The autumn travel season is around the corner, offering lots of possiblities for your next trip. One fringe of not working around school schedules is getting to hit the road on less crowded highways – at attractions, on planes and in airport. Having picked the kind of travel you like comes with another big challenge – to pay for it. Travelling can be tight for lots of people. Thankfully, there are 7 simple ways to make your journey as cheap as possible.
- Know where the bargains are
You may know some ways to look for deals on airfare and hotels. Make sure you’re also on every possible list for discount codes and printable coupons by signing up for alerts from your airlines and hotels & following them on social networks. Make sure to update them when your email or home address changes.
2. Be devilish
Remember the familiar expression “the devil is in details”. Include it to your travel plan. When chasing big savings, don’t neglect the incidentals. They can add up to a big amount of money at the end of a journey. Pick hotels offering free extra services, like Wi-Fi, parking lot, breakfast ect. Always ask what’s included in the resort fee (like business or fitness center), if you’re paying one. Sometimes these perks are available for you simply by joining a loyalty program when you check in.
3. Exploit your flexibility
The ability to be adaptable is a boomer’s great strength when it comes to beating high prices. In case your travel includes extremely pricey destinations, go on slow periods. Take cruises in autumn or head to bucket list destinations during the “dead weeks” just before and just after the Christmas and New Year’s fever. The important thing in flexibility is to be able to wait for last-minute deals.
4. Think beyond the box
9 times out of 10 the center-city or downtown hotel is much more expensive than those in outer districts or suburbs. If you’re going to be out most of the day, skimp a bit on the room to save some money for more fun. Look for a suburban accomodation next to a bus stop or subway. If you travel on a weekend, search for a business hotel that is hungry to fill beds – you will probably get even more attractive rate.
5. Follow the pros.
One of the best ways for travelers to save money is to monitor travel experts. For instance, famous travel blogger Johnny Jet is out of home more than 200 nights a year. Signing up for his mailing lists and newsletters and following him on social networks will be useful for knowing when a special rate or deal is offered. Other persons to follow are the consumer expert Clark Howard and Christopher Elliott.
6. Be open-minded
Too often we consider only popular travel options like hotels and rental cars. Instead, there is an endless list of other options like, couchsurfing, home-swapping and renting a home directly from its owner. Check the most popular websites like Airbnb and VRBO for finding alternative accommodations, usually for much less money than the standard hotel rooms. Take the subway and buses in cities. Download maps, apps and guides to make the going easier. Study them ahead of time to navigate easier later.
7. Join the club
Remember about savings through memberships like Sam’s Club or Costco. Be sure your travel agent knows your age and affiliation with any groups that might lead to exclusive savings. If you have a credit card, pay attention to such perks as the chance to check your luggage for free or double mileage deals. Even if you’re not an elite level, tout your loyalty to any hotel, airline or rental car company – there are cases when partnerships lead to significant savings or windfall of reward points. Keep in mind the money-saving rule #1 – never be afraid to ask.