1. Make a travel budget and stick to it. Decide how much you want to spend overall and how much you want to spend for each component of your trip, such as airfare, hotel accommodations, entertainment, and meals.
2. Don’t forget about those unexpected expenses. Set aside money in your travel budget to cover those costs you might not anticipate, like a perfect souvenir or a forgotten travel essential.
3. Book early and online. The earlier you book, the more you may be able to save. Going online to book your trip also lets you take advantage of Internet only travel deals.
4. Go far from the crowd. Traveling off-peak, whether it means flying during a slower time of day or day of the week, or visiting a destination during a less popular time of year, means saving money and hassle.
5. Take advantage of discounts. If you belong to AAA or AARP, you can get discounts, freebies, and other deals on just about everything related to travel. Also, check into special deals for students, seniors, and families.
6. Ask hotel staff about special deals. The staff and management at your hotel often has the inside track on economical attractions and activities in your destination, where to find cheap eats, and other deals you may not otherwise know about.
7. Look into a package deal. Booking your hotel, flight, and rental car as a package saves you time and money.