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Traveling can be tons of fun — the prices, not so much. In 2018 alone, leisure travelers spent about $762 billion. So, what can budget-conscious travelers do to save money while still getting to see the world?
Fortunately, quite a lot. Here are just four of the biggest ways you can travel on a budget.
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Finding great deals by yourself can be incredibly time-consuming. Fortunately, websites like Priceline can do the leg work for you so that you can get great deals without all the effort. Priceline can save you money on hotel rooms, airfare, rental cars, and cruises. You can even stack your savings by using Priceline coupons and promo codes.
Airline tickets are notorious for their price fluctuations. While there are all sorts of tips for the best times to buy in order to save money, the truth is that the best way you can find good deals is to constantly be watching for price drops.
You can do this by following various airlines on social media — or, if you don't have time to do that, sign up for a site like Airfarewatchdog, which will keep track of ticket costs for you.
If you can be flexible with your travel plans, you can also watch for mistake fares. These drastically low-ticket prices occur when an airline makes a mistake on their price listing. The low prices can disappear quickly, but if you snag them before the airline catches the mistake, many airlines will honor the cheaper price.
There are three main times you can travel: peak season (June - August), shoulder season (April - June and September - October), and off season (November - March). It's tempting to want to go on vacation at the same time as everyone else — but if you wait, you can often find significantly cheaper prices for airfare and hotels. Shoulder season is a great choice if you want to enjoy nice weather with slightly fewer crowds and lower travel costs.
Depending on where you're going, you can choose to travel in either spring or autumn. Both offer advantages and can provide you with a great experience at a destination that you may not have picked if you'd traveled during the summer months.
But if you want the biggest savings — sometimes upwards of hundreds of dollars — you can travel during the off-season. You'll avoid crowds, get cheap tickets, and have a much bigger range of affordable hotel rooms to choose from.
You might not think about it ahead of time, but many debit cards charge international fees when you use them abroad. For example, you may be charged a foreign transaction fee or an ATM-conversion fee. This can really add up, forcing you to spend extra money you weren't planning on.
To help you avoid unexpected costs, consider bringing a card that won't charge you extra to use it overseas. Some good choices for international debit cards include Fidelity, Schwab, and Capital One. You can also use your debit card to purchase travel necessities like a neck pillow and toiletries, in order to avoid potentially late credit card payments.
Traveling on a budget takes planning, but it is absolutely possible to have an incredible vacation without breaking the bank. By considering your travel dates, being flexible, and utilizing services like Priceline to find yourself the best deals, you can travel without being constantly stressed about your budget.
It's my hope that you've found some helpful tips in this article I wrote especially for you on Priceline, price drops and other travel tips for the budget-conscious. (Contributor: Jesse Clark)