Traveling and hotels are pricier than ever as consumers unleash pent-up demand after years of shelving vacation plans during the pandemic, according to experts. But while the cost of flying, hotel rooms and even food are going up, there are still ways for price-conscious travelers to satiate their wanderlust without blowing their budgets.
Start by examining your budget and what your purpose of travel is, such as business or leisure, and choose accommodations that match your needs. For example, if you’re on a business trip and need to be in the office by 9 a.m. each morning, you might want to consider hotels with early check in options or free breakfasts. You can also look for amenities such as flat screen TVs, work desks and free Wi-Fi.
If you’re on a family vacation, make sure the hotel is kid-friendly. Look for amenities like cribs, hypoallergenic bedding and play areas. You can also read reviews from past guests to find out if the hotel has everything you need for a great vacation.
Look for deals during the off season, which are periods when fewer people travel for business or pleasure. However, that can mean the weather is less desirable and it may be harder to find a room.
Sign up for airline and hotel loyalty programs, and keep an eye on their emails. They often send special offers during the off season when they’re trying to fill vacancies.
Another option is to book a stay at an Airbnb or vacation rental, which can offer a home-like feel for your trip. This is particularly popular for families and groups of friends. It’s important to carefully research a listing, and to read the fine print for extra fees such as cleaning or resort fees.
When it comes to dining out, look for restaurants with local ingredients or serve traditional dishes that are rooted in the region’s culture. That’s not only a great way to experience the culture, but it can also be healthier for you as well. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and local breads is a great way to keep healthy while traveling. And it can be easier to do while on vacation, as you’re able to shop for fresh ingredients and cook meals in your hotel suite or dine in restaurants with chefs who prepare local cuisine.