Feel like you need a break from the daily grind? Sometimes, the call for fresh air and the outdoors is so strong that there’s just no time to waste. As a rule of thumb, those who set their travel plans in advance are typically rewarded with saving a lot of money. Yet, nowadays, you’ll find many savvy, adventure seekers constantly enjoying last-minute getaways that don’t cost an arm and a leg. To see how it’s done, check out some of the following travel tips and tricks!

1. Earn extra pay while you’re away.

Did you know you can put your house, apartment, or any residence that you own to good use when you’re out of town? The extra cash that comes from being an AirBnb host can help soften the blow of any last-minute travel expenses. Guests can make a reservation to “rent” your place while you’re away. The fees you set are charged before their arrival, and after an official check-in, you’re paid within 24 hours. That’s easy money earned for your latest outdoor adventure or even for when you retire and start travelling!

2. Pack light and carry it yourself.

With a little muscle and some superstar packing skills, you can save over $50 on a round-trip flight just by saying ‘no’ to the convenience of checked baggage. Most airlines don’t charge travelers to board a plane with one carry-on and one personal item (like a purse, laptop cross body from eBags, or briefcase). This might mean to downsize your travel wardrobe by packing two pairs of jeans instead of five! A bonus carry-on trick that helps you bring more items: roll clothes and stack them in your bag instead of folding them.

3. Hunt before you eat!

Whether you’re hiking the Appalachian Trail or exploring the concrete jungle in New York City, there’s no question you’ll work up a hearty appetite! Make it a habit to hunt for coupons for at least five minutes before deciding on the next restaurant. Voucher sites and apps, like Groupon, provide endless opportunities for travelers to refuel with mega discounted food and drink offers. Fill up on sushi, enjoy half-price Taco Tuesday, explore the new Italian restaurant in town, or unwind at a local bar or winery for a steal. Quick coupon hunting is perfect for last-minute travel and you can use these digital and printable vouchers on the same day of purchase.

4. Weigh out the hostel perks versus hotel perks.

If you’re trying to travel on the cheap, booking a hostel room is probably the first thing that pops into mind. Yet, before committing to a hostel room, be sure to compare other potential expenses that’s complimentary at most hotels. Will the hostel you’re eyeing charge you for WiFi, towels, sheets, lockers, and bike rentals? Will there be complimentary breakfast or airport transportation that most hotels offer? Do you actually have a credit card that you’ll receive miles or points if you book a specific hotel brand? After learning the perks and doing the math, you might find that booking a comfortable room at the Marriott is actually just as affordable and way more convenient. 

5. Pack snacks to avoid impulse purchases.

We’ve all been there before, when our stomach starts to rumble and that tiny $6 packet of peanuts on the rack doesn’t seem like such a bad idea anymore. It’s easy to fall victim to vending machine splurges, roadside convenience store markups, and overpriced gift shop snacks at airports and hotels. Unfortunately, fives dollars here and three dollars there can quickly add up and start to actualy chip away from your travel budget. To avoid temptation, bring along your own snacks and refreshments for your trip so that it’s ready-to-go when your impulses are triggered. Be sure you have the right carry on luggage and outfits with pockets from Hudson’s Bay for easy access to snacks at the airport or on the plane.  Homemade trail mixes, fruit, and granola bars go a long way and are particularly handy for long car trips, layovers and travel delays. 

6. Don’t overlook flights with long layovers.

Purchasing tickets with longer travel times can save you a lot of mula, yet that does mean more layovers! Of course, you’d rather step off of a plane and be at your intended destination. Yet, in most cases, airline tickets offering the convenience and speed of a nonstop flight usually cost a whole lot more. But don’t fret, long layovers can come with its own perks. During a layover, see if you have time to hop on a shuttle or train to the nearest outdoor attractions to enjoy a bit of bonus sightseeing. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes for this type of day trip, like a pair of Toms, while making the most out of your getaway plans.

7. Take the scenic route.

When we think of travel we tend to think of passports and airports. Yet, instead of flying, you can energize a travel budget by taking the scenic route and driving for a spur-of-the-moment outdoor getaway.  Solo or with a couple friends, hit the road in an Enterprise Rent-A-Car for your next adventure. And save even more money by selecting just the right ride to rent. Pass on gas-guzzling trucks and specialty cars. Instead, opt for a fuel efficient vehicle, like a Nissan Altima, Ford Focus, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Aveo, or Toyota Prius.

 8. Become an early riser or night owl

As you prepare to explore outdoor pursuits off the beaten path, one of the most inexpensive ways to travel is by purchasing a one-way bus, train, or airline ticket. With a little flexibility, you can organize a pretty affordable excursion by juggling the cheapest options offered on any given day. Keep in mind that traveling early-morning or in the middle of the night tends to cost a lot less. There are also additional discounts if you’re a student, senior, in the military, or a AAA member. Remember to have something on hand, like this Gearbest travel pillow, to make sure your trip is comfortable as can be!

9. Schedule in a fresh-air workout.

During a last-minute getaway, sticking to a workout plan can be a real challenge. But, you don’t have to waste money on daily passes at a local gym (which can really add up), especially when Ace Fitness has an online library thick with total-body exercises you can complete outdoors. And, if you’re still looking for the guidance and company of others, allow their network to connect you with instructors and programs for individual or group workouts in between. 

Every little bit helps when you’re trying to save money for travel. If you haven’t already, download our Giving Assistant Button, and we’ll make it even easier for you to stay on budget for your next getaway.