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6 Ways To Plan a Trip Without Breaking the Bank

When you're watching every penny, travel can feel like an unattainable goal. However, millions of people travel each year and it's not because they're all rich. There are great ways to save money on everything regarding travel if you just know where to look. If going on a fantasy vacation is your goal but you're worried about money, here are six ways to plan your dream trip without putting a dent in your bank account.

1. Choose an Inexpensive Destination

For those traveling on the cheap, a destination could make or break their budget. Instead of heading to expensive European cities, think about Mexico, Vietnam, Costa Rica or South America. You can hike, visit rainforests and volcanoes, and bask on the most beautiful beaches in the world. Best of all, you'll find inexpensive lodging and eat for just a few dollars a day. If you've ever wondered why so many people travel to these countries, it's because the dollar goes so far.

2. Get a Credit Card With Rewards

If you're going to travel, you need a reliable credit card. When you apply for a distinguished American Express credit card, you can earn rewards and points for travel when you buy everyday goods. Instead of using cash, pay for groceries and utilities using your credit card, then pay the balance immediately. Soon, you'll build up enough points to save on hotels, restaurants and maybe your airline ticket! Travel is within your reach when you choose the right credit card.

3. Experiment With Flight Schedules

There's no doubt that the most expensive part of a trip is the airfare. If you need to fly to get to your destination, start shopping early and check back often. Don't rely on just one website to search for prices, use them all! Plus, look for specials on the airline's website, too. Experiment by plugging in different days of the week and flying midweek if possible. If you're flexible with dates, you'll save even more. Also, sign up for travel notifications that let you know when prices drop.

4. Stay Outside Tourist Zones

Once you've nailed down your destination, find accommodations outside the tourist zone. While it might be tempting to book an oceanview room, you'll save hundreds of dollars by staying a couple of blocks away. When you think about it, how much time are you going to spend in your room anyway? To save even more cash, try renting an apartment or a home. If you're a solo traveler looking to meet new people, a hostel may be perfect for you.

5. Skip the Car Rental

Another money-saving tip when traveling is to skip the car rental and stay in a walkable city. Renting a car is pricey, and you'll save yourself major cash by walking, biking or using public transportation. When researching your journey, try to find an area that's close to restaurants, cafes, grocery stores and the attractions you're interested in seeing. Also, search out the least expensive way to and from the airport. 

6. Pack Like a Minimalist

You can save significant travel money by not shopping for new clothes and packing like a minimalist. Planning a wardrobe for a trip is stressful and most people take too much clothing anyway. Instead, go through your closet and pick out 3-4 shirts, shorts and pants that can all be interchanged. Take some good walking shoes, flip-flops and a jacket, and you're set! Packing less eliminates stress and the risk of overweight bags.

Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you can't travel. Plan your getaway early, skip the luxuries and let your credit card rewards help you save even more. 

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