Traveling isn’t just fun, it’s almost essential to leading a healthy life. Sometimes, you just need to request that time off and put that out of office to good use. Unfortunately, it does come at a cost – with airline costs and fees, hotels, transportation and food/drinks, those costs rocket and break the budget.
Here are 10 simple tips that can help you save when on a budget (and even if you’re not on one):
Always on the hunt for a cheap flight? The Flight Deal is a great site that posts some unbelievable local and international flight deals from time to time. The deal is sometimes only available for a certain range of time or days in a month but if your dates are flexible, then snatch that deal up quick because these prices go fast. For an easier way to keep track, follow them on Facebook and pin their post so that every time they post a deal, its the first item on your newsfeed. You’ll never miss a good flight.
The Flight Deal’s twin brother, Secret Flying also find hard to miss deals on trips around the world. Sign up for their emails and they’ll send you deals curated specifically for you and the kind of trips you or your family take. It will also display fares that are posted in error by airlines so snap them up quick before the airlines fix them.
The amount of times I’ve used this app is just embarrassing. If you’re like and booked a last minute trip, try this app to get discounted hotel deals for a check in date that is within 6 days. The app works with hotels closely to get rooms at cheaper rate than usual – how exactly do they do this? Most of the times hotels spare at least 1-2 rooms hoping that they are able to get someone to book it. HT displays rooms and hotels ranging from simple to contemporary to what they like to call “high roller” – a little something for everyone. If you’re a new user, you can also get $25 off your first booking!
If you want a cheaper alternative to a hotel, Airbnb has become increasingly popular. Problem with that? Prices for that are now almost as close to hotel rooms. But if you’re still looking for a cheaper alternative and are all about living like a local, then try CouchSurfing. It’s a great way to meet friendly locals and save tons of money at the same time.
If your travel destination is somewhere in the US, use Groupon to find local deals in the area you’re visiting – its pretty simple, just enter the location you’re searching and you can find a wide range of “Things to Do” from outdoor activities to shows and nightlife. It’s a great to see what the locals in the area like to do and if you’re in a tourist town, the deals are geared towards popular attractions in the area and are reasonably priced by individual or group. You can even get deals for restaurants in the area or special happy hours and wine tastings – the discount might be small but it all adds up. Most of the time, they also feature promo codes on their site for local deals. Try it and tell us if it worked for you!
6. 54 Days
According to a study done by CheapAir, if you’ve got some time before your next trip the best time to book a flight is 54 days in advance. That’s about seven and a half weeks. Fares start to drop about 3 and a half months before a travel date and come to an all time low 54 days out. That doesn’t mean that you won’t get a great deal 40 days out, but you might save a couple more bucks booking even earlier. For international flights, you should plan to book even earlier. Magic number is 54.
7. Weekday Vacations
You may already know this but if you have a good amount of PTO left, then try starting and ending your vacation on a weekday. Flights and hotels are much cheaper on Tuesdays through Thursdays so you are more likely to save some money. Try searching a trip from Thursday to Wednesday or Tuesday to Tuesday instead of on the weekends. Another pro is that you are more likely to get less crowded tourist spots during this time too. That’s pretty much a win-win.
8. Multiple Airports
If your destination happens to have multiple airports in the area, fly to the one that has cheapest fares and take a bus or train to your final destination. Many times, if an airport is known to be in a tourist or busy are, the fares tend to be much higher than one that is further tucked away in a city. May take you a little longer than you’d like to get where you want but you’ll get there with some extra change in your pocket.
Looking for a simple staycation near you? Try the “Nearby Escapes” section of Living Social. They have great deals on weekend trips, Bread & Breakfasts, hotels and even some dining great. Although some hotels can be pricey, if you start looking more closely and often, they bring you deals that curated more towards your recent searched. Sign up for their newsletter and they’ll send you the deals directly.
10. Road Trip
Road trips remain to be some of the cheapest way of traveling, especially if you have a big group with you. Use services like Furkot to help plan your trip. Choose where you want to go, how many stops you want to make, what you want to see and when you want to get back. If you plan well enough, you can see multiple cities within 2-3 days.