Contrary to popular belief traveling does not have to put you in the poor house. Yes, there are many expenses related to visiting fun and exotic places, but there are also ways to lower those costs considerably. The key is to know how to approach it, so you save money without lowering the quality of your travels. Here are a few tips for lowering your travel costs.

Use Alternate Airports

The common situation with most travelers is that they only consider flying to the biggest and most well-known airport in a city. Since this is the case, the fares to these airports will always be the highest in that city. You need to look at every airport in the city and even in nearby cities that may get you to where you want to go. Every city has an alternate airport, and in some cases this airport may even be closer to where you are staying in the city. So when you research a city make sure to check all of the available airports there.

Avoid Excess Baggage Fees

Airlines today have kept ticket prices from rising by placing fees on things that used to be included in the ticket price. The biggest added fee is for the luggage you bring on the plane. Many airlines only allow one checked bag and one carry-on for longer trips, so if you are planning a long trip you might find yourself paying fees that can sometimes be as much as your ticket price.

First, you need to pack smart when you travel. Do not overstock underwear or other clothing staples, bring a few pair and plan on cleaning them where you stay. Be careful about jackets and shoes that take up a lot of space. Of course if you need a large winter coat, wear it on the plane even if it is summer weather at the time. Do not pack tons of toiletries, instead buy them where you land. And finally plan to carry a smaller hand held that you can place some small items in and place under your seat.

Use Discount Travel Sites

If you are not going to discount travel sites like to book your ticket’s you are paying hundreds of dollars in unnecessary fares for your flights, hotels, and even apartment rentals. These sites are now all over the web and have apps that can alert you to your target fares for your trip. Also they offer great rewards bonuses.

Travel in the Off-Season

The difference in price between off and in-season hotel bookings can be as much as 75%. This is a tremendous savings off the same exact room. Yes it may mean the weather is not the most ideal at your destination, but if you travel close to the end or start dates of the in-season period, you can usually get the same weather at the lower price. In addition, many other amenities and activities at your destination will also be heavily discounted during off-season. This includes, ferries, shows, restaurants, and nightclubs. So you will even have greater savings during your trip.

Eat the Local Food

When you travel, your third largest expense after transportation and accommodations will be food. So use a tactic that will not only save you money but also get you better food as well. This requires that you eat local when you travel. If you eat what is foreign food to the locals, you will pay more for it and chances are they will not know how to prepare it well. The local cuisine will be much tastier and a fraction of the price of that really bad attempt at a hamburger.

These simple yet effective tips can save you enough money on your next trip so that you can either extend you trip or even take another one. The key is to carefully plan out everything in advance and then prepare to enjoy yourself, on a budget.