Whether close to home or on the other side of the world, everyone enjoys vacationing. While travel can be expensive, it certainly doesn't have to be. We have put together some tips and ideas that may help you and your family make your travel dreams come true.
Destination and Transportation
The easiest part of planning a trip is usually deciding where you want to go. It is the "when" that can cost you. Traveling to some places during the peak tourist season means you could spend more than twice as much as you would if you went during the slow season. To help keep costs down you should try to travel during off-season; when kids go back to school and summer vacation is over, not over major holidays, and not when major events are going on in your destination, avoiding these things can all help you keep the cost down.
Transportation options will depend on your destination. Once you've determined a destination you also get to choose your mode of transportation. Transportation is typically the most expensive part of traveling, so deciding what is more important to you, travel time or cost, can help keep costs in check. Traveling by car will likely be the most cost effective way to get there, but it may not be a time saver. If your destination is quite far, it may be much quicker to take a plane, but will likely cost more.
To save the most on airfare, you need to be flexible on the date and time you are willing to travel. The most cost effective days of the week to fly are usually Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Also, last minute deals can save you somewhere between 70 to 80 percent on airfare. Therefore, if you have some flexibility and can take off and go within a few days, you could save quite a bit of money.
You should also consider transportation once you reach your destination. If you are going to a tropical island, you could take advantage of bicycle or golf cart rentals. In most other places, the best way to travel is by public transportation. If the city you are visiting has a bus, trolley, or train system, you should absolutely take advantage of this; public transportation systems are meant to efficiently move people throughout a city and are usually a cost-effective way to travel. Most city transit systems will allow you to buy a multiple day pass or weekly pass at a very inexpensive rate. In addition, depending on your hotel or other accommodations, check to see if they provide complimentary shuttle services.
Accommodations and transportation are usually the biggest expenses when traveling. When it comes to accommodations today, we have many different choices at all different price ranges. Besides traditional hotels and motels, you also have rental properties, bed and breakfasts, and even single rooms that people will rent out for your stay. When looking at these options, you will have to decide what things are most important to you, and what environments you would be most comfortable.
When you start planning to travel and making payments on your flights and accommodations, you also need to purchase Travel Medical Insurance or Trip Protection Insurance. Nothing can be more costly than unexpected medical treatment and care for an unforeseen illness or injury while away from home, or needing to cancel your trip due to unexpected life events. You can protect yourself with Travel Medical Insurance and Trip Cancellation Insurance. These insurances can usually be obtained for very reasonable rates, ensuring that you stick to your budget. They can easily be purchased online or over the phone, and coverage can start as early as the next day.
You are most likely going to be eating on the go when traveling. If you happen to be staying at a rental property with a kitchen where you can prepare your own food, you can visit the local markets for fresh, local produce and other items and try out local recipes; this is a cost-effective and potentially fun option. If you're staying at a bed and breakfast, they include breakfast and maybe even other meals throughout the day in your rate for staying there.
If neither of those options are available nor to your preference, the best thing to do is to try to find the local restaurants, diners, or stands that the locals go; they are usually lower in price so the cost will be more manageable than fancier restaurants or popular tourist places. The local spots will also give you a better taste of the countries cuisine because these types of places cater to local residents who come in on a more regular basis; be wary of places that aren't busy during peak hours. You may also find that you can sample foods in the local market, and they may have vendors serving up inexpensive local favorites as well.
As far as entertainment, usually just walking through the city or your destination, visiting the local beaches, hiking the local mountains, or similar things can be done at no cost. For other things, such as museums or tours, do some research ahead of time to find out if they offer discounted rates on certain days of the week or at certain times of the day. If staying at a hotel or motel, do they have a concierge that can offer discounted tickets?
Last, but not least, find out if there is a local tourist center. Tourist centers offer free maps, information, referrals, and many times discounted tickets for area attractions as well as restaurants. It could be worth the time it takes to visit the tourist center if there is one.
If you are going to be in a country that uses a different currency, you should familiarize yourself with their money and how much each bill or coin is worth. You would also want to visit the government currency exchange rate website to know the current exchange rate between the two currencies before traveling.
Insubuy offers Travel Medical Insurance as well as Trip Cancellation Insurance that can protect you from financial loss if you ended up not be able to travel for non-refundable expenses. You can obtain information and quotes online at www.insubuy.com, or contact us directly at (866) INSUBUY, and speak with a licensed professional for assistance.
We provide multilingual services in English, Mandarin, and Spanish for your convenience.