The weekend trip: Could there be anything more perfectly contained? A great weekend trip lets you make the best of your two days off while staying within your budget and getting back in time for work. Here’s how to ensure you don’t spend too much but still have the fun you deserve.
How to Book a Flight That Doesn’t Break the Bank
Timing is critical when it comes to getting a less-expensive flight for your weekend getaway. Being flexible with which weekend you want to choose for your trip is the best option. That way, you can search for the cheapest flights months in advance on sites like Skyscanner. You can then look for vacation packages and promo codes for top budget travel sites like Priceline.
Here are some additional general tips for finding cheaper flights:
- Search in private (incognito) mode on your browser.
- Fly from more popular airports
- If you have a connecting flight, book it yourself. Often, this is cheaper.
- Use flyer miles or credit card points to book flights, the latter of which usually offers additional savings on travel.
For Cheaper Hotels: Apps and Timing
The best method for finding a reasonable price on a hotel room is not the same as the method for finding a cheap flight. In fact, the best deals on hotels will come last-minute (or at least close to your time of departure). If you want to scour hotels earlier on in your planning cycle, it’s smart to use an app with price alerts. Still, though, last-minute bookings are where it’s at and you should check out one of these apps to save. And no matter when you book your room, check for coupons and other money-saving offers for sites like Hotels.com.
For Cheaper Transportation: Public Transport, and Cheaper Rentals
In most areas with good public transportation (subways, buses, trains), that’s going to be your cheapest bet. For a little more money (but not that much), ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are nice. However, many top weekend destinations don’t have great public transport or an app-based ridesharing infrastructure. Finding a good deal on a rental car isn’t hard if you shop for promotions and get cash back through a company like Enterprise. General tips for finding cheap rental cars include booking online (not at the airport), booking through membership clubs like AAA, and always choosing economy cars.
Save on Luggage and Travel Supplies
Instead of heading to your local megamart for your travel needs, head to your computer and check out some deals. Cost-cutting websites like RetailMeNot.com, for example, have tons of promo codes and links to deals on travel accessories year-round.
Don’t Go It Alone
One way to have a fun time and reduce costs is to forgo the solo or couples weekend getaway and instead opt for a weekend away with the kids, dog, and/or friends and family. Childcare and pet sitting costs are one of the main things that drive up the total cost of your weekend getaway. Avoid these by simply bringing them along (maybe a road trip!). And if you’re looking for a real budget trip, consider sharing the trip with friends and family. Lodging, transportation, and food/activity costs will be reduced if you can share them amongst a group.
For your health and sanity, it’s imperative that you take some short trips on weekends. These little jaunts have major restorative powers. You don’t want to counteract that healing with added stress on account of travel costs, however. That’s why it’s important to know how to save and make your weekend getaways as financially advantageous as possible.
Article by Jane Moore of Fit Well Traveler