This past weekend my boyfriend and I took a trip to Toronto,Canada! Being college students, we know how important budgeting is and I’ve collected a few tips for traveling on a budget this year.
First things first: PLAN accordingly!
Sure, spontaneous trips are great and all.. but certain expenses can be cheaper when booking ahead of time. For instance, we decided on Toronto because my boyfriend’s school is 4 hours away instead of 8hours from our home. I booked my train tickets on Amtrak early, therefore got the best prices! Amtrak is a train service that provides trains all across the country for a low price. Very spacious seats, no security checks,WiFi, and you can bring your own food and beverages on board!
Where to Stay
Looking for a hotel in Toronto was beyond expensive, so I decided to find an Airbnb and was BLOWN away. We found an Airbnb in the heart of Toronto for $89 a night, including service and cleaning fees! The home was located walking distance to all of the attractions and was perfect for us. Another thing to keep in mind if you are driving is parking! Parking in an unfamiliar place can be a hassle, and thankfully our host from Airbnb informed us of the app Rover! Rover is a parking app where people post parking spots for rent that is cheaper than other options! We were able to park our car in the host’s building with a security gate for 24 hours that cost us $19! The other parking lots were double the price for a few hours!
Events & Concerts
If you are like us and love concerts, sports games, and other events utilizing websites like StubHub, Ticket Master and Seat Geek are great money savers! We were able to get two tickets a few rows behind the Yankees dugout for $128 for both, including fees! This is a great price especially for how close we were sitting. After comparing the sites listed above, I saw that Seat Geek had the best price and had an additional $20 off using the code ACE!
If you do need to book hotels, airfare, rent a car, etc download the app Ebates! Ebates is also great for online shopping as you get cash back at many stores just for using the app to make your purchases! Ebates has helped me fund my travel and I’m so happy I started using it. Travel is an investment, but does not need to cost an arm and a leg! I hope these tips have helped you, happy traveling!
Keep an Eye Out for Sales
Another big money saving hack is to keep on the look-out for sales! I took my first cruise in June, and I was blown away by how inexpensive it can be when you book during sales. Royal Caribbean had a sale which was 50% off second guest and a $25 onboard credit for each guest. (Onboard credit can apply to anything drinks, meals, money to gamble at the casino, etc.) If you are looking to cruise with Royal Caribbean, definitely book during this time when they have this sale or another sale running! The great thing is if there is another sale after you book they will refund you! I also booked our excursions through them, and they had a sale and guess what? I was refunded the difference! Of course you do not have to book your excursions with them if you choose not to, but it was my first cruise and I wanted to play it safe.
Cruise Ship Tips
Another great tip for cruising is do not be intimidated to get a drink package, unless it is worth it for you! At the time, the unlimited drink package cost $59 a person, and since we were both 21 and over and staying in the same room, we both would have to have it. When we calculated how many drinks we had per day, it was not worth the money. (Also, if you get a drink package you are still paying for the days you are in port!) To me, it was simply not worth it and we bought our drinks ourselves and saved money without the drink package. However, if you are with family or a large group, a drink package will make more sense. This one may sound simple, but people often over look the little things. Bring a reusable water bottle! The water on the ship is free, however water bottles cost a lot more! Bring a reusable water bottle with you to fill up and enjoy the day instead of walking back and forth to get water from the buffet hall. Also, check with your cruise line, some of them allow you to carry on a certain amount of non-alcoholic beverages, which can again save you some money! Bring some “Just in Case” items because you never know. This was my first cruise as I said, so I was very worried about motion sickness as I can’t go on rollercoasters because of it. Luckily, I felt nothing! I was on the top deck for the sail away party watching us leave land and set sail and I didn’t even feel like I was on a ship. Cruise ships are so big it is hard to feel that you are even on the ocean. Now, coming back home for a few hours we experienced rough waters and I had a headache for a little while. We were experiencing harsh waves, rain, and heavy winds that they closed the upper decks as a precaution. I was kicking myself, because I forgot to pack my sisters motion sickness bands. Thankfully, I had Aleve and it helped my headache. Hopefully while on your vacation you don’t experience any bad weather, but we have no control over it! Onboard they do sell small things but they are very expensive. I would recommend bringing medication or items that you might need such as: pain medicine, motion sickness relief, heartburn, and or anything else specific to your needs.
I hope these tips help you on your future travel! Happy exploring!
contributed by Cay
You can follow Cay on Instagram @caystravels
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