(BPT) - When the daily grind starts to wear you out, nothing rejuvenates quite like a vacation. Whether it's a long weekend across the country or two weeks spent abroad, a trip offers the chance to escape routine, try new experiences and come alive once more. Of course, planning a vacation takes time, and more importantly, money. Many of us do not have the budget to plan a luxurious adventure whenever the feeling strikes. Or do we?
Traveling can be affordable when you plan wisely and know where to cut down on spending. From flight tickets to activity planning, follow these five tips to save money on your next vacation.
Take advantage of online planning tools
Travelex, the world's largest foreign exchange specialist, recently launched a new website designed to make traveling affordable and hassle-free. Luxury For Less is your one-stop shop for planning a luxury holiday on a budget. It shows where you can get the most cost-effective vacation experience and allows you to book flights and hotels directly on the site, via global travel search engine Skyscanner. Using data from past vacationers, the average spending cost is also calculated into your set budget so you can get an accurate total for everything from airfare to activities. Traveling internationally? Beyond flights, hotels and spending money, Luxury For Less even lets you purchase foreign currency at the lowest rates directly from the site through Travelex. No longer do you have to spend hours on multiple websites to get a great deal on travel.
Those extra fees the airlines charge for bags add up quickly. When booking your flight, look at the airline's policy on bags, and do your best to avoid baggage fees by packing just the necessities (you'll thank yourself later when hauling luggage to each hotel). Many major airlines allow you to check your first bag for free when traveling internationally, but keep in mind you still could be charged if the suitcase is over the weight limit.
Spend a day walking around
Tourist attractions can eat up your spending money if you plan too many activities in a day. Before your trip, research free events, activities and sites you can enjoy. One of the best ways to experience the local culture is to simply walk around the city. Spending an afternoon walking takes you away from the large tourist crowds, and gives you the opportunity to stumble upon the hidden gems locals love.
Hit up the local grocery stores
Trying the local cuisine is a big part of the vacation experience, and it's good to save money for dining. You don't have to spend your entire budget by eating out for every meal, though. Based on your budget, decide how many many times you can afford to eat out each day or throughout the week. The rest of the time, rely on the nearest grocery store to find ingredients for sandwiches, salads and other easy meals. If your hotel has complimentary breakfast food, take advantage of the opportunity to eat for free.
Download smartphone apps that allow you to communicate for free
New smartphone technology makes it easier than ever to communicate for free while traveling. Before you head out on your trip, be sure to download free apps like Whatsapp and Skype, which allow you to instant message, voice call and video chat from anywhere without spending a dime.
Everyone deserves a break from their daily routine now and then. When you're ready to enjoy an exciting adventure or relaxing retreat, visit travelex.com/luxuryforless to start planning your vacation.