Great Savings Tip #93 – Save On Travel


13 ways to save on your next trip.


Traveling doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.  With proper planning, you can have a terrific time without blowing a hole in your budget. Here are 13 ways you can save on your next trip:


Save on hotel costs by sharing.

(1) Set a travel budget before you go. If you have an idea what you can spend as you begin booking reservations you can make better choices.  That can translate to peace of mind not just on your trip, but when you come back and have to pay the bills.


(2) Save up for your trip ahead of time. Set aside a little money every month for traveling long before you take your trip.  That way you won’t need to rely on credit cards to pay all the bills.


Airlines reward your loyalty.

(3) Join a frequent flyer program. The more you fly, the more miles you earn.  Get enough of them and you can upgrade your seat or get a free ticket.  If you don’t belong to a frequent flyer program ask a friend who travels a lot for the best one.  Frequent flyer rules change and airlines come and go so do your research.  Many credit cards also offer miles or points redeemable for discounts or cash so if you can afford to pay your bill off every month you can get additional savings by using a card.  However, we don’t recommend this if you have to carry a balance on your card because your interest charges will quickly wipe out any savings.


An airplane refueling.

(4) Have a friend drive you to the airport. You can offer to exchange this favor for doing the same on your friend’s next trip.  That way you’ll both win.  The cost of a taxi or parking quickly adds to your travel bill.  Plus, if you can avoid parking in a lot, you won’t have to leave as early to make your flight.  Also, if staying at a hotel, ask to see whether they provide a free shuttle service.  Many do and all you’ll need is a couple bucks to tip the driver.





(5) Get a hotel discount. Many programs like AAA or AARP will get you hotel discount.  You may also qualify for a discount through a corporate program.


Can you save on your car rental insurance?

(6) Minimize car rental expenses. Do you need a car for the whole trip?  Could you find a shuttle or taxi, instead?  Does your existing car insurance policy cover a rental car?  Make sure to contact your agent before you go so you don’t have to pay car rental company rates for insurance.


(7) Check the internet. Not only are there tons of companies who specialize in discounted travel (like Priceline, Expedia and Orbitz), but there are also many others who offer discounts or coupons on popular tourist attractions, or dining.  Do some online sleuthing before you go in order to find the best deals or the days and times that offer the best pricing.


(8) Consider package deals. You can usually combine airfare, lodging and car rental and get a better deal than buying each separately.  You might also find better deals by booking far in advance.  And don’t rule the local travel agents in your area for package deals, either.  Local agents have to compete and the competition is fierce.  One advantage of a local agent can be better service.  It’s also nice to talk to a person whose has been to a destination to give you the inside scoop.


It pays to research a trip up front.

(9) Find free stuff. Don’t just check the internet for discounts.  Many activities are free so see what’s available in the area you plan to visit.  Parks, sight-seeing, hiking, some museums, community events and many other activities can provide hours of free entertainment.  For more ideas on free entertainment, see our Great Savings Tip #86.


(10) Bring your own snack. Most airlines will charge for you meal and it’s rarely satisfying.  Bring your own meal or snack along, instead.  One note of caution: Be sure to check regulations on what you are allowed to carry through security.  For a list of what not to pack in you bag or carry on visit the TSA website.


(11) Share a hotel room with a friend. You can often get a double (a room with two queen beds) for the same price or very close to a single with a queen or king.  If you don’t mind sharing a room, you just cut your hotel bill in half.


(12) Consider alternative transportation. Can you take the bus or train to get to your destination?  Do you know someone else driving to the same location?  If so, can you carpool?  Depending on the distance you’re traveling many alternate transportation ideas can save money over the cost of airfare, not to mention the inconvenience of getting through security at an airport.  (Here’s a link to Greyhound and here’s one for Amtrak.)


Ready for blue skies and palm trees?

(13) Go in the off season. Like most things cost is a function of demand.  This means the more people going, the higher the cost, or the fewer going, the better the deal.  If you can travel during the off-season you’re bound to save money.

Got any other suggestions?

If you’re a frequent traveler and have found other ways to save, why not share a comment with our readers below.


For a complete list of all our savings tips click here.


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