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TRAVEL TIPS & INTEL

Tips for Cheap Travel in 2017

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One of my favorite things about the end of the year is planning my trips for the next year. If you, like me, are already thinking ahead to where your wanderlust will lead you in 2017, check out these travel tips for making your next adventure super affordable.

Keep it Local (or Regional)

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As the shop and dine local movements continue to pick up steam, why not add “travel local” to the list? This decidedly affordable option could take the form of a staycation where you stay in your city to experience the things you always mean to do but can never seem to find the time. I find that staycations are most effective when I get a hotel room or stay in bed and breakfast in the midst of the action so that I’m not tempted to fall into my typical “at home” routines. Another option is to take a road trip to a nearby city and do a deep dive into the local culture. I like to research the ins and outs of different neighborhoods and key things to see and do before I arrive to maximize my time. These types of intentional local travel experiences can be just as enriching as hopping a plane to a foreign country.

Be Strategic About Booking Flights

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A good way to save money on the front end is to stay on top of fare sales and book your flights during those times. It helps if you have an idea of where you want to go and the approximate dates you want to travel. It’s great if you can stay flexible regarding departure and return dates, as this will help you get the best fares.

Travel During Off-Peak Times to Major Destinations

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As you think through your 2017 travel schedule, avoid booking trips for prime travel times (think spring break, holidays, etc.). Traveling to an international destination in the off season is another great way to save money. Do a little research about peak travel times to your preferred destinations before you look at flights – chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Choose Sustainable Travel

Did you know that 2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (as declared by the UN)? This means that more travelers (and travel companies) will be thinking along the lines of how they can support the environment and respect other cultures while traveling. Sustainable tourism can also be good for your budget, seeing as a lot of these types of trips can be done in a group (sharing costs) while staying at eco-lodges and other affordable accommodations and using environmentally friendly forms of transportation (biking, walking, public transport).

Travel with Others

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One of the best ways to save money while traveling to any destination near or far is to split the cost with another person (or group of people). Identify people in your life with whom you’d like to travel and ask them over for a brainstorming session. Make a list of places you’d all like to go and let the affordable travel planning begin! Most likely the biggest savings you’ll see is in the lodging department, which can make a huge difference in your overall travel budget. Plus, you’re bound to have a great time on the road with your like-minded travel companions.

Avoid Hotels and Stay with Host Families

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Staying with friends or family is always a great way to save money while traveling. Don’t have any friends or family who live in the country you’re visiting? No problem. Ask around to see if anyone you know has contacts in the area. There are also a variety of websites that can help you connect with families abroad. Not only can this option save you a lot of money, it also enriches your experience.

Do you have any trips planned for 2017? What are some of your tried and true tips for saving money while booking travel or on the road?

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About the author

Jen Westmoreland Bouchard

Jen Westmoreland Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co. (www.boucharddesign.co).

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