Budget travel is not just about finding ways to spend less. The point is to have just as much fun while spending less. Here are some tips to get you started, and afterward, a suggestion on how to think about travel.
Are you considering a long trip?
You may want to rent an apartment in an interesting city. We have done this a few times while traveling and have saved a lot of money. It was fun to have a "home base" for our travels, especially for the kids. There's nothing better than feeling like you are "at home" while traveling. Many cities have apartments that are furnished and available on a month-to-month basis.
In general, it is the traveling part of travel that costs the most. This is due to the cost of gas, convenient fast food, and the expensive hotels you are forced to pay for when you just can't drive any further. So if you find a place with a reasonable hotel, and a lot to do in the area - stay for a while! We find that a place becomes more interesting when you have a few days to explore it.
Because of the growing popularity of RV (recreational vehicle) boondocking, the Public Lands Interpretive Association has begun to establish areas for longer stays throughout the South West of America. Although you can still park your RV for free on most public lands and National Forest land, paying for the fee areas means you get to stay up to six months (The free stays are limited to two weeks). You'll also have pump stations, dumpsters, and water available. You can find out more at https://publiclands.org/pages/recreationmap
Budget Travel Quick Tips
The federal tax on airfare isn't due if you are taking a flight from one city in the U.S. to another in order to catch an overseas flight. Show your ticket to another country to the agent to have the tax removed.
You may be able to get a senior discount if you are 65 or older. Expedia.com has included a box to check if you are over 65.
So ask, it doesn't hurt. You can learn more about "flying Right" by visiting U.S. Department of Transportation at https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights
If you are using an internet site to search for tickets, they may not include this information, so you may have to call the airline direct.
On the Road Hotel Savings!
For more affordable hotel rooms, use the coupon books at gas stations along the highways. We've almost always found good deals using these. It's rare that a manager won't honor the coupon. Generally, only if they're absolutely full will they refuse. Read the fine print, though. They often charge more for certain dates, or for two people.
The above is a good example of how to save while traveling without sacrificing everything. The same room will often be $20 more without the coupon, and you have to stop for gas anyhow, so why not grab those coupon books? Save on a room for a few nights and you can pay for another day of vacation. Just keeping your eyes open for opportunities like this is one of the keys to budget travel.