According to the ITB World Travel Trends Report 2015/2016, more than 1.2 billion tourist arrivals were recorded globally during the period under review with most travelers staying an average of 7.3 nights at their destinations. In addition, outbound travels to North America, South America, and the Asia Pacific are expected to grow by 4 to 5% in 2017. This means travelling on a budget at a time when the tourism industry is on an upswing is likely to be a challenge. Here are five awesome budget travel tips to get you started:

Off Season Travel

The most effective way of cutting expenses is by scheduling your trip to coincide with off-season months. This will enable you to take advantage of the low prices offered by holiday destinations and online booking platforms to lure travelers. However, since off-season periods tend to vary from one holiday destination to another, you should carry out thorough background research to determine the right time to travel. The only downside is you may miss festivals or holiday experiences that coincide with peak travel seasons. Nevertheless, you will be able to explore the destination of your choice without necessarily bumping into fellow travelers at every turn.

Stay At a Hostel

Instead of staying at an expensive luxury hotel, consider downgrading to a cheaper accommodation facility such as a hostel. Doing so will enable you to meet like-minded travelers, form new relationships, and share information on attractions worth visiting. In most cases, hostels tend to be in relatively secure locations meaning you do not have to worry about security. In addition, they usually include breakfast, Wi-Fi/internet access, and bed sheet costs in the accommodation price. Some hostels even organize tours and access to selected events at a discount although this is not standard practice.

Scour the Web for Travel Deals

You can snag cheap travel deals by scouring travel, holiday booking, and price comparison sites such as kayak.com, expedia.com, travelocity.com, and tripadvisor.com. Some of these sites allow web users to customize their travel itinerary to suit their needs. Besides this, visit sites related to the destination you are eyeing because some tend to advertise travel and accommodation deals that are unavailable elsewhere. It is also worth noting that most airlines post airfare deals on their sites, which means they deserve your attention. Before confirming travel details, make sure the site you are using encrypts web-based communication and transactions to avoid losing your credit card details to cyber criminals.

Join a Hospitality Network

Hospitality networks connect travelers with locals who can let them stay in their homes without paying. This would allow you to travel on a shoestring budget, interact with your hosts, as well as explore and learn about notable attractions through the eyes of locals. Your hosts could even take you to locations and introduce you to experiences you may have missed by staying at a hotel. Nevertheless, you should only consider this approach when travelling to safe regions such as Europe. What’s more, you should comply with the travel advisories issued by your country.

Travel as a Group

Travelling as a group (with friends, family members) is desirable because you can finagle discounts from airlines, hotels, and tour companies at every step of the way. For instance, most airlines offer special airfare deals to people travelling as a group. Besides lowering travel expenses, travelling as a group enhances personal security when holidaying abroad.

Conclusion

Although the travel industry is experiencing a boom, travelling at home or abroad should not be an expensive undertaking. Strategies that you can use to cut travel costs include staying at a hostel, scouring the web for travel deals, travelling as a group, joining a hospitality network, and scheduling your travel itinerary to coincide with off-season months.