July 11, 2017 naturallyfrugaldoc 0Comment

 

Do you want to travel the world? Maybe just the country? Are you worried about the finances? I have just the information to get on track for traveling.

As a soon-to-be medical student, my friend and I decided  that the summer before the start of medical school would be the best time to travel and have fun. Since we are limited on money we had to prepare this trip wisely. Here are the steps taken to get the trip as affordable as possible.

  1. Research
    • Research the city/state you are going to. Check the average cost of people’s trips there. This allows you to get a range of what you will potentially spend during peak season, off peak season, during the week and weekend.Once you know the amount you can budget and save the amount you will need for the trip.
  2. Plan:
    • Lodging
      1. Compare the prices of the hotels among website, like Travelocity, Expedia, Hipmunk, Trivago and Orbitz. If you are a member with AAA, AARP, government and military, be sure to use those discounts. Once you find the most affordable hotel with quality, use Ebates or Swagbucks to get cash back when you book the room. Before using the cash back site, compare both to see which one will give you more and use that one.(To learn a little more about Ebates and Swagbucks click here.) If the prices drop as time gets closer, call the site to get the lower offer. If that does not work, check to see if the hotel allows a free cancellation. Once cancelled, get the same room for a lower price.
    • Transportation
      1. If you are taking a plane:
        • Look for flights on CheapOAir, Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. Once you have the best price, uses Ebates or Swagbucks to book the plane and get cash back
      2. If you are using a car:
        • When comparing the price, be sure to check with your job for discounts
  3. Food
    • You do not have to eat out all of the time. If your hotel has a kitchen, buy groceries to make breakfast and lunch at the hotel. Then you can eat out for dinner. You can switch around this to make dinner but eat out during lunch. If the hotel only has a microwave and mini fridge. You can can make sandwiches for lunch. You can also use the microwave for microwavable breakfast or dinner.
    • Book a hotel with complimentary breakfast. Having breakfast included with the hotel allows you to save money for lunch and dinner
    • Use gift cards to buy food. Using websites like Swagbucks, will give you the opportunity to redeem the points for gift cards. These gift cards are for Paypal and specific restaurants. Websites, like Raise.com, sells gift cards for a discounted price. They show how much money is on each card and you can receive a discount up to 12%.
    • Check online for coupons for different restaurants. Join restaurant reward programs to receive coupons for your birthday or for purchasing a certain amount of food.
  4. Exploring
    • Plan in advance and write down the prices of the explorations you want to do. Check to see if it is cheaper at a certain time of day or year

Using these tips has allowed many people to go on a relaxing and fun vacation while on a budget.