3 cheap travel tips — no credit cards involved

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Travel hacking
 usually involves earning “reward points” using credit cards, which you then use to pay for travel. But because of my history of overspending with credit cards, I’m not a big fan of the practice.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I do use credit cards. Just not to the extent that I can travel for free. Instead, I’m content to add money to my travel savings fund each month and then use it wisely, choosing frugal travel options to get the most bang for my buck.

For example, I recently took a seven-day road trip from San Diego to Portland, Oregon, for less than $700 (not including flights from Kansas — where I live — to get there). This is less than $100 a day for the rental car, gas, parking, food, accommodations, and entertainment.

Here are a few cheap travel tips that helped me pull off the trip:

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

1. Split expenses with a companion

3 cheap travel tips — no credit cards involved

On this trip, I could split expenses two ways because I traveled with my best friend. We each paid for half of the rental car, gas, parking, and accommodations. We paid for our own food and entertainment costs.

If you can travel with more than two people, it will make your trip even less costly. That said, too large a group could work against you, starting with a bigger, more expensive rental car and accommodations. But with just my friend and me splitting, my share of the rental car, gas, and parking was $367.42.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

2. Consider alternative accommodations

3 cheap travel tips — no credit cards involved

Hotels and other overnight accommodations are one of the most expensive parts of traveling. However, with a couple of tricks, we were able to significantly cut down on the cost of our accommodations, spending only $181.32 each for six nights.

We mostly stayed in hotels on this trip. We used a “friends and family” discount code we had from another close friend. This helped us save about 50 percent on the cost of a hotel room each night.

We also stayed at an Airbnb one night, costing us only $17.50 each due to a discount code I received for referring friends to Airbnb.

My total even includes one night when we were in a remote location, forcing us to stay in a hotel that was quite expensive, since we were unable to find one that was eligible for the “friends and family” discount.

Airbnb, VRBO, and Booking.com can easily help you cut your costs for accommodations if you don’t have a friend and family discount as we did. Since Airbnb hosts are largely people who let you rent out an extra room in their home, it’s easy to find an incredibly inexpensive place to stay if you’re tight on cash and just passing through town for a night.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Cheap travel tips: Final thoughts

3 cheap travel tips — no credit cards involved

Luckily, almost all our entertainment was free. We enjoyed walking around, exploring neighborhoods, window-shopping, and hanging out on the beaches and piers. We spent money on entertainment only one time for something we both really wanted to do — a tour of Alcatraz, which cost us $44.25 each.

At the end of the trip, I had spent $700.49 total. That’s not bad for seven days full of fun, sightseeing, and new experiences. I’m proud that I did it without travel hacking or going into debt. Now I can’t wait to plan my next frugal travel adventure!

This article originally appeared on CentSai.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: MStudioImages.

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