You’ve read all the tips about how the best travel deals are available during the off-peak season. What if you need or want to take your vacation right in the midst of the high season; is there any way to still save money? The answer is a definitive yes. Listed below are three ways to visit your destination at the most popular time of year and still go easy on your bank account.

Step Off the Beaten Trail

Tourists crowd together in space as well as time. Even if you can’t avoid the busiest dates, you can often find unexpected bargains by simply taking a few steps off the familiar tourist trail. Planning a trip to New York? Try staying in one of the very affordable hotels in Queens, where you can view the Manhattan skyline for half its price. If you’re headed for New Orleans, stay in a hotel by the airport and drive just 20 minutes into the picturesque heart of the city. Even in pricey Paris, hotels located half an hour away by Metro from the city center offer year-round bargain prices.

Explore Peer Sharing

Travel options have expanded with the arrival of the digital marketplace, and new platforms remove the risk from person-to-person resource-sharing. Airbnb and VRBO offer the chance to rent whole homes or apartments, while protecting renters’ rights by handling and monitoring all financial transactions through the site. These types of lodgings are invariably cheaper (and often far nicer) than hotel properties in the same area. Peer car-rental organizations like Getaround and RelayRides provide affordable transportation options, with full insurance and road service provided by the platform. If a traditional car rental is more your thing, consider bidding on a car rental through priceline, saving you up to 40 percent. 

Plan on One Restaurant Meal Each Day

Paying a premium for someone else to prepare your food is one of the fastest ways to burn through your travel budget. Budget for one restaurant meal per day, and prepare other meals yourself. If you bring along a few utensils and thermal containers from home, you can prepare simple picnic foods in your hotel room and carry your lunch along with you. If you stay in lodgings with a microwave and refrigerator, you can easily prepare nutritious breakfasts or late-night snacks and avoid the need for room service. The bonus for DIY eating is that no one ends up out of sorts from being hungry, and you have more time free for sightseeing.

Saving money during peak travel season simply requires a small amount of out-of-the-box thinking. The mainstream travel industry is set up to funnel vacationers into a few established (and premium-priced) choices, but with just a bit of preparation you can discover your own alternatives and enjoy affordable, one-of-a-kind experiences.