10 Things to Do to Save Money on Weekend Trip

Are you wondering on how to travel the world and looking for some cheap vacation ideas? Are you trying to spend the weekend with family for quality time? Forget the tips that tell you how to save a few cents on gas or earn rewards on your credit card.

There are many types of backpackers. Some have a very healthy budget and can afford to stay in a reasonable hotel but choose hostels because they like the social aspect. Occasionally you get some who’s trip is paid by their parents, some do remote work on the go and have an income. Some do volunteering sometimes for the experience, sometimes to keep the cost of travelling down or both.

And there are a few who do things literally on a shoestring either because that's what they like to do or because they have no choice. This can include CouchSurfing mostly at a strangers house. There are apps connecting travellers to locals all over the world offering a couch, even a bedroom if you're lucky.

You can find ways to live cheaply if you stay in one place. As soon as your on the move your costs go up because of the transport. So if you're continually on the move, only staying 1 or 2 nights somewhere before moving on, that's quite an expensive way of travelling.

Most backpackers are good at budgeting. It's not the same as being on holiday where you tend to spend much more in a shorter space of time. You have to make it last when your travelling long term. So if your careful and budget well and only spend money on things that you feel are truly worth it, you can stretch your travelling time out because of the money you’ve saved.

Things to Do to Save Money on Weekend Trip

If you want tips that will save you real money on your weekend getaway, this list is for you.

1. Skip In-Flight Meals

Bring a frozen lunch tote and pack your own food like organic fruits and veggies like carrots, dates, olives, spinach, a small glass bottle of olive oil, grass fed cheese, strips of precooked grass fed beef, smoked wild Alaskan salmon, almonds, seeds, etc. Airline food is deadly. That tiny bag of pretzels and nuts they hand is a dose of toxic fats, sugars and salt. Also pack a small plastic plate to eat on. Fits right into backpack.

2. Buy Flash Deals

A sense of adventure can score you big travel savings. You can find cheap vacation packages on popular booking sites like Travelocity and Kayak, or even purchase a vacation through Groupon. You can also get notified of best traveling deals on airfare when you sign up for airline email newsletters. Many of the long flight deal come at steep discounts, but you might not get your first-pick destination or travel dates. That makes this tip best for travelers who want to get away but aren't too picky about where or when.

3. Don't Carry Luggage

With prices running $25-50 per bag each way, checking luggage adds a hefty sum to the cost of your trip — and that's assuming your luggage makes it to your destination! If your luggage gets lost in transit, you'll be stuck buying new clothes and toiletries to get you through the weekend. For short weekend trips, skip the checked baggage and stick to a carry-on. Make the most of limited packing space when traveling with a carry-on with a lean packing list. Remember, there are certain things you can't bring in your carry-on bag.

4. Don't Eat Every Meal Out

Eating out doesn't seem that expensive on first glance, but if you're a couple spending $10-20 per person for every meal, you could easily lose $100 a day on dining out.

You don't have to skip meals on the town entirely — exploring local cuisines is one of the best parts of traveling to a new city, after all — but if you limit yourself to one restaurant meal per day and make your other meals with supplies from the local grocer, you'll drastically cut the cost of your weekend away. Remember to book lodging with a kitchen (or at least a microwave) so you can prep meals in your room!

5. Charge your USB-enabled devices via the hotel's TV

Did not bring an adapter or have more than one thing to charge? Not big – head to the TV of your hotel room. Most modern TVs have USB input ports on the back, which allows you to connect and charge mobile devices such as mobile phones, iPods, iPads and point-and-shoot cameras.

6. Use a currency converter app on your phone

Install a currency conversion app like XE Currency Exchange on your phone. Not only does it save time doing mental math (it's just for elementary school), but it can save you from getting scammed. Even if you don't have data on your phone, most apps will work from the conversion rates of the last sync, so you'll be at least in good condition.

Tip: If you want to trade an item, plug in what the most money you are willing to spend on the item is so that you have a stronger trading position right from the start.

7. Take a taxi from the departures area

Just arrived and noticed the taxi line is incredibly long? Change your attack plan, cross the line and head to the departure area of departures and take a taxi from there. Since all taxis are going to drop people off and they go back to town or get off to the dreaded taxi line, there's no competition – and if bargaining is the norm, you might be able to negotiate a lower fare.

Obviously, this might not work at all airports depending on the terminal, but when it does, it looks like a flight! NEVER TAKE A TAXI FROM THE AIRPORT, but the local bus towards the first hotel, and then walk a bit in the city.

8. Act as if you know the area

Several times when you jump in a taxi from the airport, the driver will ask you if you are from the area. Generally, say "yes", as this can often be a way of knowing if you will notice that they are taking the long way. If it is obvious that you are not from the area, or if you feel uncomfortable telling a bold lie, say that you frequently visit friends or have a family that lives here.

This should avoid unnecessary secondary roads that result in higher fares.

9. Pack a small First Aid Kit

Depending on where you travel, you can save a lot of time and pain by packing a small DIY first aid kit. At a minimum, throw a little aspirin and / or Tylenol, cotton swabs, regular dressings, a small tube of anti-bacterial cream, and perhaps some antacids to chew for good measure in a bad or small case. These basics can be hard to find (or hard to mimic if you don't speak the language), and having a personal Reserve will make you feel ready.

10. Stay in a Walkable Neighborhood

Whether you rent a car, ride public transit, or use cabs and ride-shares to get around, dealing with transportation in a new city is both expensive and frustrating. Rather than booking a cheap hotel room on the fringe of the city, book your lodging in a centralized, walkable area in some of the cheap travel places.

You might pay a little more for your room, but the higher cost will be offset by the money you save walking instead of paying for rides and parking. After all, according to Kayak, an average car rental (which is more convenient than relying on public transportation but cheaper than relying on cabs for every trip) costs around $47 per day, and that's money you could put toward exploring your locale.

Can't afford a downtown hotel? Book a stay near a transit line that has a direct route downtown to minimize time and money spent on travel. Just make sure you have a good map for getting around!

There are lots of ways you can save money on weekend travel. You can skip the souvenir shops, find discounts to popular attractions, or book your travel midweek for slightly lower prices. While those tips might save you a few dollars per person, following our five tips is the best way to save some major funds in your travel budget.
Kalyan Panja