1. Travel Off Season
Nearly every destination has a peak season, and with that comes peak prices. Travel outside of this timeframe, and you'll be rewarded with deep discounts (as much as 50% off regular prices) and smaller crowds.
When to travel: Hit Mexico in the summer and Europe in the winter.
2. Plan Your Trip Around Deals
Most vacations get planned around a destination, but you may save more if plan your vacation around a travel promotion. Spend some time sifting through all of the current travel offers, then pick the one that most appeals to your interests and budget. With a bit of luck you could end up with an African safari for the price of a trip to Disney World.
3. Live Like a Local
Eat where the locals eat, shop where the locals shop and travel the way the locals travel for a cheaper, more authentic vacation experience.
And remember: the locals don't eat out at every meal. Locate a grocery store or open-air market in the city that you'll be visiting, and assemble a tasty lunch or dinner that you can eat anywhere.
4. Shop Early or LateThe best time to get a travel deal? As soon as an offer has been published and just before it expires. For an easy way to stay up to date on the biggest travel deals, sign up for an e-mail newsletter like TravelZoo's Top 20.
5. Fly into a Nearby City
Before you book your plane tickets, check to see if flying into a nearby city could net you a better deal. Prices can vary widely from one airport to the next, and bargain airfare may be worth the hassle of arranging ground transportation.
6. Seek Out Free Attractions
Big name attractions tend to come with big name price tags. Keep your entertainment costs down, by filling your days with a mix of paid and free attractions. Headed to Europe? Then, check out freeineurope.com, a website dedicated to listing free tourist attractions and activities.
7. Rent a Home or Apartment
For cozy accommodations on the cheap, look into renting a private home or apartment in your destination city. Do free accommodations sound better? Then set up a home swap before you go. Try: HomeExchange.com or homelink.org.
8. Stay at a Hostel
If you're looking for affordable lodging and you're not big on frills, consider staying at one of the thousands of hostels across the globe. They're clean, cheap and open to everyone. Use hostels.com to locate potential hostels, to read hostel reviews and to make your reservations. It's hostelling gone modern!
9. Volunteer and Save
Volunteer tourism is growing increasingly popular, and it's not hard to see why. Use responsibletravel.com or a similar website to research volunteer opportunities abroad. Then, enjoy a vacation that's low on cost and high on impact.