6 Tips for Planning a Budget-Friendly Weekend Break

Contributed by Henry Moore - Fitwelltraveler.com

In theory, the beauty of a mini-break is that you get to have a taste of travel without using too much time and money. In reality, they often don’t turn out that cheap. By the time you factor in weekend flights and hotel rates, transport, food, and activities, you may end up with something that doesn’t feel too far off from a regular holiday, cost-wise. Don’t fret, however, as there are ways to save on every element of your weekend trip without sacrificing fun and excitement.


Saving on Hotels

Accommodation is likely to be one of your biggest expenses for the trip. You probably already know that you can save on hotels by using a comparison website, but did you know that it can go even further than that? If you do a little digital legwork, you can find deals and some great cashback offers for websites such as Hotels.com.

Saving on Flights

The trouble with flights (as with hotels) is that they tend to cost more during weekends because that’s when most people travel. However, that isn’t to say that there aren’t savings to be had on weekend flights -- you just need to know where to look. As for hotels, you can search for vacation packages and discounts for websites like Priceline to find particularly good deals. If you’re flexible on travel dates and destination, Skyscanner is particularly useful. It’s a search tool allows you to select “any” for both criteria, showing you the cheapest option available.

Saving on Car Rental

Renting a car can be a cheap and fun alternative to taking a flight, or it can be an essential tool for getting around if your destination is not a big city. There are great weekend deals and promo codes available online for major car rental companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car, so always have a good look before booking your first quoted price.

Saving on Experiences

As you will be able to tell already, it’s always worth checking for additional deals online, even when you are already using a deals website. Case in point: Groupon is a great website to check for discounts on unique experiences in your destination city, from spa afternoons to restaurants and classes. Once you find an experience you love, you can check out the Groupon page on Coupon Cabin to find extra savings, some of which could even make the whole experience free.

Saving on Food

Finding cheap, delicious food when you are traveling can be a challenge. This is especially true in big touristic cities where every place feels like a tourist trap with inflated prices, and the pressure is even higher when you only have a couple of meals to enjoy in your destination.

Learn how to find the best places at your destination by combing through social media, and then select your favorites ahead of time. You can then save money by looking up online menus with prices for your chosen spots. This way, you know exactly what you’re going to spend and you save yourself several hours of looking for a good (and memorable) place to eat.

The secret to saving money on travel is always planning and organization. Traveling spontaneously can be fun and exciting, but it is definitely not the way to go if you are working with a small budget. By doing some savvy online research on every element of the trip, you will be able to save money that can then be better spent enjoying your destination or, even better, planning your next weekend trip.