Traveling can be such an eye opening experience, but it’s one of those things you have to plan in advance (usually) in order to get the most bang for your buck.
Last year, I spent a great deal of time on airplanes and in hotels, but I would’ve taken a huge financial hit if I didn’t plan as well as I did. Here are my top 5 money saving travel tips to help you get the most of your travels. Let’s fly!
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It’s All in the Timing
Saving money on travels and adventures is all about the timing. There is most definitely a “best time to…” for every budget. If your budget is tight, figuring out which days are cheapest to have your adventure is going to be the biggest challenge. What I like to do is compare prices across different airlines and travel brands like Kayak, Booking, Google Flights, etc. Take a look at their pricing calendar, because each day costs a certain amount. Usually, flying during the middle of the week and non-holiday times costs less, but it all depends on where you’re going and the peak travel times in those areas.
Price Compare Travel Brands
I like to do a ton of research before committing to a purchase. When you’re spending hundreds of dollars on something, you want to be sure that you can’t get it cheaper anywhere else. For my Las Vegas trip last year, I used Booking.com to save me hundreds of dollars on my weekend hotel reservation in mid-July. Summer birthdays, yay!
For flights, I like to compare between my airline of choice, Kayak, Expedia, and Google Flights. Every company prices differently, and you can get different deals as well. It’s going to come down to what kind of deal you want. Usually, I go for the cheapest and fastest, and if I time it right, I can even grab an upgrade for a steal!
Bundle Up Those Deals
Most travel brands have bundles that you can take advantage of, and again, it comes down to what you want. You can usually snag a deal that includes a free hotel stay with your flight, and in general, it costs less to book your flight and hotel together. I say in general, because it really depends on your travel plans.
Whether you need a flight, a hotel, a car, or a cruise, there are bundled deals available throughout the year.
Use Ebates As Much As You Can
My huge savings tip is to shop through Ebates*, because even if you can’t grab a good deal, you can still get cash back through Ebates. As always, Ebates is free to use. I’ve received up to 10% cash back on certain flights, and it’s always a nice surprise to get a rebate back when I’ve forgotten about it.
Not all travel brands participate in Ebates’ promotions, but sometimes you get lucky. I recommend jotting down all the brands you plan to use – hotels, flights, rental cars – and check if they have some deals through Ebates. Cross fingers for those savings!
Commit to a Brand
Now, here’s where it gets serious. We’re talking commitments. When it comes to traveling, brands are pretty good with frequent flyer/user programs. The airline I use rewarded me with 6 months of free upgraded seats. This meant I could sit in those chairs where I could stretch out my legs and have extra arm room. It was fantastic. I also get miles that I can use for flights, hotels, or shopping.
As always, every brand has different offerings, and committing to one is going to take some serious consideration, but if you think about it, once you know who you’ll be using from now on, you don’t really have to worry about that part. It’s one less thing to think about.
So there you have my Top 5 Money Saving Travel Tips. I hope this has inspired you to go on an adventure and save money while you do it! Let me know how you like to save money on your travel journeys.