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A few decades ago, travelers had to find accommodation in the yellow pages, book flights at the airport, and plan their itinerary weeks, if not months in advance. Thankfully, those days are long gone with today’s sharing economy offering travelers more options- and competition denotes savings. And while many sharing economy sites have been in existence for years, their growth continues to be phenomenal. For instance, Airbnb boasted slightly over half a million listings two years ago, and now it has over a million. Vacationers can, therefore, put the sharing economy to work for just about anything- from where you sleep to meals, guided tours, transportation etc. Some of the most popular sites include Airbnb, EatWith, BlaBlaCar, and Guided by a Local.
2. Try Budget Airlines
While gas prices may be at their cheapest in years, this does not translate to regular airlines lowering their fares. If anything, they are trying to squeeze in more seats in order to make more money. Thankfully, there are a host of budget airlines such as Air Asia, Wow, and Norwegian Air that fly cheaply from Asia and Europe to the U.S. They do the same thing as regular airlines, flying you between continents, but with no frills and at lower costs. For example, Norwegian Air operates flights from both American coasts to mainland Europe for as little as $150 for a one-way flight. Once there, holiday makers can then find their way to Asia for only $200 one-way. Even more interesting is that Air Asia operates $20 one-way flights around the region and if you need to visit Australia from Asia, a one-way ticket will only set you back $150.
3. Visit Cheaper Destinations
This is really a no-brainer. A weekend stay at a five-star hotel in Paris will definitely cost more than the same trip, to say, Prague. Take advantage of destinations whose economies are underperforming or those that have great exchange rates. Currently, some destinations that may be of interest to travelers include Greece (bad economy), India, Australia, Russia, and Japan (all of which have seen their currencies fall in comparison to the dollar thus making them way more affordable. Admittedly, while the prices in these destinations have not fallen, they have become cheaper owing to the drop in currencies.
4. Book Cheap Tours And Cruises
While it may seem risky, it is advisable to book tours and cruises at the very last minute when tour companies are likely to be desperate in an attempt to fill unsold spots. By waiting until a few weeks to your vacation date or date of travel, you are likely to get upwards of 50% off the price list. With beach vacations, you can also find great deals if you take out a beach vacation guide well in advance of your holiday when companies sell the cheapest accommodation. Also, try using the last minute specials of your preferred tour company if you wish to go for a tour or Cruise Sheet in case of cruises.
5. Visit The Nation’s Time Machine With Your Children
Colonial Yorktown, Jamestown, and Williamsburg are absorbing discount travel destinations all year-round, as historic interpreters in period costumes help modern families appreciate what life was like before the advent of indoor plumbing, computers, or TVs. For instance, in eighteenth-century Williamsburg, you and your family should find the largest outdoor living history museum where the kids can make bricks in the summer, help weed the gardens in spring, or attend a winter slave couple’s wedding. And if you visit in the summer, you can also go to Water Country USA and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Families can book a five-day/four-night stay including unlimited admission and accommodations for as little as $700 or less. However, if you schedule your visit in the winter, you are unlikely to have roller coasters but will enjoy fewer crowds and can join holiday celebrations.
6. Mexican Beaches
For beach vacations, all inclusive resorts are always a favorite for many travelers because holiday makers can do what they please, when they want, and there are always numerous organized activities for the kids as well as opportunities for them to make friends as well. Usually, beach vacation guides advertise bargain rates throughout the Caribbean just after Easter all the way to Thanksgiving and then again from mid-December and beyond. Mexican trips can really be a bargain and should provide your children with the ideal opportunity to practice their Spanish and experience a different culture.
For instance, at Allegro Resorts, children can stay and live free of charge up until the 20th of December and then again during the summer months. All inclusive rates for a family of four start at slightly under $160 per night, including meals, kids’ activities, sports, liquor etc. Further, Akumal’s Club Caribe- arguably one of the most popular resorts and which lies south of Cancun but smack in the middle of the Yucatan coast- is replete with prime diving, snorkeling, and plenty of Maya ruins to explore. Here, rates start at under $150 per day, inclusive of parents’ meals. Lastly, Costa Azul (an hour’s drive north of Puerto Vallarta in San Francisco, Mexico) is a soft-adventure resort that is ideal for both pre-teens and teenagers as they can among others, learn how to surf, kayak to hidden coves, trek through jungles, and swim through caves. Room rates for a family of four start at slightly under $100.