7 – The internet is your friend. Cheap hotels aren’t always seedy hotels. The internet is a great tool when trying to book a frugal vacation. You can find out which hostels are the cleanest and safest, and if you’re into actually getting some sleep, which hotels you can trust even though the price makes it look iffy. Keep searching. Type “free things to do in _______” and there will be at least a little good information.
6 – Talk to everyone. Talk to people who have been there, who want to go there, have seen a show on it, anything. You never know where the best ideas are going to come from. Never stop talking to other people, even once you get to your hotel, keep asking everyone what are the best things to do. People love to brag about the deals they’ve discovered!
5 – Go with friends. Every travel company has discounts when you go with 10 or more people. Try to find something that gives you a discount for 4, or as many as you have going with you.
4 – Book around the most expensive part. If you’re flying overseas and staying in hostels, your flights are going to be the most expensive. Find the most frugal flights and book the rest later. If you’re taking a month long cruise, find the inexpensive cruise first and book the flights after.
3 – Narrow down what really matters to you. Sometimes, a room with a view isn’t really the most important part. If you’re anything like me, you don’t spend very much time looking out of the window in your hotel room. Sometimes you don’t need a guided tour for the entire trip. If you really want a guide, try doing part of it with a tour group and another part on your own. Much less expensive and you get to see what you want on your own terms.
2 – Travel in the off season. I had a really great European vacation for very little just because I went in September. Be flexible with your dates. Sometimes leaving a day sooner or a day later will save you hundreds.
1 – Charity. Do some good in the world! Find a cause you really care about in any part of the world and volunteer to help out. Once you have a cause behind you, fund raise like crazy to get there.