Whether you’re booking a flight, preparing for a city excursions or trying to find the cheapest (but most delicious) places to eat, there are so many ways you’re able to save money while travelling.
Why pay extra fees when you have the option not to? Right?
It might all sound easy when you’re thinking about booking a trip, but when it comes time to actually taking action, some of the simplest money saving tips can be easily forgotten. There are millions of money saving tips for travelling, but after 5 years on the road, here are a few of my favorites:
5 Tips to Save You Money on Your Next Trip
1. Book Using a Credit Card That Has a Rewards Program
Take some time to do a bit of research on a credit card that offers a rewards program that will allow you to travel for a fraction of the cost (or for free). Depending on where you reside, the options may be endless. For example, in the USA this year, many travellers have taken a liking to using credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard or the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. You’ll be able to save up points on every dollar spent to get your next flights or accommodation for free. Why not?
2. Grab a Weekday/Off Season Flight
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that majority of travellers are booking flights during the high seasons and on weekends. While the times are changing, working a Monday to Friday job is still one of the more popular work schedules, meaning when those workers finally reach Friday, it’s time to fly off for the holidays. Similarly, children have school, and during the popular holidays like March Break, Easter and Christmas, there are tons of families setting off to explore the world by plane. So, use a flight comparison website like Google Flights or Skyscanner and try to stretch your flexibility to +/- 3 days. You may also have an option to view the entire flight calendar for the month so you can find the cheapest prices.
3. Compare Accommodation Prices Beforehand
It’s 2017, which means you don’t have to head to the first hotel website your friend recommended to you. You can compare accommodation prices beforehand. Of course, you also have the option to compare between hotels, hostels, holiday homes, shared living spaces and even living room sofas. Let’s take Hundredrooms.com for example. Hundredrooms compares and finds the cheapest holiday rentals for you (more than 6,868,052 to be exact… that means more opportunity to save). They even compare travel fare aggregator websites like Booking.com, Airbnb, Wimdu and HomeAway. By comparing your accommodations online in advance, you’re not only able to find the best price, but you’re also able to find the best locations, the coolest spots with Wifi, free breakfast or swimming pools, and you can even search based on check-in/check-out times or customer reviews.
4. Explore the City by Bike or on Foot
It’s healthier, it’s more sustainable and it’s cheap. If the city is small enough to explore by foot, trying downloading a free app like Citymapper that let’s you explore the city on your own by foot, or join a free walking tour to learn more about the historical stories of the city. If it’s an area like Berlin or Prague, try renting a bike around the area and creating the perfect bike route which allows you to stop at all the exciting highlights around the city.
5. The More, the Merrier
This is a tried and tested tip that works every time. While you might enjoy travelling solo, it might be a good idea to pitch in with a few friends or colleagues on a rental car, holiday home and some groceries for your stay. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save when you travel with 2-3 extra people. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to go off on your own and explore solo, it just means you’ll split the costs of the main expenses during the trip.
Interested in a few more to take with you on the road? Here’s a short list of other great money saving options:
Shop at the grocery stores and cook your own meals
Plan a ‘food budget’ beforehand and make sure you stick to it
Pack just a carry-on (you might save money and energy)
Download free local apps to explore the city (instead of always paying full price for a guide)
Exchange work for travel opportunities
Spend more time in one city, rather than less time in 3
Get your hotel breakfast included
These are endless opportunities which means it shouldn’t stop here. What are your top travel hacking tips to saving a few bucks every now and again?
Travel tip shared by Jenna for Travel Dudes.