If you’re planning to move to California, you may be scraping to save every spare penny to pay for your relocation. How are you supposed to afford an extra trip to visit your new home before you make the big move?
Budget travel begins by planning ahead. Use these helpful tips to plan an inexpensive trip to California before you move to check out the lay of the land:
- Visit in the off season. It may be difficult to take the kids out of school in the fall or spring – although you’ll be saving serious money on airfare and hotels if you don’t visit California in the summer. Outside of tourist season, you may be able to stay at a better hotel with a lower price tag.
- Book your flight at the right time. Unless you’re driving to California, it’s important to book your airfare strategically. Experts estimate that the best time to book a flight online is 45 to 60 days before departure. Booking too early may not lock in the cheapest available rates.
- Travel with flexible vacation days. If you’re traveling for the sole purpose of visiting your new city before making a major move, book a vacation with flexible travel dates in mind. If you have several weekends in a month that you can travel, you will have more options to find a cheaper flight with a better time to suit your schedule.
- Use public transportation. If you’re traveling to a major city in California, skip on the cost of a rental car and use buses and subway systems instead. You can purchase a pass for a week or a weekend that will cut down on transportation expenses significantly and allow you to view the city as a true insider.
- Make hotel reservations in person. Even though affordable hotel reservations are available online, you can often find a great deal on a nice hotel by checking rates in person. The only exception to this rule would be around a holiday or a major festival that is taking place in town, where hotels are likely to be booked solid.
If you’re truly on a budget when visiting the Golden State, plan ahead for meals and other travel expenses. Packing a lunch can cut down on the cost of fast food. When touring sights in the city, look for tours and museums that have free admission.