Fun Travel Hacks That Save You Money
Updated: May 1
Looking to save money on your vacation be it a road trip, boat trip, or flight? The following list of ideas will save you money no matter what your destination or your mode of transportation is. Let's jump in and check out the money saving ideas and the best ways to save money fast!
1) Travel for free. YES- it's possible!
I am sure you have one or two credit cards. Do you know you can sign up for a new credit card that offers travel points just for signing u and spending a certain within a certain period? Let me break it down for you. So, you...
spend $2000 or $3000 within 3 months (or 1 month according to the condition stated in sign-up the offer)
Once you satisfy the above two steps, you get travel points enough for a round-trip flight ticket to a popular destination you can choose.
These credit cards that I am talking about are the so-called travel credit cards. When you sign-up, they usually have an "intro-offer", for example, "Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply". Looks like a big amount to spend in 6 months but believe me you can easily spend $5000 or more just spending it the way you usually spend for regular groceries, medical bills, insurance bills, TV, internet and so on.
Watch out for some that ask you to pay an annual fee. If you don't like to pay this fee, there are certainly others that have no annual fee.
My blog post on the best travel cards to consider that gives you the maximum rewards and travel points for using them. Watch out! :)
These credit cards do have a rewards system where you get 1 or 2 points for every dollar you spend.
2) Use public transportation
Public buses or trains are always cheaper than a taxi or a limousine. Of course, you can use a taxi to and from travel to the hotel and airport. For other things, do consider public transportation. One tip I found while searching online is that if you are waiting for a train and it is late, most likely it will be very crowded, and the next train that is coming soon after will be most likely empty.
The best part is that it is not only less crowded but also runs fast because the stations where it stops next will have fewer passengers to board and less time to stop and star at every station!
3) Don't buy food outside
Instead of stopping at a gas station or restaurant on your way to your destination, you can cook food at home and take it with you. That alone can save a bunch of money especially if your road trip is a long one with many stops.
If you using a flight as your mode of transportation, pack your food so you can eat it at the airport. Simply pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that is of the right size allowed by size restriction (check your local country airline website for size restrictions). Nevertheless, even a scoop of peanut butter and jelly sandwich has enough calories to keep you satisfied for hours of flight journey. This is better than buying that $15 sandwich at your local airport.
After you have settled down at your destination hotel, buy food from the nearby grocery store!. Tada! you have got the ingredients and if you have a microwave, you are ready for hot instant food made right at the comfort of your hotel room.
Read my detailed tips on how to spend less when eating and drinking cheap outside while you are traveling.
4) Do not rent a hotel room
Most hotels cost you an arm and a leg especially the ones near the tourist attractions. Rent a vacation home instead which is much cheaper compared to staying at a hotel. Especially when you are traveling with friends and family, it can really make a big difference. Not only that. Staying in a rented home will provide more living space and comfort and it keeps everyone together under one roof, unlike a hotel where everyone is booked to their own cramped rooms. You can also cook your own food in your personal kitchen space, bring in your pets and get a quiet space for yourself all this can only be possible when you rent a vacation home.
If you still cannot avoid staying at a hotel, use hotel comparison sites such as Kayak.com, Booking.com to get the lowest price.
[ READ: How To Save Money On Car Rentals ]
5) Book flights in advance
Booking flights in advance gets you a lower price when compared to booking closer to your vacation date. Book at least 10 weeks in advance if possible to get the best deal. When you book too earlier it becomes a risky situation since your plans might change if you book like 15 or more weeks in advance. When you book flights, always consider buying a cancellation protection if needed in order to avoid any cancellation fee should you decide to cancel your booked flight later.
Special tips when booking flights especially online:
When browsing for flight tickets, do not do it as the logged-in user. Open your browser in private mode and browse for flight ticket prices as an anonymous user. That way, you really avoid the booking sites which happen to track your activity, and then when you try to buy tickets later, they raise the price which is higher than what you saw a few days back. If you use Chrome, click on the "File" menu in the top header and then select "New Incognito Window" or select "New Private Window" if you use Safari and Firefox browser.
You should sign up for price alerts. This will notify you when there is a price drop.
Avoid paying baggage fees at the airport. As soon as you book a flight, pay the baggage fees also which are always less than what is charged when you pay the baggage fees at the airport instead.
Try to travel with carry-on baggage only which will eliminate baggage fees completely and you travel with less stuff with you!
6) Use public WiFi
Most vacation homes and hotels include WiFi as part of hotel room fees. But you can always use a public WiFi if one is available near you. Always use caution when using public WiFi because your data online when browsing is not secure. So use it only for google searching for a nearby taxi, restaurant, and such things that do not require you to login or share your personal information.
7) Find cheap gas prices near you
If you are doing road trips within the US, you should use a cashback app called GetUpside which gives you cashback of anywhere between 15 to 25 cents per gallon of gas which is good enough to buy a cup of coffee! You can easily save $20 $30 dollars of gas overall and that does not stop there. Continue to use it every time you fill-up gas on the way to your commute or road trip and you will be saving $350 or more per vehicle every year.
8) Bring your own water bottle at the airport
I am not talking about a bottle full of water. Just bring an empty water bottle. Once you get through the security, you can refill as many as you want at the water fountain!
9)Put your rechargeable batteries in the fridge
Put your rechargeable batteries in the hotel's room refrigerator (if you happen to have a one of course :)) Batteries retain their charge longer when left in cold temperatures which is good if you're staying for weeks and want to use those backup batteries later.
10) Use ATMs/cash machines to get local currency
Money exchange and currency converter usually don't give you the best exchange rates. For better rates use the local ATM or cash machines.
11) Carry a handwashing detergent
A handwashing detergent is always a life-saver especially if you don't find a washing machine during your stay.