Eco Travel on a Budget

Do you want to travel this summer but have limited funds? There are many ways to cut costs while traveling so that you can thoroughly enjoy your much-deserved vacation while traveling lightly on the earth. By following some of these simple steps, you may find that you can travel more often since you’ll be keeping costs low.

Along the Highway 1- Pacifica- CA. Picture by Mira Veda

Stay Local. It’s common for people to miss the wonders near their own hometowns. You might live near a national park or historic museum but have done all your traveling out of state. Check out what there is to see in your own home state before spending money on traveling out of state.

Take the Train. If your destination is within a day’s drive, consider taking the train rather than flying or driving. Traveling on Amtrak is less expensive than flying and you’ll get the added bonus of seeing the sights along the way. It’s also a way of lessening your personal carbon footprint on the planet while on vacation.

Low-Cost Airlines. If your destination does require flying, there are many low-cost airlines that won’t drain you of every last penny. Among the leading low-cost carriers are Southwest, Spirit, and Virgin America, Spirit being the ultra low-cost airline in the United States that flies to the Caribbean and South and Central Americas as well. To get the best rates, book at least two weeks in advance of your trip and fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Bing is a great place to compare fares and get flexible fare ideas.

Alternative Lodgings. Even when receiving discounts through a travel site such as travelocity.com, orbitz.com, or expedia.com, hotels can still be the most expensive part of any trip. What would you prefer, a hotel room for $125 a night in Tuscany, or an entire house for $100 a night? You can get such deals through airbnb.com, an online resource that directs you to people offering their own homes to you for your vacation. You can also put your own up for “rent” when you’ll be out of town, earning money while you’re on vacation. Another option is staying at hostels. WebEcoist.com can direct you to some budget-friendly as well as eco-friendly hostels in places such as the Jetpak Eco Lodge in Berlin, the Deepdale Backpacker’s Hostel in England, and the Reykjavik City Hostel in Iceland, some of which are powered with 100% renewable energy.

photo by Mira Veda

Vacations are meant to be restful, not stressful, so keep these tips in mind when planning your next trip. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll be gentler to the planet while traveling and leaving all your worries at home.