We are still treading through this crazy quartine battle but thankfully, traveling destinations are starting to open back up. Saving money right now should be a high priority, but I believe we still need to enjoy the finer things in life. The problem is some of us are out of work, or not making as much money as we were pre-quarantine. But this should not discourage us from planning for the future. Traveling can be right at your fingertips if you learn how to save money on travel the right way.
I love traveling, but vacations can add up quickly if you don’t plan properly and do your research, it can hurt your pockets. I’ve always been a saver and a vast deal finder when it comes to travel expenses. In order to go to the places I want, I use these tips to help me save and travel more than four times a year. Here are my tips on how to save money on travel.
Should I travel or save money?
I think you should do both, create two accounts, one for travel and one for life’s emergencies. When I would use to get a paycheck, I would take out $50 per check for a travel fund. Now that I work for myself, I put aside a percentage of my earnings every month to save for travel. Being about to go on adventures his a high priority for me, I mean you only live once.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead
When planning a trip, make sure you always plan ahead to receive the best bang for your buck, depending on where you are going plan anywhere between a year to three months before your actual vacation. Also, if you watch your trip for a few months, the price may fluctuate, and you might find a better deal closer to the actual date.
Tip #2: Use Search Engines
I use serval different search engines to find affordable pricing and price comparisons. My favorite booking sites are Priceline.com, Booking.com, and Expedia.com. I love how these sites have packages, so you can get a better deal when you bundle your trip.
Quick Tip: Use a private browser when searching for your trips, if you keep checking the prices daily, the rates will go up every time if you don’t.
Tip #3: Utilize Credit Card Points
If you have Airline credit cards, this is a game-changer. I currently have the American Airlines credit card, and I receive points towards a flight with everyday purchases. Most airlines have their own credit cards, I heard Delta has great perks with their card, I might apply for it soon. Paying for food, gas, and everyday expenses while gaining points, count me in!
Tip #4: Travel in Low Season
When you are planning your trip, try to look for pricing in the low season. Some destinations are nice year-round but have less traffic at certain times of the year, and they still need to fill those hotel rooms. Find a deal during the low season can save you hundreds of dollars. Make sure you check the weather conditions though, because you may find a hotel for dirt cheap but, it could be the tsunami season. No one wants to get caught in bad weather because you wanted to save a few hundred dollars.
Tip #5: Consider which Airport you Fly in and out of
Do your research on different airports where you are flying in and out from. Sometimes cites have alternative airports that have lower fairs. For example when I went to Dallas the first time I flew into the Dallas/Fort Worth International airport. The second time I went I flew into Dallas Love Field which is a smaller airport and saved $100 bucks. Some times you can save hundreds, just look around and see if you have other options.
Tip #6: Know when to book an Airbnb vs Hotel
Should you book an Airbnb or Hotel? There are benefits for both, I personally love hotels because you have a concierge and housekeeping at your fingertips. As much as I love hotels, Airbnb’s are great when you have larger groups or looking for a fun, unique location to lay your head. In some destinations, it’s actually cheaper to rent out an Airbnb, but make sure you thoroughly read through the reviews. Just because a place looks nice doesn’t mean it’s in the safest neighborhood. I believe this is where the safety of a hotel comes into play.
Tip #7: Find flight deals on Hopper
I had to throw this tip in the bunch because the Hopper app has saved me so much money. The app has so many cool features to help you save on flights and hotels. If you have a specific budget, it will tell you when the best time is to go. Plus, if you find a great deal, it will either tell you to purchase the ticket or wait for a better deal. Also, you can freeze prices, trust me, you will thank me later for the app.
Tip #8: Book Hotels that include Breakfast
I can’t stress this option enough; when searching for hotels, make sure you filter hotels that serve FREE breakfast. Anything helps, and a no-cost breakfast will save you so much money if you are on a week vacation. All you would have to worry about is lunches, dinners, and snacks. I would bulk upon an excellent hardy breakfast and not have to eat as much throughout the day. BOOM money savings!
Tip #9: Find Free Activities
Before you go on your vacation, you should always try to have a tentative itinerary. Don’t get me wrong I love to be spontaneous and do random activities, but it could be a pain if you don’t have any direction. Look around your destination location and see what FREE actives they have. Maybe you will find a free tour or wine tasting you can check out. Also, some places have farmers’ markets, which are always fun, and you can pick up some fresh produce.
Tip #10: Create a budget and stick to it!
Take the time to create a travel budget! If you don’t have a budget, you will be throwing money all over the place. What I usually do is book my trip and pay for all of my expenses on one credit card; that way, I have all of my travel expenses in one place. Please don’t max out your credit card; set a budget a stick to it!
Happy Travels! I hope these tips help you save money on travel. Check out my top travel essentials here!