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Make Your Travel Dreams Come True With These Budget-Friendly Tips

Do you ever wish that you could travel more often? If so, you’re not alone.

According to a recent study, 76% of its participants expressed the desire for more travel. So what stops them? A primary reason that many people give for not traveling more often is cost. For instance, Value Penguin found that the average four-night domestic trip costs approximately $144 per day. The prices go higher if you fly. So how do you travel without going broke? Here are a few tips to help you save on your next trip.

man looking at flight time in airport

Begin by Comparing Prices

In another study, 60% of US travelers would consider an impulse trip if they found a good deal on flights or accommodations. That’s where a site like Groupon comes in. Groupon can help you find deals on hotels and activities at your destination. To stretch your dollars further, look for Groupon coupon codes and promo codes that you can use.

tropical hotel room beach outside

Look Into Hotel Rewards Programs

Many major hotel chains offer incentives to get you to book exclusively through them. For example, Choice Hotels offers 10 points for every $1 you spend at their hotels. There are many other memberships available. If you find that you stay at the same hotel all the time, or there is a chain that you prefer, check out their website to see if they offer any membership perks.

Staying more than a few days? Consider a vacation rental through Airbnb or VRBO. Private owners have a harder time making sure they have consistent bookings, so they’re likely to offer better deals to someone who is staying a little longer.

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Know How to Save When it Comes to Rental Cars

Rental cars are great if you want to get around town, but they can come with a bit of sticker shock. There are a few things to keep in mind if you plan on booking a car rental. For starters, don’t pay for add-ons. If you need a car seat or GPS, bring your own. As for rental insurance, you may not need it. Check with your insurance company before you pay the extra premium at the booking counter.

Where you book is just as important. If you’re flying to your destination, skip booking at the terminal. You’ll almost always find a better rate if you book through an agency off-site.

If your car doesn’t have GPS, your smartphone may suffice. To ensure you have enough data and don’t get hit with expensive overage charges, signing up for a prepaid international plan may be your best option.

airplane in sky

Book Smart

You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to book your flight—and this is true. If you’re flying within the continental U.S., for instance, Forbes explains that the best time to book is 70 days before you want to take off.

When it comes to booking a hotel, you may be better off waiting. Business Insider says that booking your hotel 1-2 days before your stay can result in savings. Why? Hotels base their prices on their occupancy rates. The goal is to book as many rooms as possible. If they see that they have a bunch of empty rooms, they’re likely to lower their rates to try to get travelers in. But be advised that you don’t want to wait too long if you’re traveling during the peak season or to a popular destination. These hotels are likely to sell out early, and then you’re left with whatever hotel is left (which can end up costing you big).

Travel is a great way to explore new locations, spend time with the family, and just get away from it all. Taking a trip doesn’t have to be expensive. When you plan early and book smart, you’ll find just how affordable travel can actually be!

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