Money Saving Travel Tips
Travel is expensive, but there are ways to reduce travel expenses. Use these tips when you plan your next trip to avoid paying too much.
Paying for airline, train, or bus tickets on the day of travel is expensive. By purchasing your tickets ahead of time, you can save quite a bit of money. A flight that costs $1,200 on the day of travel can often be purchased for as little as $300 if you buy it two or three weeks before your travel date.
Flying during off-peak times can also save you a lot. The days right before and after major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving are typically more expensive. If you plan to arrive and depart four days before and after the holiday, the rates will be much cheaper. During the week, Tuesday and Wednesday are typically the cheapest days to travel. Friday through Sunday are the most expensive.
There are a number of websites that offer airfare, and a few sites just compare rates. Visit the airline’s official website for airfare rates, then check a couple other websites like Orbitz or Priceline to compare rates. Do this each time you travel because the cheapest tickets are not always on the same website.
If you must travel without purchasing your tickets in advance, check with all the airlines offering flights to your destination to see if there are any last minute specials. Sometimes airlines need to fill seats so they will offer a discounted rate within 24 hours of a flight.
Avoid baggage fees by packing only a carry-on bag. Most airlines allow you to carry on a small suitcase, purse or briefcase, and a backpack. Check the airline for current baggage details, and take full advantage of the carry-on bags allowed.
Unless you must arrive in or depart from a specific city, check flights to and from airports in towns nearby. For example, if you are traveling to Omaha, Nebraska, you can check flights in Omaha, Kansas City, Lincoln, and Wichita. You may find a cheaper flight going somewhere close to where you need to be, and you can drive your rental car to your final destination. A couple hours in the car can save you hundreds of dollars or allow you to take a direct flight instead of multiple plane changes.
Most airlines have a loyalty program- take advantage of it! You can earn points that can be redeemed for free air travel, hotel vouchers, or flight upgrades. If you fly more than once a year, this can end up saving you a lot of money on future flights.
Depending on current exchange rates, you may save money by paying for flights with a foreign currency. To figure out if this will actually save you money, look up the price of the flight and then look up the current exchange rates.
These tips can help you save a little or a lot on your vacation. The money you save on travel expenses can be saved for your next vacation!