Cents and Sensibility

Tips for Traveling on a Budget

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Before the holiday season starts to roll in, now is the time to research how to save money while enjoying some free time.

Check out these tips on how to vacation and travel on a budget.

1. Check out timeshares: The biggest money-saving tip for vacation and travel is to sign up for timeshare tours. Usually, you can receive free dinners and free admission to local events just for going to see real estate that the promoters are interested in selling. When planning your vacation itinerary, try to spend your first morning signing up for timeshare presentations so you can receive the free promotional items while you are in town.

2. Be your own tour guide: If you are not afraid to ride around in an unknown area, renting a car could save on money. You can spend most of the mornings sightseeing and talking to people who live there. Restaurants off the beaten path are typically cheaper than those downtown. This will also provide you with your own timeline. You will save money by not spending on tours.

3. Book connecting flights: I personally dislike leaving a comfortable flight to connect with another one, but it saves me money in the long run. Consider the pros (often cheaper than a nonstop option) and cons (traveling with kids can be a hassle) before booking.

4. Cook for yourself: Many people like to vacation without cooking. If you are staying any place besides a hotel, make cooking while on vacation exciting. Rent a car, find a local grocery store, and create a new and fun experience. It can save you hundreds of dollars depending on how long you stay.

5. Watch the currency: Many exchange centers do not have good exchange rates. Make the most of your money and stock up at your local bank or travel agency before you go.

About Dr. Karen Ratliff

Karen Ratliff

Credit: Dr. Karen Ratliff

Dr. Ratliff is a certified life coach and professional educator, assisting many people in accomplishing financial, career, and educational goals.  She is also the author of “Tightening Your Bootstraps: 104 Tips to Kick Your Debt to the Curb Now.” Keep up with her budgetary advice via Twitter @drkarenratliff  her website at, and her facebook fanpage “Financially Focused with Dr. Karen Ratliff.”