Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Thu September 03 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | September 3, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    6 Easy Ways To Save Money While You Travel

    6 Easy Ways To Save Money While You Travel

    We’ll admit it: we’re not exactly budget backpackers. We enjoy staying at luxurious hotels. We love dining at fine restaurants. And we believe there are few things more rewarding than splurging on once-in-a-lifetime adventures and activities. But the reason we’re able to travel so comfortably is because we know how to save money on purchases along the way.

    Traveling doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think—all it takes is a bit of research to be travel budget friendly. Here are a few of our favorite ways to save money while we travel:

    Save Money On Airfare

    Flying to Costa Rica

    As much as we love traveling, we hate spending precious travel money on flights alone. But now we’re able to save hundreds—and even thousands—of dollars on our flights. We do it by utilizing frequent flier miles and credit cards. Typically with an airline credit card, there is a hefty annual fee (that may or may not get waived the first year) and high-interest rates.

    However, you’ll receive a generous number of miles for signing up for the card—often anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 miles! Credit cards aren’t for everyone, and it’s important to think about your personal financial situation before signing up.  However, by not keeping a balance on our cards, we’ve been able to accumulate enough miles to fly around the world for free on numerous occasions.

    If credit cards aren’t for you, then there are still ways to save on airfare. Search for flights with flexible dates; try to fly Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday; follow airlines on social media for exclusive discounts; and always clear your cookies when returning to a search.

    Travel During The Off Season

    Halong Bay Boat Sun Deck

    Off-season is our favorite time to travel. There are fewer tourists, locals are typically friendlier, and prices are almost always cheaper when you avoid traveling during peak times. For example, if you travel to Costa Rica during the rainy season, you’ll enjoy heavily discounted prices on rental cars and hotels—and the afternoon thunderstorms are fresh and rejuvenating.

    If there’s a particular activity you want to experience that is dependent on the time of year (for example, seeing the Northern Lights or spotting the Big Five on a safari), then consider traveling during “Green Season,” just as the high season is beginning or ending.

    Choose A Budget-Friendly Destination

    Costa Rica is much more expensive than Nicaragua. Southeast Asia will offer more bang for your buck than Japan or South Korea. Spain is more economical than Scandinavia. If you’ve been bit by the travel bug, then it often doesn’t matter where you go, so long as you’re able to go somewhere.

    Make a list of what it is you want to experience on your travels. If it’s tropical beaches, rich culture, and fabulous food, then you might find an economic travel experience awaiting in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. If you have your heart set on Europe, then consider Prague or Riga over Paris or Stockholm. There are countless places to explore at budget-friendly prices!

    Eat Local

    Hong Kong Foodie Tour

    Eat as the locals do, and you’ll typically end up saving big bucks while also getting to try tastier food. Eating local might mean eating fresh and delicious street food, but it can also be as simple as avoiding chain restaurants in favor of Mom n’ Pop bistros. Ask locals where they eat out on a regular basis, and you’ll likely discover deliciously affordable venues.

    Subscribe To Travel Deal Newsletters

    It takes a lot of research to find the best travel deals around the web. Luckily, there are plenty of other people out there willing to do the legwork for you. If you have time and flexibility, then subscribe to a few travel deal newsletters before setting out on your big adventure. A few of our favorites are Travel Zoo, Deal Base and SmarterTravel. We often find great discounts on flights, hotels and entertainment around the world. If you already know where you want to stay and what you want to do, then don’t forget to follow the hotels, airlines and restaurants on social media. Often companies offer great discounts that are only available to their fans and followers.

    Consider Apartment Rentals

    Paris Apartment.jpg

    When we travel, we almost always stay at boutique bed and breakfasts. I love the intimacy and the uniqueness that these venues offer. However, sometimes we mix things up when we find great deals by utilizing apartment rentals. For example, we stayed in a gorgeous studio apartment with private balcony overlooking Montmartre for less than $200 a night—a fantastic deal in Paris. If you want to learn more, you can read our entire guide Why an apartment rental might be right for you.

    With a bit of research and flexibility, saving big bucks on your travels doesn’t have to be difficult or painful! What’s your favorite way to save money on your travels?


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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