When traveling as a couple, it's always great to have plenty of extra money. But if you want to travel on a budget, it's smart to utilize some strategies that can stretch your dollars.
1. Choose 3 or 4 travel destinations you both like. Look into the pricing of each destination to determine which one offers the least expensive travel.
* Once you agree on a few destinations, investigate them online. Look for package deals and make some comparisons. Which place(s) offer the best pricing?
2. Plan to visit a travel destination during the off-season. Take into account that visiting a locale when it's not the tourist season will save you quite a bit of cash.
* Accommodations and many attractions cost less when you go during the off-season. Depending on the locale, even traveling to your destination is discounted in the off-season when the demand is less. For example, in the winter, airfare to Europe is about half the cost of summer fares - by hundreds of dollars per ticket!
* For many summer tourist destinations, the date they switch to off-season rates is in early September when the kids go back to school - the day after Labor Day. Taking a trip with your partner the week after Labor Day will save you money and you can still enjoy the warm weather attractions. Plus, you won't have to fight the crowds.
3. Save as a couple and individually before the trip. An important part of planning a trip is putting aside money in advance to pay for the trip. A way to pump up your savings and make it fun is for each of you to formulate not only your joint savings plan but also your own plans to save a few extra bucks for the trip. Have a contest to see who can save more!
* Cut out those expensive coffee beverages, lunches at work, and other less-necessary expenditures in your daily lives to bank those dollars for your trip.
4. Book a hotel that offers free breakfast. Nothing will start off a day of exploration on your vacation like 2 free meals. Many hotels offer continental breakfasts to lure in travelers. While you're at it, grab a few of those granola bars and a few pieces of fresh fruit for your purse or car, just in case you get hungry before or after lunch.
* Vacations take a lot of energy and can work up quite an appetite. Free snacks will serve to stretch your budget even further.
5. Split dinners in restaurants. If you both like some of the same foods, consider ordering an entrees and dividing it between the two of you. Even if you each ordered soup or a salad, your dinner bill will still be less expensive.
* Some restaurants will charge $2.00 or $3.00 for a plate fee when you let them know you plan to split the entrees. However, getting into the habit of sharing dinners when you travel shows you have real budget-savvy.
6. Carry re-usable individual water containers. When you arrive at the hotel, find the nearest grocery or drug store nearby where you can buy inexpensive bottled water by the gallon. Take the water to your hotel room and fill your individual containers in the evening.
* If your hotel room has a refrigerator, chill your water overnight. The next morning before you head off to see the sites, grab your bottles of water. Since bottled water, when purchased separately, can cost up to $4.00 per bottle, you can save $20 or more per day between the two of you by furnishing your own water this way.
As a couple, you hopefully have many wonderful vacations ahead of you. Money-saving strategies such as visiting off-season, staying at hotels that offer free breakfasts, sharing dinners, and filling your own water bottles will reduce your travel expenditures. Put these budget-friendly tips to work when planning your next vacation with your beloved partner.
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