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Saturday, May 25, 2019

15 Ways to Save Money on Your Travels

Vacations can cost a lot of money, but that doesn't mean you can't go on one. Even a short vacation is better than no vacation. Don't be one of those 43% of families who aren't going on a summer trip (though going any other time works too), and don't be in the percentage of workers who never take any of their vacation days. Let's talk about easy and cool ways to save money on your travels.

ways to save on travel

  1. Be loyal and rack up frequent flyer miles by using the right credit card and then using it for all the things. Remember, you can use it for things like utilities and then pay it off with your actual money, just to get the points/miles. The more you earn, the faster you can get free travel.
  2. Travel light. By carry-on traveling, you save at least $50 on your flight. There's also no chance of your belongings going missing, because you always know where it is. Need help? Here are my tips for packing light.
  3. Use Daily Deal sites to save up to 90% on eating out, attractions and even your hotels. 
  4. Book attraction tickets online before your trip, as many times this can save you money over gate prices. If nothing else, look for coupons ahead of times, or hit up a hotel lobby for coupons in the brochure rack.
  5. Travel during off-season or shoulder-season. Generally, the summer is the most expensive time to travel, but some destinations differ, based on where they are. Try to avoid the most popular times and you can save up to 50%.
  6. Book a vacation rental rather than a traditional hotel so you can actually eat leftovers and even make some of your own meals. You might also save money on laundry, WiFi, and more. My favorite is Airbnb {<--use that link for $40 off!}. I use it any time I can.
  7. Walk or use public transportation when you can. It's almost always cheaper to take public transportation than to get an Uber, taxi or rent a car. And walking is free!
  8. If renting a car is a must, unless you find an AHmazing deal, choose to book and pay later, then monitor rates up until the day you leave. You won't get penalized for canceling and then reserving again at a lower price.
  9. Rent the smallest car possible. Unless you're doing a ton of driving, you won't be in the car for long periods of time. You just need everyone to get places easily. Rental companies will never downgrade your rental, even if you ask, but they will upgrade you for free if you arrive and your smaller car is not available. 9 times out of 10 I have driven away with a larger car, because the economy cars are booked out first or none have been returned when I arrive.
  10. Book your flights to travel on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, because these are the least popular days to fly. And if you book one of the first flights out for the day, you might save a bit more and you're less likely to get delayed.
  11. Volunteer to get bumped. Most airlines overbook, which means some people just don't get a seat, it just depends on when they check in. Sometimes the airline crew will call for volunteers to take the next flight, and if that works for you, you can get free money or airline vouchers. That means cheaper flights next time!
  12. Look for free activities at your destination. Many have them, including museums, landmarks, festivals, walking tours, and awesome parks. adding these to your trip will help you stretch your dollars.
  13. Hit up food carts where you can. You can often eat restaurant-quality foods at a cart, but at a fraction of the price of a sit-down restaurant, because you're only paying for the food and the cook. There isn't any other overhead being passed on to the customers.
  14. Choose to eat at your must-eat restaurants for lunch rather than dinner, as menu prices can be much lower earlier in the day.
  15. Bring snacks and a reusable water bottle. This means you won't be paying for unnecessary food and drinks on your trip. You'll be surprised how much these add up. Having snacks and drinks on-hand when hunger and thirst strikes between meals (or even on the plane) can be a lifesaver for you and your budget. This is especially true if you travel with kids.
This is my quick list to easily save money on your travels, but I have plenty more. Keep reading the blog for more, subscribe to my newsletter, or join my Facebook page, where you're free to ask questions and talk to other budget travelers. And don't forget that there are lots of little ways you can save for travel too.

I'd love to hear your tips too. If you could only give other travelers one money-saving tip, what would it be?

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