Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise. Find the deals and discounts to your destination of choice.
Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on comfortable accommodations and decent flight times. In fact, savvy travelers already know how to maximize their travel budget and take advantage of low prices on travel packages, airline tickets and other travel-related expenses. Planning ahead will usually give you the upper hand when it comes to playing the vacation-booking game, and there are several tricks and tactics you can use to slash those costs even further.
Fly to alternate airports.
When you are heading to a major city or other hub with multiple airports, consider all your options. Flights to alternate airports can be slightly less expensive than flying into a larger, international airport in the same city. In some cases, you might also be closer to your final destination and can skirt traffic. Just make sure to calculate taxi fares from all airports before making your decision.
Book and fly on the right day of the week.
Earn bonus miles when booking a group trip by paying for travel expenses using a travel rewards credit card. The best travel rewards card program will allow you to earn extra miles under your own account, and group members can pay you in cash for their portion of the trip. Buying airline tickets with a rewards credit card (shameless plug…such as the HV Platinum VISA Credit Card) is a smart move, especially if you travel frequently and are planning to take another trip in the near future.
Plan ahead for holiday weekends.
Holiday weekends are among the priciest times to fly, so unless you’re heading to a destination specifically to celebrate the holiday, steer clear of those long weekend trips. The weekend before or after a major holiday usually commands lower rates and fares.
Seek out off-peak deals.
Do your homework to find out which destinations are currently in their off-peak season. You’ll discover that many destinations around Europe have attractive package deals during the spring and early summer months. Traveling during the off-peak season could save you up to 50 percent or more on your entire vacation package
Keep your passport updated.
Don’t wait until the last minute to update your passport information if it’s expired. The application process can take up to six weeks, and you’ll pay a set of fees for the service. If you’re an avid traveler, make sure your passport never gets too close to the expiry date before you request a renewal.
Subscribe to deal sites.
Groupon Getaways, Travelzoo and LivingSocial Escapes are three major travel deal sites that will keep you in the know about the latest deals and discounts. You can also sign up for free, membership-only sites like Jetsetter to get exclusive, prenegotiated rates for many luxury hotels and travel packages throughout the country.
Learn to pack properly.
Overpacking can lead to extra checked baggage fees, so make sure you’re packing only what you need. If you’re planning an extended stay trip, get quotes from shipping service providers that will ship and pick up your items to your destination. In some cases, shipping your belongings instead of carrying them in a suitcase will be less expensive.
Negotiate hotel rates.
If you can’t find a great deal on a hotel and flight package through a third-party travel site, call the hotel or resort directly and inquire about the best available deals. Sometimes the rates extended by the hotel are lower than those published online. Hotels may need to fill rooms at the last minute, and some will be open to negotiating a rate or package deal.
Research ground transportation options.
Don’t wait until you arrive at the airport to figure out how you are going to get to your hotel or resort. Research taxi service providers and rental car companies before you leave so you can negotiate a rate or book a great deal.
Look for freebies and deals at your final destination.
Search for free attractions, events and guided tours at venues throughout the town or city you’re visiting. Keeping activity costs low means you can spend more on a great meal and splurge on other travel expenses. You could also check the daily deal sites at the city you’re visiting to see what types of discounts are available for local activities, events and dining destinations. Consider buying a city pass or similar activity card that lets you visit several attractions for one low price..
Post adapted from U.S.News – Money’s article: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/11-easy-ways-to-slash-travel-costs/1