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Experts Share Their Most Surprising Strategies For Traveling On The Cheap

Posted on January 25 2019

Experts Share Their Most Surprising Strategies For Traveling On The Cheap
Let's just say it: Sticking to a budget while traveling is extremely difficult. Not only are flights and lodging pricey, but activity fees, cabs, and on-the-go meals can add up quickly. And don't even get us started on stuff like exchange rates and foreign transaction fees. But just because we're watching our bank accounts doesn't mean we're cool with missing out on seeing the world.
There are plenty of small strategies you can implement while traveling that will help save dough without ruining the fun and spontaneity of being in a new place. In some cases, it might even make your experience feel more authentic. We asked four bona fide travel experts — women whose passport stamps inspire serious FOMO — to share their strategies for saving money on everything from flights to food. Read on to hear what they had to say.
1. "Flexiblity is Key"
"Be flexible with your travel dates," suggests Beth Whitman, a women's travel expert and the founder of "When searching for flights, if you can be flexible on the day and time you’re flying, you can search for the least expensive options and book accordingly. Most airlines and online travel agent sites give you the ability to choose flexible dates to find the best fares."

While this can be difficult if you're trying to be somewhere for a wedding or holiday, if you work at a company that allows you to sometimes work from home (or you just have extra time off you can take), consider flying to your destination a little or earlier or leaving a little later than you normally might.

"With most people trying to get home in time for work, airlines usually hike up the prices for weekend flights. Instead of traveling back on Sunday, which tends to be a peak day, try flying home Monday or Tuesday to avoid the extra costs," agrees Ariana Pierce, a travel influencer and the founder of Style & Travel Girl.
2. "Figure out when the "Off Season" is.. and go then!"
Even the most popular destinations typically have an "off season," and if you can find out when it is (and don't mind potentially not-so-great weather), that's the time to travel there on the cheap.

"Many times, you will find that plane tickets, hotels, and activities cost less, which makes for a great vacation and — the best part — less tourists," Pierce says. "For example, Quebec City has an amazing deal at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac where they are offering Christmas in November for guests to get significant discounts this season. What I love about this is that you can save money and stay at a luxurious hotel."
3. "BYO Snacks"
"Carry healthy snacks with you on the plane so you don’t have to rely on expensive airport or plane food. Consider an apple with a packet of Justin’s Almond Butter or a mix of nuts and dried fruit," Whitman says, echoing the sentiments of some flight attendants we recently spoke to. After all, why shell out for pricey airport food that's rarely tasty or wholesome when you could pinch your pennies until you reach your (hopefully delicious) destination?
4. "Subscribe to the annoying emails"
Okay, so it's kind of annoying getting text alerts and promotional emails all the time, but sometimes, it's worth it — literally. "Most companies love to reward their subscribers with deals and specials as a thank you for signing up and being a loyal customer," Pierce says. "Take some time to join your favorite airline and hotel’s newsletter, and watch for daily deals that come through for various destinations."

If you really don't want all that stuff clogging up your inbox, Pierce suggests opening a special email account just for those kinds of messages. Why didn't we think of that?


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