Money Saving Tips - Travel
Travel is nearly always expensive, it can also sometimes be very frustrating. There are however several ways in which you can guard against unexpected expenses and make your journey easier on you and your budget.
General Travel & Money Saving Tips
Here are some general travel tips and money saving ideas to help keep your travel costs down
- When booking travel arrangements, be sure to shop around at travel agents AND on the internet - sometimes agents have access to special deals not available on the net.
- Remember - Your travel agent is not working for you, they get generous commissions for directing you to specific deals that may not be the best for you. Look at what they offer and then go away and double check the deal BEFORE signing up for anything.
- Go for last minute deals - planes often leave with empty seats and many hotels are pleased if they can exceed a 70% occupancy rate. So unless there is some special occasion on, there is always room for a deal.
- Whenever booking travel arrangements, check for any surcharges or extra fees
- Take a good book - travel often involves waiting around. A good book keeps you relaxed and out of the shops!
- Travel with your own refillable water bottle
- Take your own snacks and meals - buying on route is a budget killer
- If you are visiting a city - use public transport instead of renting a car.
- If you are traveling with the kids, avoid sweets and sugary drinks and make sure they have brought something to keep themselves occupied - hyperactive kids with no where to run it off can rapidly turn into a nightmare.
Air Fares & Airport
Flying is often cheaper than driving. Airtravel is highly competitive at the moment and fares are often very low, even when gas fares are high. So you can save yourself a lot of time, gas and money by flying rather than driving. Here are some other money saving tips to reduce your air fare costs.
- Fly Off-Peak - Its usually cheaper to travel at off-peak times such as a Saturday and Tuesday through Thursday
- Buy Tickets in Advance
- Shop around for the best deal - Look for online specials from each airline and check online sites like Travelocity,Expedia,Orbitz,Bestfares and SmarterLiving.
- Consider using consolidators - These often offer some of the lowest fares available, however they often have major restictions including travel dates. see HotWire,OneTravel and LowestFares
- Be flexible - To get the best deals it pays to be flexible about dates and flight-times.
- Some airlines offer email alerts to notify you of 'last-minute' deals that are available.
- If you are travelling light - Using public transport can make big savings.
Car & Car Rental
When travelling, Car rental is often a significant part of your costs. Here are some money saving tips to help reduce your car rental costs.
- Negotiate, always ask if they can do a better price.
- Car rental insurance is not usually necessary - Check your insurance cover, it usually will cover you, if not then rent with a credit card. A Visa card will normally cover you (check the small print). The optional insurance is almost completely profit to the car hirer.
- Cheap car rentals - Shop around on the internet. Avoid renting a car at the airport, you'll find better deals away from the convenience of the airport.
- Take advantage of coupons - but don't assume that you can't negotiate an even better deal.
Here are some money saving tips to help reduce your hotel bills.
- Book your own hotel direct - You often get a better room - but check around to make sure you've got a good price first.
- Business Travelers will increasingly find the best deals are the rates negotiated by their employers or the sponsors of a convention or meeting.
- Avoid City Centers - Hotels on the outskirts are often much cheaper and you are also away from the more expensive tourist-traps found in most city centers. Enjoy the relatively low costs outside the center and then use public transport to travel in.
- Avoid hotels altogether - Do a day trip or fly an overnight red-eye if possible.