Planning a family vacation in Cali? Want a romantic getaway in sunny Miami? How about an exciting weekend in New York City? Has the stagnant economy made you want postpone the vacation this year? Before you plan a backyard BBQ instead of your yearly vacation, look at some ways that you can save a little cash on U.S. travel.
Avoid Popular Travel Times
New Year’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and the summer months are some of the most popular travel times in the U.S. You can obviously expect the airports to be crowded and inhospitable and the prices of airline tickets to be through the roof. If you’re traveling for any reason other than holidays or visiting a loved-one during a sensitive time, it’s best to avoid holiday and summer travel. If you’re looking to travel for warm weather, places such as Hawaii, Florida, and Southern California are generally warm year-round with the exception of January and February.
Plan and Purchase Flights Online
Websites such as skyscanner.com allow you to search for the cheapest flights across the web. However, this does require a bit of research on your part as sometimes taxes and fees are excluded as well as the cost of baggage. Knowing the total amount that you’re going to be paying may require a calculator, but ultimately you’ll save time and money using a web scanning service such as skyscanner.com.
Go the hostel route if you’re without children
Hostels, often referred to as “backpacker hotels” or “college lodges”, have incredibly cheap beds available to travelers on a low budget. Hostels are best for single people or couples as you are often renting a bed, not an entire room, which is why you save so much money compared to a hotel.
Talk to Locals before Visiting
It’s easy to get in touch with locals via the Internet. Community forums and state travel websites can help you make informed decisions about your travel plans. Travel sites such as tripadvisor.com also allow you to look at reviews from people on various hotels, restaurants, and more.
House swapping is a vacation arrangement in which one family stays in the house of another family while that family stays in the other family’s house. This can be a great way to save a significant amount of money on lodging expenses.
- Leave that person/family’s house exactly the way that you found it. People are more willing to consider you in the future if you leave their home neat and tidy. Treat someone else’s home as you would treat yours or better.
- Provide references upon meeting your house-swapping buddies. People are more willing to trust those who have people who can vouch for them.
- The family may want to meet with you in person and stay with you for a few days before taking off to visit your home or vice versa. This builds trust and allows them to get an idea of your level of responsibility in matters dealing with the home.
- While it is not a requirement, try to get something nice for the people who allowed you to share their home. A small gift is a nice way of saying “thank you” for allowing you to have the vacation that you wanted without the extravagant expense.
Traveling the United States can be fun and exciting. There is a lot to see and do in each major city and looking for deals online can help you save even more money. Through avoiding popular travel times, planning and purchasing flights online, staying in hostels or house swapping, and talking to the locals before visiting, you can have the vacation you want without paying a fortune.
Deborah Lawwill is a blogger and internet copywriter. You can learn more about Deborah at her website, deborahsquill.com.