardless of what you have heard in the influencer world; that crap never works, and you will insult people.

Fly For Free (or at least cheap).

Getty Images

There are a few ways to do this. One is to sign up for a travel credit card—make sure you pay off your balance every month so you don't get charged interest! Usually, these cards come with sign-up bonuses of tens of thousands of points, which you can redeem for flights, hotels, or other travel expenses. Be sure to know what bank issues the card. In Cuba, they will not accept any credit card that a bank in the USA issued.

If credit cards aren't your thing, you can get trip discounts and discounts on suitcases and travel necessities if you have a CAA membership.

Book hotel rooms from your mobile phone.

If you have decided to book on your own, view hotel booking sites from your cell.

Same dates, same sites ....


Hilton Toronto.....$272.00

From Cell: $249.00

This little glitch in the matrix may not always work but when it does it is awesome! Every dollar you save is a dollar you can spend on something else!!

Eat like a local ( well, depending on where you are)

One of the best—and cheapest—ways to experience a new place is through its food. Eating at local restaurants, street stalls, and markets is delicious and a great way to meet new people and get insights into their culture and way of life. Ask your accommodation host to find the best spots, or do a quick Google search. You'll be sure to find some hidden gems this way! And if you're looking to save money, you can always cook your own meals using ingredients from the local market.

Earning points with a travel credit card and taking advantage of free attractions are just two examples of how to save money while traveling. With the right travel agent, a little bit of creativity and planning, you can travel on a tight budget!


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