Planning on traveling solo soon but worried about the cost? That’s understandable considering you won’t have any other travelers on board to split the expenses with. But don’t worry as there are tons of ways to keep costs low and still have the experience of a lifetime.
Keep reading for tips on traveling solo on a budget.
Travel During Non-Peak Periods
When traveling solo, it’s a good idea to avoid traveling during peak times. The period between late-November and early-January sees a spike in airline ticket prices as travelers scramble to make it to their final destinations in time for the winter holidays. Also, avoid traveling during busy spring break season and summer months as well.
After considering traveling outside of the holidays, take the weather into consideration. During hurricane season, travelers aren’t in a rush to head to the Carribean, and this drives the flight prices down to fill seats. When it’s cold out, snowbirds head south in droves, but this is your opportunity to score an irresistible flight deal on a trip to a place that has a much cooler climate.
Download a Flight Tracker
Instead of spending hours on airline’s websites for the best deals, use an airfare tracker, like Kayak, to do the work for you. It only takes a few minutes to create your profile and input your desired destination and travel dates. The moment prices drop, you’ll be alerted via text, email, or both.
Consider One-Way Flights
It’s convenient to book a roundtrip flight with the same airline in one sitting. But if fares are steep, look into one-way flights. If you want to save even more money, also consider flights with multiple layovers as the price may be lower to compensate for the hassle of having to hang out at the airport. When you’re traveling solo, it’s easier to book multiple flights because you only have to worry about yourself.
Be Flexible With Your Destination
What if an irresistible, last-minute flight deal surfaced, but it wasn’t for your intended destination? Would you pass it by or take advantage? Assuming you haven’t solidified your lodging, it may be worthwhile to book the flight and switch things up. You’ll have to recreate your itinerary, but the experience will make it worth the extra time and effort.
Pack Light to Minimize or Avoid Luggage Fees
Long gone are the days of free luggage. Nowadays, practically every carrier assesses a fee for luggage unless you’re an airline cardholder and your credit card offers a special incentive. But, you can minimize luggage fees by packing extremely light. And if you must bring a ton of clothing and footwear along, weigh your luggage before arriving at the airport to ensure you won’t get slapped with an oversized luggage fee. Or, you can roll up all your clothes and shove them into your carry on to avoid fees altogether if the airline offers one free personal item and one free carry-on.
Don’t mind sharing a ride with a stranger? Use UberPool to save on local transportation. Another tip: check for special promotions in your app for Uber and other ride sharing services. And if you’ve never used a particular ride sharing provider, download their app to see if there are any new ride specials or incentives.
Redeem Travel Rewards
If you’ve been sitting on travel rewards for some time, why not cash them out to save big on your next solo excursion? Doing so will free up space in your budget to enjoy other landmarks, experiences, and unique activities your destination has to offer.
Think Outside The Box For Lodging
Why book at a four or five-star hotel when there are Airbnb accommodations available for a fraction of the cost? And if you’re traveling abroad, be sure to check out the upscale hostels in the area. What you find may surprise you.
Plan Out Your Meals
Meal plans make it easy to establish a food budget for your solo trip. You may go a bit over on some meals, but you’ll be able to compensate by spending less on others.
And once you’ve solidified your meal plan, look for cheap eats in the area. There may be tons of restaurants serving local cuisine that are highly recommended and affordable, and buffets are also a plus if you want to get full without spending a fortune.
Search For Bundle Deals On Attraction Tickets
Are you planning to visit multiple attractions while on your trip? Search online for bundle deals since many venues are either owned by the same company or work together to offer travelers the best deals on tickets.
Look Online Where Tickets Are Usually Cheaper
Do you only want to visit one attraction? Don’t wait until you arrive at the venue to buy your ticket. Visit the attraction’s website to see if it’s cheaper to buy online.
Visit Free Attractions
Smithsonian, anyone? If you happen to be heading to the D.C. area, entry to all the Smithsonian museums is free, along with the National Zoo. But Washington isn’t the only place where you can enjoy free attractions. There are museums in just about every major city the nation that offer free admission.
Be Mindful of Foreign Transaction Fees
If you’re planning to use a credit card, read the fine print to determine if a foreign transaction fee applies when making purchases abroad. It may be worthwhile to use or apply for a card that does not assess an annual or foreign transaction fee to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
Don’t Forget To Budget For The Extras
You’ll need a little blow money to cover all the little extras, including souvenirs, that aren’t in your budget.
Where was your last solo excursion? What tips and tricks did you use to keep costs down and still enjoy your trip? Please share in the comments below.