Summer Travel Blog Series #1

5/3/12


Hello Friends! 
I'm so excited to share with you an new blogging series that I am writing with the wonderful and talented Skye of Neathering Our Fest.
Over the month of May, Skye and I will be sharing our best tips and tricks for all your Summer travel needs.
Best part of the Summer Travel Series is a GIVEAWAY! Yes, that's right, Skye and I will be giving away ONE $50 Visa gift card. I don't know about you, but I know FREE money could really go a long way for my Summer Travel plans. To enter head on over and read Skye's post on staycations and planning a vacation in your home town and enter to win! Also, be sure to check back every Thursday in May for a brand new post all about Your Guide to Fun & Easy Summer Travel!


First up is 5 ways to travel on a budget:
Just because you don't have thousands of dollars in the bank, doesn't mean that you can't take trips that are fun, inspiring and enlightening.
A trip is anything you decide to make it. It could be a day trip to another city or a backpacking trip across Europe. Big or small, traveling is about learning something new, learning something about yourself and experiencing life.


Here are my 5 ways to travel on a budget:
  1. Research, research, research: I cannot stress this point enough. The more information you are armed with, the more you will be able to budget for  necessary travel expenses. Guide books are a wonderful way to figure out where you want to stay, what areas and what you want to do.  Luckily the world is becoming more accommodating to those traveling on a budget. Many major cities now offer free visits for their most popular museums (example: London).  By researching and figure out what costs what, you will be able to build out not only a total but a daily travel budget as well.  Social media is also a great resource. While searching out a hotel for our next trip, I simply tweeted that I needed a hotel recommendation and many hotels in the city tweeted me back with information.  Social media is an invaluable resource for today's frugal traveler. 
  2. Travel in off seasons: We tend to take a majority of our trips during off seasons, such as the Fall and Winter. While it's not always possible (especially for those destinations that do experience Winter conditions), I've found that flights and accommodations are generally cheaper during down times.
  3. Be sure to book hotels with breakfast included: This is a must. We always make sure that our hotel stay includes breakfast. This will save loads of money when budgeting out a daily meal budget. Most hotels do offer this, and the breakfast is usually an array of croissants, cereals, fruit and coffee. We always make sure to "load up" on breakfast, that way lunch is a snack and perhaps a coffee (as we often did in Paris).
  4. Consult a trusted travel agent: Just like social media has changed the travel resource landscape, so has online travel sites.  While I'm not a fan of these "discount" travel sites I do understand why people use them.  I'm lucky enough to have developed a wonderful friendship with my travel agent Angie. I absolutely love her. She is always there to help me out, find the best deal and provide advice no matter the destination.  So find a travel agent, and make a friend for life.
  5. Find a grocery store: This is something we do on every single trip. Most tourist attractions will offer water and snacks - at a premium. We quickly realized that buying bottles of water from vendors in Rome was putting a massive dent in our trip budget. So we asked the hotel where the closest grocery store was and stocked up on snacks and water. I love going to grocery stores in other countries. It's like a scavenger hunt, only better.  In Paris we used the local grocer to stock up on wine, chocolate and snacks that we took with us while exploring the city during the day.
 


























I hope this list will be helpful when planning your Summer getaway.  I would love you hear the ways you travel on a budget, so please don't forget to leave a comment below.





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