If you are a frequent traveler, by now you should know a trick or two on how to save money on and for a vacation. If it is your first time going on a trip and you are unsure how to maximize the fun while minimize the expenses, don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. We’ve discussed 20 ways to save money on your next trip as well as and the things you should avoid to lessen the cost of travel. We’ll add more unique tips to our travel hack list!
While the travel industry, especially the tourism industry, is showing steady growth, the cost of traveling is also increasing. Despite the possible negative impact of traveling on your finances, don’t get discouraged because there are additional tips and tricks you can utilize to come out ahead.
Here are the Smarter Ways to Save Money on Your Next Vacation.
1) Join other groups on tour
Aside from meeting tourists and travelers from other places, possibly from other countries, it is cost-efficient to join other groups who are also on tour and who are looking for other people to tour with them to reduce cost. This is ideal when visiting attractions that require a large number of people.
This way, you can save on the burden of having to pay the entire fee yourself. You can instead, divide the fee equally among the number of people who will sign up for that same tour. If you do need transportation to get to the attraction site, being a part of a tour group will lessen the cost of transportation.
2) Purchase multi-attraction passes
Yes, they exist with different companies. We’ve used Smart Destinations but there are other companies that offer the same services! These are multi-attraction and even multi-city passes available for you to purchase online at very affordable prices.
The best thing about using passes, aside from saving up to 50% versus paying the per entry charge, is the wide-array of selection choices that include top attractions you may not be familiar with yet. Smart Destinations works in most major U.S. cities as well as a few international destinations.
3) Avoid booking accommodation options with down payments
Always weigh your options when booking any type of accommodations – hotel, inn, hostel, or AirBnb. Book only the ones that appear cheapest on all booking websites you have visited and when possible, book only ones that don’t require a down payment or reservation fee.
Also book accommodations that will let you cancel up to just a few days prior to arrive in case your plans change. You don’t want to be stuck with a hotel or accommodation you don’t need any longer due to having paid a year in advance.
4) Book in advance
Most of the time, the prices of basic travel commodities such as airfares, transportation options, tour packages, and accommodations are relatively higher when you get closer to your travel date. Be smart and book them in advance. Gone are the days when you get better prices as last-minute discounts.
As more people take to air travel as a common means of transportation, flights are frequently sold out so the chances of getting a last-minute deal especially to popular vacation spots or destinations have gotten slimmer over the years. Our advice, once you know where you’re headed to and when you’re traveling, book you flights. And if you can, also book your accommodations at the same time.
5) Check for online deals
I know you will be spending time comparing rates online before deciding on which one to select. So, why not take the time to also check for discount and deals, not just rates. There are many websites and travel apps that offer discounts and introductory rates for first time users.
Sites such as Viator give you insider access to great deals to top attractions and destinations. Plus, they will help you build your itinerary by providing relevant information about the places you want to visit.
6) Use travel apps or visit travel websites in incognito mode
Frequent travelers know that sometimes, the price for a flight or accommodation option may vary from one platform to another. So, depending which platform you use, prices may be higher or lower. For instance, using the airline’s travel app versus its website might show a better price advantage. Using websites in incognito mode is another trick that may save you more than just a dollar or two. Going in private will protect you from websites tracking your movements on the web through cookies in order to increase the price of the flight you really want.
When you’re incognito, it becomes harder for them to identify which flight or services you want to book and avoid having them raising up the price on you. Also, flight and hotel prices can vary drastically based on which country you are booking from. I’ve had the same hotel priced cheaper when booked in Canada vs. USA. If someone traveling in your party lives in a different country that you do, have them check the prices of flight and accommodations from their computer and IP address. You’ll be surprised to find out you could save money by being in a different location that where you live.
7) Try Do It Yourself (DIY) tours
While there are available travel agencies that offer their assistance and expertise in building your itinerary, with the available resources online, it is also smart to build your itinerary on your own.
You don’t just save from not paying the service charge, but you also have personal touches to your plan. Traveling independently has never been easier with the help of many online resources that exist.
8) Disable your mobile phone’s international roaming option
I know you want to go online while taking a selfie with the Eiffel Tower as your background when you visit Paris. But remember that the cost of using your mobile roaming data can be staggering. Most Internet providers charge at least $10 per day for mobile data usage, so ditch it altogether and just stick with your hotel’s Wi-Fi connection.
Additionally, most attractions, at least those in the city, offer free wireless connection. So, save money by being careful about your phone usage. And besides, you’re on vacation and if you don’t have to be tied to your phone, you shouldn’t be. Enjoy the moment, people, and things around you.