12 Budget Travel Tips

Going on a trip doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet. You can have a wonderful vacation without breaking the bank.

12 Budget Travel TipsPhoto: lzf/ShutterStock

The best way to get the vacation of your dreams is to know exactly what kind of experience you’re seeking.

So before booking, chat up your friends, relatives and travel agents to learn about the destinations that appeal most to you. Once you have an idea of where you want to go, follow these tips to help keep to your budget.

  1. Travel off-season. Check with the local tourism office to find out when their off-season starts.
  2. Travel double occupancy. When travelling with someone, sharing a room will be cheaper than booking two separate rooms.
  3. When flying, either plan well in advance (ideally, 10 months to a year ahead) or at the last minute (two weeks or less before you leave).
  4. Be flexible. You can save on fares by travelling mid-week, or choosing sunny Varadero, Cuba, over sunny Cancun, Mexico.
  5. Check with your credit card company for existing travel or car insurance.
  6. Book a package deal or an all-inclusive trip. (But if you prefer local restaurants to hotel fare, or spur-of-the-moment activities to planned outings, all-inclusives may not be a good idea.)
  7. Brown bag healthy snacks and meals to avoid pricey airport or train food. Book a hotel room with a kitchenette, to save on meals.
  8. Consult with your travel agent to preplan trips; surf the Internet for immediate deals.
  9. Ask your travel agent where to change your money to get the best exchange rate.
  10. Visit Amtrak Hot Deals or  ViaRail Special Deals to get the best prices on North American rail travel.
  11. Visit web sites such as  Eurail or Flightcentre to buy your European rail pass before you leave Canada.
  12. When going by car, use the most fuel-efficient model on hand (subcompact, compact and hybrids are best). To save even more gas, use cruise control, keep to the speed limit, run the air conditioning as little as possible and pack the trunk before loading down the roof.

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