Everybody loves to travel and experience new settings, but it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to break up your daily routine. Most travelers feel pressure to plan the perfect vacation, which usually means booking the most extravagant hotels and eating at the finest restaurants. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you must blow your budget to have an amazing trip. There are plenty of ways to spend less while traveling and execute a memorable vacation. Sure, it’s perfectly acceptable to splurge here and there but there’s no reason to be excessive on every purchase. If you’re having anxiety about keeping expenses down, here are 7 ways to spend less while traveling.

Be Flexible

If possible, try to travel during off-peak times of year to cut costs on flights and lodging. If you have flexibility as to when you can take your vacation, do some research to determine when the most affordable time to travel is. As a bonus, you’ll beat the crowds and be able to better enjoy your destination.

Book Affordable Accommodations

If you’re vacationing the right way, you shouldn’t be spending too much time in your room anyway. With that in mind, there’s no sense in booking a room with the best view or the most space. Take some time to seriously think about your needs, and then make a decision. Don’t get caught up in the fantasy of having the most grandiose experience. Your wallet will appreciate you making a more logical choice. Don’t forget, hotels and resorts aren’t your only options. Airbnb is a great alternative since you can explore their network of home rentals, which are very reasonably priced. Plus, you typically have access to a kitchen so you can cut costs on meals by cooking some of your own. Still not sure you’re getting the best deal on lodging? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Finding Inexpensive Accommodation.

Eat Economically

We all love quality cuisine but there’s no need for every meal to be a 5-star dining experience. Try to seek out deals and discounts whenever you can. You’ll find most restaurants offer very attractive lunch specials so take advantage when you can. Breakfast is also a great meal that you can swing without going overboard. If you have a fridge and or microwave in the kitchen, you can pull off a delicious meal without going over budget. If you cut costs on breakfast and lunch, you’ll be able to splurge on a fancy dinner. You can also save money by packing your snacks and water. There’s no need to pay for over-priced goodies at tourist traps. As a bonus tip, make sure you do your research before you head to a restaurant so you know if the menu has some economical options. There’s nothing worse than sitting down at a restaurant you can’t afford. Avoid the awkward exchange and review the menu in advance!

Take Advantage of Free Activities

You’d be surprised how many destinations offer completely free events and activities. Make sure to check out the official tourism website of your location to learn more about any free attractions. If you’re staying at a hotel, check with the concierge to see if they can offer their expert opinion about any free happenings in the community. Make sure to ask about a city tourism card, inclusive of all types of discounts and savings.

Park Smart

If you’re trying to spend less while traveling, every expense makes a difference so make sure to reserve your airport parking ahead of time online through Park ‘N Fly. If you enroll in the loyalty program, you’ll earn rewards for free parking that you can use towards your next vacation.

Limit Shopping

There’s nothing wrong with getting a keepsake from your trip but try to limit your shopping, especially at pricey souvenir shops. There is plenty of creative (and free) ways to remember your trip, such as taking lots of photos or saving brochures. We all love our retail therapy but there are way more affordable ways to unwind on vacation.

Don’t Stress

It’s important to stick to your budget but there’s no need to panic if you slip up. Traveling is meant to relax and rejuvenate, so try not to stress if you have a few extravagant moments. You work hard and deserve to treat yourself!

When traveling, we all tend to indulge in the finer things but don’t forget to set some boundaries. It’s totally fine to break your usual rules but you don’t want to be too stressed out post-vacation. So long as you remember these simple tips, you should be able to spend less and enjoy more!