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Traveling to different places holds great appeal to the wanderlust we all have within us. There’s just one thing that stops us from taking off whenever we get a break. Expenditure. If we only knew how to save money on travel, we’d all do it more often. That’s exactly what you’re getting here.
Here are 51 great tips and tricks on how to save money while enjoying your travel.
In This Post:
- Join airline programs that offer frequent flier miles
- Sign up for special travel credit cards that offer free miles, if you’re a frequent traveler
- Buy tickets offseason; there’s a great deal of difference between season and off-season rates.
- Negotiate prices: if you’re using travel agents, ask for free upgrades, lower rates and freebies.
- Book air flights at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance, to get the best price.
- Opt for all-inclusive vacation packages at cut-rate prices, to save money on attractions, meals and lodgings
- Packaged tours can also offer you multi-day passes or special rates to various entertainment options.
- Travel to less expensive locations such as Hungary, Mexico, Iceland Argentina, Nicaragua, Belize, South Africa and Brazil.
- Travel only to those places that offer the most reasonable currency exchange rates, such as Taiwan, or France.
- Buy special tourist travel passes in cities.
- Most cities in the US have free discount programs, such as the Magicard in Orlando, which offers a 15% discount on Amtrak fare to Orlando.
- If a city has two or more airports, it’s usually cheaper to land in one than the other
- You can avail discounts by booking your travel and accommodation online.
Money And Budget
- Research thoroughly and plan in advance: decide on a budget for travel, transport, food and accommodation, beforehand.
- Use cash for most purchases. Many stores charge you 1 to 2% service charge for card usage
- Use your debit card and not your credit card to withdraw cash at the ATM to save additional charges
- Avoid withdrawing cash at airport ATMs, as the exchange rates are higher
- Check the internet and ask your travel agent about options for rented accommodations at your destination.
- Check for off season rates at B&Bs: they work out lesser than the charges for meals at regular hotels.
- Sign up for hotel loyalty programs at a local hotel that has a branch at your destination, to avail discounts and free nights
- Hostels offer private rooms with all the amenities you want at a fraction of what a hotel room would cost.
- You can house your entire group in an apartment, cook most of your meals and enjoy all the privacy you want at a fraction of hotel costs.
- Eating at small restaurants or cafes than at your hotel works out much cheaper.
- Avoid room service or your hotel room and eating from your room’s mini-bar.
- Buy oatmeal, instant noodles or soup packets and cook them using the heated water in your room’s coffee maker.
- Splurge on lunches instead of dinners as dinners are more expensive at hotels.
- Eat nutrition bars, nuts, fruit, protein drinks and so on to save money on meals
- Buy bottled water at your hotel and not at the airport, where it’s much more expensive.
- Carry a large thermos flask full of your favorite drink to avoid buying drinks on the go
- Drink out of drinking fountains, instead of buying bottled water, or carry a filled bottle with you
- Waiters in America are used to 20% of the bill as tips, but 10% is fine in Europe. If your bill indicates a service charge avoid tipping altogether.
- Eat at kid-friendly restaurants that offer free meals for kids
- If your hotel offers free breakfast, pick up extra toast, fruit and cheese from the buffet for lunch
- Buy local candies, gourmet delights and coffee at local grocery shops and farmer’s markets instead of in touristy or souvenir shops.
- Shop at stores that participate in the Global Refund program. Check globalrefund.com for details.
- Evaluate all means of transportation to your destination, such as air, bus, train or car and go with the cheapest option.
- Buy rail passes wherever you can, especially when traveling to Europe. Trains are cheaper and day passes will allow you to hop on and off for a single price as well.
- In any well ordered city, you’ll city passes using which you can obtain unlimited public transport and access city attractions for less.
- Save on transportation costs by walking. Walking is made easy in foot-friendly cities such as Florence, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, Paris, Vienna and Venice, and Vienna.
- Rent diesel cars, which are significantly cheaper than gasoline cars, especially in Europe, where diesel averages 91 cents per liter when compared to gasoline at $1.37 per liter.
- Fuel your rental car at supermarket gas stations, since they offer better prices than gas stations on freeways. Carry plenty of cash as cards may not be accepted in all of them.
Traveling With Kids
- When you travel with young kids, bring a collapsible stroller along with you; this will save you stroller rent money and frustration.
- Buy baby wipes, diapers, snacks, formula and baby food online, and have everything delivered to your confirmed hotel reservation at your destination. You can save on escalated costs at your destination and not pay extra for your baby luggage as well.
- Set a spending limit for each kid for snacks, souvenirs, games arcades and so on at your destination.
- When you get to your destination, visit the tourist office for city information, free events, deals, discounts and travel options.
- Scrounge the internet for coupons and discounts for amusement parks, historical sites and local attractions.
- Use the internet to research free sightseeing options at your destination before you leave.
- Buy a good guidebook to know local customs, locate tourist attractions, free events, best days to visit historical places and cheap places to eat and sleep.
- Pack only essentials for your trip. You can always pick up cheap clothes later. Save on luggage costs, hotel laundry and worry.
- Don’t pay for internet facilities: explore free Wi-Fi zones such as cafes, libraries and fast food restaurants.
- Carry all basic first aid items with you to avoid paying emergency room fees.