Rather than skipping a vacation, cut a few corners and travel a little smarter by eating and sleeping cheaper. I guarantee you will still have a great trip.
To stretch your travel budget in Europe, stay in a bed-and-breakfast. It will probably cost you less than even the cheapest hotel in town. You’ll get a friendly host who can probably tell you where to eat great food for less, and the only downside is you might be a 10 minute walk from the centre of town.
If you can’t find a convenient bed-and-breakfast, stay in a hotel with fewer stars. This will be your cheaper option in the U.S. If you check them out before you take the room, you can get a real bargain because they may actually have a lowly one or two stars only because they don’t have a restaurant, or an elevator. Some small family-run places can be as cozy and friendly as a bed-and-breakfast.
If you’re going to stay in a city for a week or more, consider a short-term apartment rental. They have small kitchens so you can shop at local stores and eat in, saving on restaurant meals. They are often no more expensive than a moderate priced hotel room. In the U.S. you can prepare meals in your room if you get a motel with a kitchenette.
Negotiate with hotels. Room rates generally follow the economy. If economies around the world are sinking, so are room rates. No matter if it’s a bed and breakfast, a cheap hotel or one with more stars, don’t accept the first price they quote you.
Ask if there are any discounts or if it will be cheaper if you stay more nights. This works especially well if you are at their door, and they are not full for the night. They want to fill that room, and they might as well entice you with a good deal.
Don’t succumb to a nightcap from the minibar. Snacks and drinks are always more expensive from the minibar. If you think you might have the midnight munchies, stop at a convenience store or a local shop and pick up a few items.
If you’re really counting your pennies, doing your laundry in the hotel sink is a great way to stretch your travel budget. Hotel laundry services can be expensive. Some motels in the U.S. have coin operated washers and driers on the premises. Who wants to spend time in a Laundromat when you could be sightseeing?
If your hotel doesn’t include breakfast in the price of the room you will probably save money venturing out to a local corner cafe rather than paying the price for the hotel breakfast buffet.
If you watch the way you eat and drink, and you’re smart about where you sleep, you can stretch your travel budget, so you don’t have to stay too close to home.