Are you planning on traveling soon but don't want to break the bank? Don't worry, I've got you covered! There are many ways to enjoy your trip without spending a fortune. Whether you're looking to save on airfare, hotels, or food and drinks, we have you covered. Keep reading for my best tips!
If you're driving, check out these ideas to save money on gas.
Save Money by Traveling During the Off-Season or Mid-Week
The flights and hotels during the off-season and mid-week are usually cheaper than the weekend. People want to use their personal leave at work so they will plan to travel on those free days off, but that also means higher travel prices.
If you have ever looked at cruises or was interested in taking a cruise with the kids, go during the times when the kids may not typically be out of school or midweek versus a weekend cruise. I have found that the prices are less than the prices during school breaks or holidays.
Flexibility Helps Single Moms Travel on a Budget
You can also take advantage of last-minute deals by being flexible with your travel dates. Many times, this flexibility can save you hundreds of dollars. Some of the flight booking sites such as Skyscanner and Google Flights allow you to see the prices based on the date you choose to fly. As I mentioned, flying midweek instead of the weekend could be a difference of $200 or more. I always look at the total cost, because if you have specific plans for certain days during your travel than flying a day earlier may require you to get a hotel for an additional night than if you fly on the day you had planned. You can ask yourself, is the cost of the hotel less than what I am saving on changing the day of the flight? If so, then go for it!
Kids' Fly Free and Other Airline Discounts
Keep an eye out for special deals and promotions. Some airlines like Allegiant, Spirit, and JetBlue offer penny flights or buy one get one free or half off. If you sign up for these airlines’ emails, you’ll get those deals sent to you when they are available. Planning your travel around locations with flight promotions can be fun! It may or may not be a popular location, but there are more than likely plenty of things to do and it could turn out to be one of the best vacations you’ve ever had.
Stick to Your Travel Budget With Hotel Amenities
When it comes to hotels, there are a few ways you can save money. One option is to look for hotels that offer free breakfast. These hotels usually offer a great variety of foods that the whole family can enjoy. If you have picky eaters or a big appetite, they can eat as much as they want without the additional cost. The good thing about many of the continental breakfast hotels is they are usually the same prices or only a few dollars more than the hotels without free breakfast. This can help you save on food costs while you're on vacation.
Book a hotel room with a kitchenette and save money by cooking some of your own meals instead of eating out all the time. I know you are probably thinking, “I don’t want to cook while on vacation”, I get it! However, ask yourself if you rather take the family on some fun adventures or eat at a restaurant? There can be healthy balance. Cook some quick easy meals like spaghetti, or burgers and fries that don’t require a lot of time and effort but can save a ton of money. This could also be time you use to relax from the day of fun and plan for the next day’s adventures.
Apartments and Villas are Friendly for Single Mom Budgets
If you're traveling with a larger group, and it can often be more cost-effective than staying in a hotel. Depending on the travel experience you are look for, locate Airbnb’s that are in cheaper areas outside of the city center. You could also find affordable ones within the city close to entertainment too, so don’t feel like you must be away from the fun to find something within your budget. Some of these rentals can be as low as $50 per night during the off-season.
If you decide to go the route of renting a villa or whole house Airbnb than take advantage of having the full kitchen to again cook some of your meals.
Enjoy the Local Food When Traveling
Eating out can be one of the biggest expenses while traveling. Asking for recommendations and finding Groupon or coupons on restaurants ahead of time will help you save some money on dining out. Depending on the age of your children some restaurants have kids east free during the midweek and that could also help on the cost of your travel. If you use the recommendations of the natives in the area you are traveling, you’ll get to experience the destination's cuisine more authentically, that would be great memorabilia to hold onto whenever you think about that vacation. Most importantly, eat out at least once because let’s not forget this is a vacation and not an extension of being home living your regular life.
Where to Find Free Activities When Traveling on a Budget
Many cities offer free or discounted admission to museums and other attractions. Check sites like Groupon, AAA, or your employers discount program before you go to see what's available. I have found some amazing deals on Groupon specifically and saved half the price of what I would have paid if I just showed up at the attraction.
Explore on Your Own for Inexpensive Travel
Tours can be expensive, and they're not always necessary. If you're on a budget, skip the tour and explore on your own. You may find that you enjoy it more anyway! Some tour guides have lost their enthusiasm so takes away from the sights you are seeing. While sometimes a tour is just not the best activity for your personality type.
It’s possible to travel on a budget, even as a single mom. In fact, I’m doing it right now! All you need is a little bit of planning and some creativity when it comes to saving money. Here are my top 3 tips for traveling on a budget as a single mom: 1) Plan your trip well in advance. This will help you snag cheaper airfare and hotel rates. 2) Find discounted attractions on coupon sites. 3) Cook your own meals rather than eating out all the time or find a hotel with free breakfast.
Traveling on a budget can be done! You don't need to break the bank to see the world. Just plan and get started. What's your next destination?
I will make a post on budgeting for travel soon because I know that’s one barrier people face is the “Where do I find the money to travel?”. I’ll include the link when it’s available.