While most of us love to travel and see the world, we don’t always love the costs that come with it. Great travel hacks Between airfare, hotels, car rentals, and city tours, travel expenses can add up quickly.
But with a little planning, you can cut some of those costs drastically, or even eliminate them altogether!
Check out some of these great travel hacks that will stretch your travel dollars and make your vacation both affordable and enjoyable.
Buy Plane Tickets on Tuesday
For whatever reason, airfare seems to be lowest on Tuesday, specifically at midnight. According to Hopper.com, people who booked their tickets on a Tuesday at midnight were able to save about six percent on plane tickets.
The days you choose to travel can also have an impact, albeit minimal, with weekdays generally being cheaper for flying than traveling on the weekend.
Mileage and Points
Most major air carriers have mileage programs, and utilizing these programs can mean big savings, especially when you combine them with the carrier’s credit card program.
For instance, Alaska Airlines‘ Visa card gives you a whopping 30,000 miles after qualifying purchases when you sign up, which is enough mileage for a round-trip ticket, as well as a yearly companion ticket, which means you can bring a friend and only pay a small fee for their fare.
Hotel Rewards Programs
Signing up for a hotel loyalty program can mean saving money on hotel rooms, amenities, even plane tickets. Guests earn points for every stay, which can be used for discounts on rooms or room upgrades, retail purchases or airfare.
Some of the top rewards programs include Marriott, which has hotels worldwide, Hyatt, which is geared toward business and leisure travelers, and Best Western Rewards, which focuses on budget-minded guests.
Off The Beaten Path Airports
Before booking your best travel, take a moment to see if there is another, a smaller airport near your destination. Some of these smaller hubs offer big discounts on airfare.
Flying to Dallas? Check out the fares flying in and out of Love Field instead of DFW airport.
Or if you’re heading to the Bay area, airfare is often less expensive if you fly into Oakland as opposed to San Francisco. A little research can save you a lot of money!
Travel During Off-Season
There are a lot of perks that come with traveling during the off-season, with everything from airfare to hotels to sightseeing tours offering deep discounts.
Figure out when the off-season is for the place you’d like to go, and see what kind of deals you can get.
Or look at the area’s “shoulder season” which is the time frame just between low and high seasons and often has some great rates for rooms or activities.
Rent a Private Home Instead of a Hotel
You can book an entire house or apartment, a single room, or even space on a sailboat! Both sites give the option of searching for the best deal in your area, with the homeowners sometimes offering special rates and discounts during certain times or for last-minute bookings.
The majority of air carriers today charge for checked baggage. To avoid those extra costs, learn how to pack light for your best travel.
Purchase a smaller rollaway bag that adheres to the standard airline regulations, and don’t bring more than will fit in it.
Some air carriers are now offering special reduced rate fares for passengers who don’t bring a carry-on at all, or who limit themselves to one small bag.
Contact Tour Companies Directly and Ask for Discounts
Tour companies will sometimes offer last-minute discounts for tours that haven’t filled up or had cancellations.
Calling them directly and seeing what kind of special rates they might be willing to give can sometimes net great savings.
If you have a large party, ask for a group discount, or if you’re big on Instagram or a travel blogger, some tour companies will give you a discount in exchange for blowing up your Insta with pictures of the tour.