If you just can’t stop stuffing those stockings, you might be trying to find ways to save in the coming year. There are many easy ways to save a little here and there while you travel, and it will add up big in the end.
12 Days of Travel Savings tips brought to you by HotelCoupons.com
1. Pack Your Own Snacks
Spending a couple of dollars on a candy bar from the gas station may not seem like much, but when you’re stopping multiple times a day and buying munchies for the whole family, it definitely adds up. Especially if you’re also eating out for most of your meals, a wholesome snack packed ahead of time will keep everyone satiated. Plus, replacing convenience store sodas and slushies with fruit juice or water will help curb erratic sugar highs.
2. Ditch the Car
When you arrive to a city, try to park your car at the hotel and leave it there. From busses and trains to trolleys and boats, there will be a multitude of ways to get around that will save you on gas and parking and the stress that goes with navigating a new city. Plus, the environment will thank you!
Related: Best Trolley Cities to Visit
3. Pack a Carry-On
Use a source like Pinterest to find tips on packing light, such as how to get the most into a small bag and how to coordinate outfits to include as few pieces as possible in the bag. This way, you can skip the baggage fees – and the wait for the baggage carousel.
Related: What’s in Your Carry-On?
4. Share a Room
If you’re going to an event that you know will have lots of family or connections, try to split a room. Ask the people you do know at the event if they have any solo friends who may be interested in sharing. You might have to step out of your comfort zone a bit, but you’ll meet someone new and spend half the price. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try a website like Easynest that allows you to find others who will share your room.
5. Eat Local
It’s tempting to go to a restaurant you know any love for the consistency it provides. However, there are so many places that are just waiting to be discovered. Our Destination pages provide a list of cheap eats for our top cities, or you can sort restaurants on a review website by price to find something in your price range that’s sure to satisfy.
Related: Reasons to Eat Local
6. Find Free Event Listings
When you’re on the road, stop by a Visitor’s Center or visit the tourism website for the area to find out what’s happening when you arrive. There’s almost always a comprehensive events calendar that will let you sort by event type and date and they will clearly state the pricing information. Watch what you spend at food vendors and enjoy the free music, parades, kids activities, and fireworks that often accompany free local events.
Related: Events Calendar
7. Spontaneity is Key
We like to plan ahead so you know what to expect in terms of restaurant pricing and attraction admissions. However, leaving some open time for spontaneous fun is what makes the best travel memories. Ask receptionists, waiters, and people you meet on the subway what they think is a must-see in their city.
Related: 3 Reasons NOT to Book Ahead
8. Go Off the Beaten Path
Get some fresh air and enjoy the savings. Visit a state or national park to enjoy the great outdoors at a very low price. Along with getting to exercise off some of the fast food you may have indulged in on the drive, you’ll see what really makes your destination uniquely beautiful. Plus, Rangers are a wealth of information specializing in the area who will tip you off to the best places to see things like plants, animals, and the sunset.
9. Travel Off-Season
The more people who travel somewhere, the more it’s going to cost. While you might know that traveling to Disney World in Thanksgiving will be a bit pricey, you might forget about events happening that will affect the price point. For instance, try to avoid New Orleans during their spring Jazz Fest and Louisville in May during the Kentucky Derby. Plus, you can visit ski mountains in the summer for a great hike or visit the National Parks in winter when there are very few other visitors.
10. Get Social
Sometimes, there’s somewhere you just have to go when you’re in a city, whether it’s a famous cupcake shop or a museum exhibiting your favorite artist. Before your trip, Like or follow these locations on various social media channels so that you’ll know the best time to visit when you’re in town. You can often find discounted days and coupon deals for your favorite places.
11. Find a Pet-Sitter
When you need to leave Fido behind, boarding is often a good option to leave your pup in good hands. However, they can also result in many hidden fees, such as for grooming, special needs or for special check-in or check-out times. Especially if you have multiple pets, it’ll be more cost-effective to give a friend cash to watch your furry friends than to board them.
Related: Should I Travel with My Dog?
12. Use a Hotel Coupon
When you’re ready to hit the road, one of the biggest expenses you’ll face is your nightly hotel room. Cut the cost by using a hotel coupon at a variety of hotels all across the U.S.