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10 Ways To Enjoy The Best Budget-Friendly Vacation

Travelling is one of the best ways to spend quality time with your family and friends. The tricky part is that it isn’t always cost-effective! However, money doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying memorable vacations, whether you plan to go with family or travel solo. In this blog article, we share actionable tips to save money on your holidays. These are strategic tips that you can implement, from booking your flights at a certain time to affordable dining and enjoying free entertainment. Wherever you want to go on your next trip, these tips will help you get there with the least amount of expenditure.

Look for discounts and vouchers

Before you make your booking, make sure you look for discounts and vouchers. You may find that you qualify for a certain discount and the code is in the fine print, or you have to ask that it be sent to your email address. Discounts and vouchers can be the difference between how many days you spend on your vacation or where you stay, so make sure that you don’t miss out. Some discounts may be valid for certain dates or specific times, for example on New Year’s Eve, Eid and Thanksgiving Day.

Travel during the off-peak seasons

You have probably heard this a couple of times already, and that’s because it’s true. All countries will experience a drop in visitors during certain seasons, such as the shoulder seasons or the winter months. Your accommodation and flights will most likely be cheaper during these slower seasons. Additional perks include less crowded sightseeing and getting to experience popular landmarks and sites more authentically. You may even get to experience other activities that may not be open during the busy seasons because they can’t accommodate big crowds.

Stick to budget airlines

Travelling in luxury is great, but you’ll get to wherever you’re going anyway, irrespective of whether you’re in coach or business class. You can channel the money you would spend on expensive flights towards more activities or better accommodation. Just remember that budget airlines are very strict with baggage and carry-on luggage, so pack lighter to avoid extra fees.

Find free activities to enjoy

When putting things on your itinerary, try to include some complimentary activities if you can find them. In some places, you’ll find museums that offer free visitations or tours, or simply opt to traverse the free parks in the area, explore neighbourhoods or enjoy some window shopping. You may need to do some deep research for this one, but it’s worth it if you want to have a great holiday on a budget.

Ditch expensive accommodation

Staying in premium hotels is arguably a great way to enjoy a vacation, but they are most likely an expensive luxury. For many, pricey accommodation is the obstacle to travelling. Well, you’ll be happy to know that you have options. You can ditch the hotels and fancy apartments for hostels, also known as “backpackers” in some countries, or choose to enjoy an affordable Airbnb stay. Take your pick from various accommodation options, from a basic bunk-bed hostel to a family home on Airbnb—all at more affordable rates.

Forget hiring a car

The convenience of your own car seems enticing from the outside, but driving in a foreign city where you don’t know the roads well or how the traffic works can be very frustrating and time-consuming, not to mention, expensive. Be brave and opt for public transport. It will be much cheaper than a car rental and the odds of getting lost are much lower, provided you're always careful to get on the right bus, taxi or train. You can experience the city like a local and see a lot of places in between as you travel from one attraction to the next.

Consider biking and walking

Walking or cycling to places will keep you and your wallet in shape! You can chat to locals, find hidden gems that you may not always come across in a car or a bus, and squeeze in a great workout. It may not always be possible if you’re travelling with little children or carrying a lot of baggage on hand, so make a wise decision based on who you’re travelling with.

Eat local food

Now here’s a great hack to save money while enjoying an immersive cultural experience! Restaurants that serve up international food for tourists tend to be more expensive and this can strip away that authentic local culinary experience. Search online, ask the staff at your hotel or hostel, check for online reviews, or browse food blogs for good suggestions on where to start. When you arrive at those restaurants, order what is popular amongst locals and stick to simple dishes to be safe. This way, you won’t be spending any money on overpriced cuisine.

Beware of tourist traps

In popular tourist destinations, there will be no shortage of places that have ridiculous prices, aimed at taking advantage of tourists. Whether it’s a restaurant or a quaint souvenir store, it can be overpriced. You may also get into a tourist trap online where you’re offered a different experience than the one you’re actually going to get, so if it seems too good to be true, it’s best to stay away from it.

Shop at the local markets

If you’re looking to buy souvenirs, clothing, or other interesting things that act as a keepsake of your trip overseas, seek out the local markets. Here, you will find an abundance of authentic and culturally rich things to buy at very competitive prices, since most markets usually have a number of traders selling similar items. You can bargain to get the prices down and enjoy some casual banter with the vendors. This way, you support the local economy and get more value for your money.

Follow these 10 tips to have a memorable vacation on a budget. Make modifications where you need to for your own personal preferences and use what makes the most sense for your trip. The bottom line is that research is key, and if you read all the fine print before you make any bookings and reservations, you should be able to pull off a real adventure on a budget.

About Allianz Travel and Allianz Assistance

Trust Allianz Travel and Allianz Assistance to provide you comprehensive travel insurance. Allianz Travel has over 30 years of experience providing quality insurance and assistance to travellers all across the world. Our headquarters are situated in Paris, but we have regional offices in 28 countries, which means you can call us from anywhere at any time and enjoy immediate assistance. Allianz Travel and Allianz Assistance is the largest travel insurance and assistance company in the world, with end-to-end travel insurance solutions for all international travellers.

Contact us today to speak to one of our highly experienced consultants and learn more about our products and services.

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About The Authors

Adaline Fritz

Adaline Fritz - Adaline's upbeat, can-do attitude and nurturing disposition make her perfect for understanding each client's wants and needs and skillfully directing them toward their real estate objectives. Adaline has experience in all facets of the real estate process, having started in the administrative sector and progressed to operations before achieving success in real estate sales. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and Western Oregon University, and returned to the Portland area in 2011 to pursue a career in real estate. She also loves traveling, working out, and spending time on the water during Portland's beautiful summers.

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