Top 10 Ways to save money while travelling you must follow
Save Money While Traveling, save money on travel, ways to save money, with this blog you’ll quickly learn how to be a maga money saver!
Vacations have a way of making money disappear—and I’m not just talking about the large sums spent on airfare or lodging costs. Smaller expenses—breakfasts out, daily cafe visits, souvenir shopping, and the like—can add up. Fast. It can be hard to strike the right balance between treating yourself and reining it in while travelling; vacations are meant to be enjoyed, but not so extreme that your bank account is in shambles afterwards.
Knowing this, I spoke with some travel experts—in this case, people who travel a lot—to learn about the little, creative, and sometimes-fun steps they take to save money while on vacation.
- Go offseason. You can usually find cheaper plane tickets and hotel rooms by going offseason, and there may be more availability. You will not have to deal with large crowds and attractions could also be cheaper at that time. Just make sure places are open.
- Have a big lunch. Restaurants often offer lunch specials at less expensive prices. You could also buy extra food at lunch and save it for dinner later.
- Don’t eat in areas that are close to tourist destinations. In some cities, walking just a few blocks can slash prices at restaurants. I try to never eat at attractions because they tend to raise the price to their captive audience.
- Create a budget and stick to it! Know when to save and when to splurge. We always eat at a nice restaurant on our last night of vacation. Look for ways to save money but also treat yourself during the trip. Having a budget is a wonderful way to keep yourself on track.
- Use the Free Days, Such a simple tip I know but simple is always good. Visit museums or tourist sites on free days or when they are discounted. Before you go anywhere, make sure you look on their website to find out if they offer free visiting hours or discounts.
- Talk to the Locals, This is how we travel. We love getting insider tips from locals. It can go a long way to good advice, friendship and even a discount. A good ice-breaker is to ask for directions or simple advice (“where’s a good restaurant?”).
- Spend More Time in Fewer Places, We LOVE slow travel. Instead of racing from one end of a country to another, or tearing through 6 countries in 6 weeks, get to know a region well. Undertaking too many flights, bus trips, train journeys and driving long distances can really eat into your budget. So slow down, take more in, and discover all the cool free stuff. (It’s also one of our travel manifesto must.)
- TRAVEL WITH HAND LUGGAGE ONLY, It may be a bit of a squeeze, but in the end, everything you truly need (for short trips) fits in a carry-on bag or suitcase. Pack a simple cotton bag in your carry-on so you can take only the minimum on day trips By using Packing cubes, you save space as well.
- SHARE WITH OTHER TRAVELLERS, There are usually a few sights everyone wants to visit in a country. Try to form a group to go sightseeing, or ask to join a group, especially when travelling alone. This way you’ll get a better price for a tour. Do you have some helpful tips on how to save money before or during your trip? Let us know!
- Stay somewhere with a washer/dryer, so you can pack super light and wash your clothes while you’re there. “To save on checked luggage costs, we try to stay at Airbnbs or hotels with laundry facilities. We’ve been able to cut our packing in half thanks to this tip.” —Lori LeRoy, 45, a travel blogger who takes at least six trips a year
Additional tips that could even save you more than expected. The bonus sections.
- Pack light so you can avoid checking bags. “I use carry-on luggage so I don’t have to pay to check my bags. If I’m tight on space, I use a backpack as my personal item and put clothes and valuables in it. Not only does this carry-on-only trick save money, but it also eliminates the risk of losing luggage.”
- Don’t “wait to buy it there.” “I always try to avoid the oh-I-will-just-buy-it-when-I-get-there stuff, like toiletries and sunscreens. These things are usually less expensive than they are at your destination, so bring them with you.”
- When shopping: Don’t buy a souvenir the moment you see it. “I buy my souvenirs last after I’ve scoped out all the shops and their prices. Throughout my trip, I take a mental note of how much items are, and I revisit the least expensive stores at the end. A lot of people buy something the moment they see it, but that’s a sure-fire way to get ripped off. The only exception to this rule is: If you want something that’s rare or limited, snag it when you see it because it might be gone by the time you circle back.”
- When eating and drinking: Score a cheap airline lounge pass online and cash in on the free snacks. “If I don’t have a VIP lounge club membership or credit card that offers me lounge access, I buy a pass on eBay—sometimes I can find them for as little as $1. These passes come in handy when I have a long layover and need something to eat or drink; whereas airport snacks and drinks are usually overpriced, snacks and drinks at the lounge are usually free.”
- Bring some food and drinks with you—for both the plane and the trip itself. “I bring snacks with me so I have something to eat on the plane (that I didn’t have to spend money on at the airport). I also bring crackers and almond butter packets with me so I can eat breakfast at my hotel, rather than buying it every day while I’m travelling
- Join a Frequent Flyer Program, Earn points towards cheaper fares, upgrades, and free companion tickets. It may take a while to accumulate points, but they CAN pay off big time. I once used my points to fly round trip from the United States to South Africa.
- Use Your Age, Ask about student discounts at STA Travel. (if only to be young again!)
- Stay More Than 1 Night, Many hotels, hostels and certainly apartments provide their best deals when you stay over more than one night. A few sites we like to search on include: com – is our first choice for accommodation. They have over 800,000 properties worldwide including hotels, apartments and hostels. You get free cancellation on most rooms and the best price guarantee.
- Call the Hotel Directly, A last-minute phone call directly to a hotel, or hostel, asking about cheap rooms can prove fruitful. They don’t like having empty rooms so will discount.
- Stay over Sunday, Many hotels receive Friday-Saturday night bookings from leisure travellers and Monday-Friday bookings from business travellers, so there can be a void on Sunday nights and again they may discount.
- Start with simple wins, So, this might sound pretty obvious, but the simplest money-saving tips are the best — and they often start way before you arrive at your destination. Once you’ve got a vacation in mind, start finding ways to save during your daily routine. It can be as little as cutting out the daily Starbucks or weekly take-out. Keep an amount in mind that you want to save. This will make walking past an enticing bakery just that little bit easier — especially if you’re saving for a food tasting tour in Paris.
- Pay with points, You’re smart enough to know money doesn’t grow on trees, but earning credit card points and miles may have you thinking otherwise.
Figure out how much money you regularly spend, and consider making those purchases on a travel card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, so that you have the potential to be rewarded with points and miles every time you swipe. You can redeem these rewards for airfare, hotels and other qualifying expense.
- Timing is everything, It’s typically easier to find cheap flights when your travel schedule is flexible. Often, you’ll find the best deals when you travel in the middle of the week or take a red-eye flight overnight. If you’re prepared to face less-than-idyllic weather, you could save even more money on airfare and hotels by travelling during off-peak seasons.
“The most important thing is to be flexible on timing,”
“The tighter your time frame, the less chance you’re going to get a cheap fare.”
- Enjoy a near beer, Drink a locally brewed beer and not only will you probably enjoy a high-quality ale, but your drink can be low-carbon by cutting down on ‘beer mileage.’ This applies to eat local produce too. Let your taste buds be adventurous – it’s carbon-friendly!
- Be at home in a hotel, A great tip is to remember to act in a hotel like you would at home – avoid getting clean towels when not necessary, don’t have long showers and remember to turn off TV, lights and aircon when you leave the room.
- Choose a carbon-offset adventure, Not all carbon emissions can be avoided whilst travelling. Intrepid Travel has a range of adventures that it has calculated the carbon emissions for, reduced wherever possible and offset what remains. The emissions from transport, accommodation, activities and waste have been accounted for and the cost of offsetting is included in the cost of the trip.
- Avoid bottled water, Plastic bottles account for a lot of waste. Intrepid Travel has worked with hotels in Asia to install water filters that travellers can use to fill re-usable bottles with safe water.
- Stick to the path, When hiking, always stay on marked trails and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Going off the beaten path could mean you trample on protected or endangered plants.
- Power in numbers, Smaller groups tend to have less of an environmental impact, so travel with a small group tour operator that’s environmentally responsible. Before you book, ask what size the group will be. While you’ve got their attention, why not also ask how the operator gives back to the community you’ll be visiting.
- Look for Destinations With Favorable Exchange Rates, If you’re eyeing a trip abroad, your first move is to look for destinations with favourable exchange rates – that is, where local currencies are weak relative to the U.S. dollar. Look for countries experiencing momentary political or economic instability, a condition that often puts downward pressure on currency values.
Here are a few more FREE BONUS TIPS
One caveat: Don’t rush to take advantage of favourable exchange rates if it means putting yourself in harm’s way. More often than not, currency devaluation is a symptom of deeper problems. Since 2013, the Mexican peso has fallen more than 25% against the U.S. dollar in recent years due in part to widespread cartel violence, according to XE Currency. That’s an enticing proposition for bargain-hunting travellers – as long as they steer well clear of hot spots.
Took advantage of a slightly less dramatic discrepancy: We visited Porto and Lisbon, Portugal in the fall of 2016, when the euro was near a multiyear low against the dollar. Our out-of-pocket costs were about 30% lower than on my previous trip to Europe eight years earlier.
Sign Up for a Cheap Flight Newsletter, If you’re not set on a specific destination, sign up for a cheap flight newsletter that curates deeply discounted flight deals to various destinations.
My go-to is Scott’s Cheap Flights, a free newsletter that comes every day or two, on average. Each deal indicates what you can expect to pay for the cheap flight against the normal fare range, plus a brief description of what you need to do to get the deal (sometimes the instructions are a little convoluted), the deal’s expected lifespan (usually no more than a couple days from the email’s timestamp), and the travel date ranges during which it’s likely to apply (usually a span of several months into the future).
Scott’s absolute best deals are reserved for the newsletter’s premium version, which costs $39 per year and comes about twice as often. I don’t travel internationally enough to justify the investment, but if you head abroad for business or pleasure more than once or twice a year, it might be worth your while.
Set Price Alerts, This one’s easy: Set email price alerts for every completed online hotel or flight search. I do this at the outset whenever I begin planning a new trip, utilizing aggregator sites like Hotels.com or Kayak.
To avoid inbox overload every time a fare or nightly rate drops slightly, set your alert thresholds low – in other words, 20% instead of 5%. And remember to remove them as soon as you book.
Research and Book in Incognito Mode
When you surf the web in incognito mode (or your browser’s equivalent), your browser doesn’t collect cookies – the bits of data that identify you to the websites you visit. Without the ability to track your movements around the web, travel sites have a harder time guessing your intentions, and can’t raise prices accordingly when it’s clear you’re targeting a particular hotel, itinerary, or date.
Another option: using a virtual private network (VPN) to conceal your geographical location and encrypt the data you send. Like incognito mode, VPNs make it more difficult for travel vendors to follow your movements around the travel sphere.
Pro Tip: Trying to conceal your identity during the research and booking process isn’t foolproof. Travel sites use a suite of sophisticated tools to track prospects as they move closer to booking, and there’s no guarantee that incognito mode or a VPN will be enough to keep you anonymous. For best results, combine this tactic with the other research-phase tips on this list.
Negotiate Room Rates Directly With the Hotel or Hostel
Most travellers don’t realize it, but hotels, airlines, and rental car companies pay dearly for business brokered by online booking sites and travel aggregators. Their commissions can be as high as 15%, meaning they keep just 85% of your after-tax payment.
That’s why more and more hotels implore customers to book directly – and why there’s an opening for hard-nosed negotiators willing to escalate their concerns to on-site management.
Rather than accept online prices at face value, use them as a starting point when booking hotel and hostel rooms. Once you have quoted prices in hand, call the location directly and request a price reduction. This tactic works with car rental companies as well. Airlines tend to be more bureaucratic, so you might not have as much luck negotiating directly with booking agents.
Use a Cash Back Website When You Book
Booking aggregator commissions are important to understand for another reason: They open the door for impressive point-of-sale or cashback savings on your bookings.
The secret lies in cashback websites or browser plugins that partner with booking sites and aggregators. These tools collect a portion of the booking commission – again, up to 15% in some cases. The pocket part of that portion and funnel the rest back to users as cashback or instant refunds. It’s not unreasonable to expect 5% to 7% back on the deal.
My personal two favorite are Ebates and Giving Assistant, but plenty of others come highly recommended. Just make sure your chosen solution is compatible with your browser and doesn’t adversely affect browsing speed or performance. Oh, and don’t forget to turn it on before you start searching. You’ll also need to make sure you use the regular browser (not incognito) to enable cookies for track purposes.
Use a Rewards Credit Card When You Book
If your credit score is sufficient to qualify, apply for a travel rewards credit card and use it when you book. General-purpose travel rewards cards reliably return 2% or more on spending, while branded travel rewards cards, such as Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express dramatically accelerate loyalty club members’ progress toward valuable freebies (e.g., free flights and nights).
It’s worth noting that many travel rewards and cashback credit cards have their own cashback portals, where direct purchases earn points at accelerated rates relative to everyday spending. Barclaycard, Chase (Ultimate Rewards), and Discover (Discover Deals) all operate online shopping platforms for loyal customers.
When you use your credit card to make purchases on these platforms, you can dramatically boost your overall earnings: anywhere from 1% to 10%, and sometimes more, over your baseline cashback or point-accrual rate. In some cases, redeemed points go further as well: Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve Card are worth 25% and 50% more, respectively when redeemed for travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Plus, most premium travel rewards credit cards offer attractive sign-up bonuses for new customers. Some are impressive: the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, a small business credit card designed for frequent business travellers, delivers 80,000 bonus points when you spend at least $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months. That’s worth up to $1,000 when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards marketplace. Depending on your destination and itinerary, that could be more than enough to cover the cost of your next trip – or at least go a long way.
Happy travel and be safe!