Regardless of the time of year, planning a trip is probably making you doubt whether you can afford a vacation at all. Even a few days off from work will do wonders for your mental health and stress levels, so don’t let airfare get in the way of a much-needed vacation. Think outside the box and start planning your trip now. To find discount fares, try expedia flights and other similar sites.
Visit Friends and Family: If you have friends or family that live in other states or countries, ask if you can stay with them. You will save hundreds on not having to pay for housing, which will help you afford a hefty roundtrip flight. Another benefit of staying with a local is that they can give you a real tour of their city. You can meet their friends, hit up their favorite bars and restaurants. If your host works a 9-5 job, take advantage of your free time by doing touristy activities and save local spots for when your friend is off work.
Buy a EuroRail Pass: Europe can be expensive, especially when you consider the exchange rate, but investing in a Euro Rail pass offers a great value for your money. There are different packages depending on where you want to go and how much you are willing to spend. Pick a travel buddy and stay at affordable hostels and eat cheaply. Travel has a lot of do with good company, so if you are enjoying your trip it won’t matter too much that you are not dining at a 5-star restaurant.
Consider a Staycation: Sure, staycations aren’t nearly as exciting as foreign jaunts across the globe, but don’t knock this option off your list just yet. If you live in or close to a major city like New York, LA or Miami, taking a few days off work will give you a perfect opportunity to visit museums and explore the outdoor parks that you never have the time for. For a trip to the beach, plan a weekend trip with a few friends and drive or take a bus to the nearest beach. The change in scenery is enough to boost your morale.
Plan a Road Trip: There are so many beautiful and interesting places to visit in your own backyard. I remember that I made a point to visit cities all over England when I was living in London. When you are living somewhere, it’s easy to want to travel somewhere far away, but all of the cities I explored while in England were lively and memorable. Pick a few friends and map out a route. Make stops in cities and towns where you have friends and can stay for free.
Couch Surf: Don’t underestimate the power of CouchSurfing. Sure, it can seem slightly creepy at first, but as long as you spend some time filtering through profiles and reading reviews, your chances of finding someone normal and actually fun will raise dramatically. Many of the people in the network love to travel just as much as you and this is one way of meeting a local in a foreign city. If nothing else, maybe you make a new friend.
Image via breahn‘s flickr stream