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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Easy Ways to Save Big Bucks On Trips

Vacations are expensive. I mean, next to your house and car, it's probably one of the tings in life that you spend the most money on. You've seen the ways I've showed you how to save money for your trips, but how exactly do you save money on your trips. I travel a lot, and I save a lot, because if I didn't, I couldn't afford to go most places.

Just because you don't have tons of disposable income, doesn't mean you have to resort to a trip close to home, because often those trips can end up costing the same as a trip where you go far away. There are a few ways to save big when you travel and here they are:

Get a vacation rental

I use Airbnb quite a lot. I love feeling like I have a real home to go back to on my vacations. I look for places that have a full kitchen and WiFi and laundry facilities, so I can save money by making some of my own meals (or even having a way to eat leftovers) and packing less and washing clothes. You may end up spending the same as you would on a hotel room, but you get all these extras, plus more privacy, and often more room. Just think how much a daily breakfast would cost you. Now imagine you spent just the amount of money on one to buy staples for a whole week of breakfasts. Here's more about why I opt for vacation rentals.

Use Daily Deals

When I am planning, I subscribe to the daily deals for the city I'll be traveling in. I start looking  2-3 months out and use it to save 50% or more on dining out, attractions and activities. You can change your city subscriptions at any time. Groupon has the most variety in destinations, but don't forget to look at Travelzoo local deals as well as any specifically for where you're traveling, like nCrowd, which focuses on UK.

Get a City Card

If you have a list of must-dos on your list, check the ones offered on the city card of that destination to see how many are offered on that card. You can save up to 55% on a list of attractions and activities when you use GoCards or CityPASS. If they aren't available for either of these cards, because you're going out of the country or just because they aren't, just Google "city card [destination city]" and often you'll find something that works.

Skip the Car Rental

If you're in a big city, chances are it'll be easy to take public transportation and/or walk wherever you need to go. A car rental can be expensive, especially when you factor in parking and gas. Look at the costs of both to see if it's considerably cheaper. If you do need a car, but not for everything, is it possible to just rent it for a day or two? We did this when we went to New Orleans, just so we could go on a day trip to a plantation and the Tabasco Factory. Worth it, but also a big chunk of money saved by doing it that way.

Find the Free Stuff

I like to see all sorts of things in a city, but I know that sometimes the free stuff can be the best stuff, so I definitely research those when I'm planning. It can help your dollars go further when you mix in free and cheap attractions (like museums and parks and squares) to your itinerary, plus you might see some things that regular tourists overlook. Some of those things have been more memorable to me than other things we've shelled out big bucks for. I suggest also asking friends on social media for suggestions.

Frequent Flyer Miles 

If you're using your credit cards correctly and adding your mileage number to all the places you can, then you may be well on your way to free airfare. Pick one or two airlines, or find one that works with a group of other airlines, and use those exclusively. It's the easiest way to rack up points more quickly. If you have an airline credit card, don't forget that you usually get double miles when you book your flights using that card. You can find out more how I use my frequent flyer miles here.

So, now you know my secrets, and now you can start planning your next trip. If you could go anywhere, where would you be heading right now?

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