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There’s been a resurgence in travel for business and personal leisure in 2023 as more Americans return to their ‘new normal’ following a global pandemic. polled Americans on preferred vacations and 88 percent would favor a nostalgic getaway, while 80 percent would prefer a community-minded trip, or a destination that will not blow the budget.

While fall and the holidays are a great time to plan a vacation, they also are some of the most expensive months to book a flight, hotel, or a rental car. With a bit of planning, you can enjoy a trip that provides years of memories without lingering debt.

How to Travel Frugally

Below are some suggestions for frugal travel from the Travel Channel:

  1. Travel during the off-season – Tours, lodging, and even food is often discounted during the travel “off-seasons”. Consider trekking through Europe in the winter or visiting the Caribbean during the summer and early fall months (although this is considered hurricane season, so travel with caution!).
  2. Fly on an off-peak day or time – Flights generally cost much less on a Monday or Tuesday than they do on Thursdays or Fridays. Also keep in mind that the second flight of the day is less expensive than the first.
  3. Skip hotels – Hotel rates tend to go up around popular travel times, such as holidays. Research all options in your desired location, considering nearby restaurants, attractions, and amenities. Sometimes, booking a private home through a service like Airbnb can save you money while also giving you a “home away from home” environment.
  4. Avoid renting a car – Make a point of researching your destination’s public transportation or ridesharing app capabilities ahead of time. If you’ll be going to a major metro area, you may be able to get around more easily on foot and by public transportation which makes the trip less expensive and more fun.
  5. Eat a fancy lunch – If you are planning to have one “fancy” meal a day on your vacation, make sure to have that meal at lunch rather than dinner. Many restaurants have lunch dishes similar or identical to their dinner menus for a lower cost. In Europe, multi-course lunch specials are common and affordable. Skip the cocktails and buy a bottle of wine to enjoy when you return to your accommodations.
  6. Use coupons for attractions – Many major cities have a “City Pass” option which gets you entry to up to five major attractions at a significant discount. Make sure you have time to visit all the attractions before you shell out money for these passes which can be $100+.

While you are daydreaming about your next bucket-list vacation or road trip, review your weekly and monthly budget. Are there items you can do without while putting money aside for that trip? Create a plan before you embark or keep your budget just a click away by checking out a few of the best budgeting apps for travelers according to Smarter Travel:

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