When most people return from a vacation their minds turn to planning the next one before they even unpack. It seems that once one destination is visited, travelers yearn to see another, and another.
This is especially true for active adults who have plenty of free time available. The thing is, vacations can be quite expensive unless planned out thoughtfully with the proper information. Younger adults and teens do not hesitate to pick up and go, crossing continents like never before. Many are not afraid to sleep in tents or hostels, or otherwise “roughing it.” There are ways, however, to travel inexpensively and comfortably. It just takes a bit of time to do it right.
Low-Cost Air Travel
There are more budget airlines across the globe today than ever before, including JetBlue and Frontier in the U.S., Ryanair in Europe, and Tiger Air in Asia. Some of these flights can cost half of what a similar trip would be using a premium airline. Here is a sample airfare from Ryanair: a Dublin to Amsterdam flight in September ranges in price from $29 to $48 per person.
When searching for airfare, websites like Cheapo Air and Kayak are helpful. They can compare fares and sort them based on price, length of the flight, departure and arrival times, and other parameters. Keep in mind that many airlines now add extra charges for carry-ons and premium seating so always check for additional costs to your bottom line. They add up fast.
Cruising for Deals
Vacationers love cruises because they can visit several destinations and not have to unpack and repack while enjoying all-inclusive food and amenities. There are several ways to reduce costs when booking a cruise. First of all, you do not need to fly to a cruise port. There are many ports in the U.S. that may be within driving distance from your home. These include Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, Baltimore, New York, and of course, Florida. Being patient and watching cruise prices over time is also recommended since this will tune you into the best deals. Prices often drop as sale dates approach, so if you have flexible availability you can save a lot of money.
You should also try to book excursions on your own ahead of time since port excursions booked through cruise lines can often have additional costs. On board, avoid using the ship’s internet, and hand-wash clothes when possible. Other money-saving recommendations include skipping the pricey specialty restaurants, avoiding the ship’s spa services, and purchasing a beverage package rather than paying by the drink.
Seeing a country through a train window is a unique vacation experience that can be much more budget-friendly than plane travel. It is similar to cruising since you stay in one room while letting someone else pilot you to different locales. Train lines all over the planet whisk passengers to spectacular destinations in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.
VIA Rail’s The Canadian train trip is a three-night excursion through the majestic Canadian Rockies. Discount tickets can be found and two people can generally do this trip for around $2,000 total, including meals. Amtrak’s California Zephyr runs daily from Chicago to Emeryville, CA via the Colorado Rockies as well as the California Sierras. Prices vary but can cost under $1,000 for two people, including all meals.
Take the Bus
Riding the bus is one of the most budget-friendly ways to travel, although the trips take longer. Buses can take you to most parts of the country and it is even cheaper than driving by car. Discount bus companies like Boltbus and Megabus compete with Peter Pan Bus Lines, Greyhound, Florida’s Red Coach line, and Lux Bus, so prices can vary widely. Travel sites like wanderu.com also compare bus trip prices. Once you find a great fare, check the bus line websites and look for reviews about details on seat comfort, freebies, times and prices, and safety reports.
Taking the time to plan out your next getaway can earn you enough savings to travel more often. There are more opportunities out there than ever before. They key is to have an open mind and to look into different destinations and ways to get there. Allow yourself extra time to book that upcoming vacation, it will be time well spent.