Now that it’s almost spring and the weather is getting warmer, it’s the perfect time to travel. Don’t worry though, going on your next vacation doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. There are ways to travel on a budget and still have a great time. That’s why we’re sharing the tips to make your dream vacation happen without emptying your bank account.

Do a lot of research on your travel destination

  • Google the places you’re interested in going to and find which sounds the best and most affordable.
  • Check out AAA for information on destinations and accommodations.
  • When you choose a location, buy a used guidebook – it might have some good tips in it!
  • Join as many loyalty programs as possible to get discounts on hotels and accommodations.
  • Ask friends who have traveled to the same location for their thoughts.

Find ways to save on your accommodations

  • Check with your credit card company to see if you have rewards or discounts on hotels.
  • If you are traveling to a well-known city, stay outside the city limits. It’ll be cheaper, and you’ll get a more culture-rich experience.
  • If you are traveling with more than one person, consider splitting the cost of a two-room suite rather than two separate hotel rooms.
  • Book hotels at the last minute.

Save money eating delicious food

  • Look for hotels that include free breakfast. Even if it just a bagel and some fruit, it is one less meal that you have to pay for during the day and you can even snag stuff to-go (shhh!).
  • Look accommodations with kitchens. This way you can save money by cooking some of your own meals, but still experience the cuisine by using local products.
  • Pack some of your favorite on-the-go snacks that travel easily. This way you won’t splurge on something expensive because you’re starving.
  • If there’s a to-die-for, but pricey restaurant, go for lunch rather than dinner. You will get a lot of the same service, but the food will be cheaper.

Find the best deals on events and must-see sites

  • Connect with locals who are happy to show you around for free instead of booking expensive tour guides.
  • Once you get to your destination, go to the welcome or tourist centers to gather more information, and maybe discounts, on events and sightseeing.
  • Look for free events and activities in town.
  • Find out if there are discount days for local museums and sites.

Consider your transportation options

  • If you’re road-tripping, split the cost of gas and tolls with everyone going on the trip.
  • Use public transportation instead of pricey taxis.
  • Use ride-sharing websites, or message boards like Gumtree to find rides with locals and other travelers
  • Walk instead of paying for transportation. Not only will you get more exercise, but you can see a lot more locations and save money!

When done right, traveling does not have to cost a lot. With a little extra preparation and some deal hunting, you can get away without breaking the bank. So, start planning your next vacation asap, use these tips to save money, and get some of that R and R that you deserve!