My final tip on inexpensive travel is not just useful from a financial perspective. It also makes for a much more enjoyable travel experience, too.
Simply put, travel with others. Make your trip into a group excursion and you’ll save money (and increase your enjoyment) in many different ways.
For starters, traveling together allows you to share things. You can sometimes split a car rental if you travel together, for example, reducing the cost for each of you.
My favorite money saver when traveling as a group, though, is to rent a cabin or a house instead of a hotel room. You can easily fit two or three families into a house or a cabin for the length of a vacation, reducing the cost per night for each of the families to a very low rate.
For example, when I traveled to Seattle last summer with my family, we rented a house in the outskirts with another family, sharing the cost of the home for the eight days we were out there. The cost per family sunk below a reasonable hotel room.
Even more important, it was very easy to prepare food instead of eating out. We prepared meals there, ate together there, and even prepared picnics for days out and about. Having this kitchen area saved us a tremendous amount of money.
If you’re traveling with others, you can often maximize group discounts. If you bump into “buy three, get one free” deal by yourself, it doesn’t mean much, but if you do it with a large enough group, it can mean savings for everyone involved.
Another big advantage of traveling in groups is that there are many eyes to help search for bargains. Everyone can do their own travel research in advance of the trip and share their ideas.
Often, another person will find a discount that you may have never discovered, or they may find a free activity that you never considered. The trip planning itself can turn into a social opportunity as you pass information and ideas back and forth and come together on the basics of the trip.
In the end, though, a trip with others is an amazing social opportunity above all else. It gives you a great chance to cement your friendship, both during the planning stages and during the travel itself.
Group travel is just a winner all around.
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere.