My passion has been traveling since my early high school years. As I started traveling independently, I was often asked how I could afford to travel and do so on a low budget. It is quite easy. There are quite a lot of small things that add up to make any vacation – and yes, even your yoga vacation – affordable.
On this post, I’ve put together some great tips that help a lot when it comes to booking a budget yoga retreat, while still making sure you enjoy every second of it. Here’s how you can organize yourself an affordable yoga retreat:
Consider setting up a crowdfunding project
There are a lot of crowdfunding websites that allow you to set a page to accept donations. GoFundMe is one of the most popular and used for various projects. Go to the “other” category and set up a page you can share with your friends (or on your blog, if you run one). Whether you use the money to pay for the entire yoga vacation or just flights, for example, it’s totally up to you.
Start the research with airfare
Before you decide on a yoga retreat destination, start by pricing out various scenarios. Generally, the major factor determining the overall cost of a vacation is the airfare. A good way to figure out pricing is to judge by the amount of air traffic of the place. The more airlines flying there, the better chances to find affordable airfare. Openflights.org is a very good tool to check out connections between airports.
Travel during the off-season
There are a lot of beautiful places in the world to check out outside of the tourist season. By traveling during off-peak season, you will be saving on accommodation, flights, and activities. But you do need to be aware of where you’re heading and what you’re exploring during off-season. Cities are best explored during the off-season as you will get a chance to feel the real soul of them, without the crowds. On the other hand, if you plan to do a seasonal activity, you don’t have much choice. And you don’t want to be going to Asia or the Caribbean during the rainy period, either. The big plus of traveling during the off-season is affordability.
Planning your yoga vacation should start about 10-12 months in advance. You won’t be able to book your flight that far out – that’s limited to 11 months out, in most cases – but, once you can make a reservation, do so. You can fetch discounts of up to 55% on various packages. The downside is that most of these deals are non-refundable and cannot be changed, either.
Travel agents may sound like the best choice when you want to save money on your yoga vacation, but that’s not always the case. Yes, they may have deals you cannot find elsewhere but there are also a lot of deals which are not available for travel agents; specifically, discounts on the airline’s websites. And when it comes to accommodation, they won’t be able to find as many alternative accommodation options as you are able to find online.
Use your miles
If you managed to accrue miles from previous flights, put them to good use: either to purchase your tickets or for upgrades. Likewise, check what perks come with your credit cards and see if you can use any of them for your yoga vacation planning.
Consider low-cost carriers
There is nothing wrong with flying on a low-cost carrier, but you do need to know their quirks and how to avoid their hidden fees. However, for a short haul flight, they are a great choice, especially when you are planning a budget friendly vacation. Learn to pack light, so that you don’t have to pay for checked luggage, your wallet will thank you!
Avoid traveling for holidays and festivals
Research the time of the year you plan to travel for your yoga vacation and avoid the holidays, as well as any local festivals. Traveling during high demand periods mean the rates are going to be higher for both airfare and accommodation. Traveling in early December is very affordable, but right after mid-month, the prices spike and don’t come down until mid-January. Likewise, spring is an affordable time of the year to travel, unless you end up flying around Easter.
Use public transportation
If you decide on a yoga and writing retreat in Europe and plan to explore the surroundings, opt for public transportation and ditch the taxis. Many cities have travel cards valid for multi days, which save a lot in travel fares. For day trips, you can consider car rentals if public transportation doesn’t offer good options.
Research packages carefully
There are a lot of yoga retreat packages that include airfare, accommodation, and some activities. Do a thorough research and you may find out that it’s better to book each component on its own, usually from various sources. Sometimes, accommodation and activities packages are worth it, though.
Reach out directly to the hotel / b&b
Once you find an accommodation you like, don’t book through the site you found it on (immediately). Reach out to the hotel / b&b via email or phone and ask for their rates. Chances are you may find some better deals. And don’t be shy to ask for special rates (weekdays vs weekends) and seasonal promotions.
Choose the right room for you
Is it worth it to pay a premium for view and amenities? Sure, air conditioning and heating are a must, depending on the destination, but you can probably live without the hot tub. And since you’ll be spending your yoga retreat for couples in the Caribbean you don’t need the ocean view, either.
Stay in a vacation rental
Vacation rentals are a great alternative to hotels. You don’t have set check-in / check-out times, you can cook some meals – thus saving, even more, money by not going out to eat for each meal -, and they offer a nice feeling of staying in a home. The rates are also affordable and there’s always some room for negotiation.
Use your network(s)
What is the best way to discover hidden gems and affordable places? Ask the locals. Whether you have friends in those places or you take it to the Internet (e.g. Facebook groups), there are a ton of resources available for you to be able to find excellent places to stay and not break the budget.
Ready to discover an amazing yoga retreat destination that won’t break the bank? Browse a variety of affordable yoga retreats at BookYogaRetreats.com and book the one that suits your budget and style.