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How to Travel on a Budget

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Traveling is typically fun and exciting because we get to discover new places and meet new people. That doesn’t change the fact that it can be stressful too. Traveling takes a lot of planning and can be time consuming. Here are some helpful tips to travel smart and on a budget. 

Book in advance. Traveling at the last minute can be a disaster waiting to happen. You have no time to prepare and choices become limited. It can be helpful to book your trip in advance to ensure you can afford all of your travel expenses and research any additional information regarding your destination. Booking ahead can save you some money as well because flights and hotel rates are typically lower when you book early. Neal and I usually buy plane tickets in October for the next summer.  Then we book our place for a long stay in the middle of our trip. We stay in one place (usually for three weeks) to write and take day trips. Then we book the first and last legs of our trip around sights, events and attractions. We get good prices because we book so early. Create an itinerary to make sure you are on time for all your fun plans and important meetings. Our itinerary has all the booking information we need for transportation, stays and attractions. We have much anticipatory fun planning and booking trips early.

Transportation. It is a good idea to look into local transportation before you arrive at your destination. There are many ways to get around some cities, it is best to know your options before you arrive. Nowadays, Uber, Lyft, taxi, etc. may be the quickest and most reliable way to travel, depending on where you vacation. Some places have no public transportation at all, including taxi-like services (many places we like to go don’t have these services.) But there can be still other options that are just as efficient. Next, and the cheapest way, would be public transportation. Depending on where you’re traveling, public transportation can be common, relatively reliable and very cost effective. Europe is a good place for public transportation. Renting a car is the most convenient but can be costly. Car rental can be booked in advance and may ensure you have a vehicle available. Knowing your way around can be helpful and save time during your trip. Research your destination ahead of your trip. We’ve replaced our paper maps with the convenience of cell phone navigations. We are never lost for long. My grandchildren will tell you I’ve not had a vacation until I’ve gotten lost and then found myself. I feel so empowered after being lost and found!

A combination of transportation modes is common for us. We always rent a car so we are not dependent on anyone. Then we drive onto ferries as often as possible. For day trips, we may take public transportation (we especially enjoy train rides). One of my brothers and his family like to visit Europe on all public transports. They travel very lightly with backpacks. Public transportation in Europe is cheap and reliable. If you don’t leave your home country, road trips are fun and can eliminate the cost of plane tickets depending on how much time you can be away from home.

Discovering new places and meeting new people is fun and it doesn’t have to be stressful. Be ahead of the game by booking your travel plans early to save money and unexpected time wasters.