For those that love to travel and see the world, costs can add up. Finding ways to save money on travel expenses such as your rental car, flight, hotel, food, and other costs can mean the difference between taking one vacation a year and taking two or three.
Read also: 20 Simple Ways To Save Money For Travel
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Essential Areas You Can Save on Travel
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1. Saving on Car Rentals
If you’re traveling by plane and need a car to use at your destination, you’ll need to find a reputable place to rent a car from. Not all rental companies are created equal, though. Priceline is a great place to save money if you want to book a car rental for your travel, and it even works well if you’re looking for a long-distance drive instead of using your vehicle. They offer last-minute deals, and you can often find extra online savings that can even give you cashback.
Just remember, it’s important to rent your car ahead of time if you want something very specific, are going to a busy location, or traveling during a popular time. You should try to avoid renting from an airport location, which can often be more costly. If you are confident about your travel dates, prepaying can often save you more money.
2. Getting the Best Airfare Pricing
Airfare can be expensive, but there are ways to get the best pricing. NerdWallet points out that probably one of the simplest ways to save is with a travel rewards credit card. Many of these offer mileage points that can be cashed in for free flights. Some experts suggest that shopping for your flight midweek will save you money, with Thursday being the best day for a good deal. Searching from an incognito window can often keep rates lower.
It’s helpful to be flexible on your travel dates and check dates around your desired day. This also applies to checking the surrounding airports to see if they offer cheaper flights. Or even considering red-eye or layover flights can help. Of course, watch for any sales or promotions airlines might be offering, and be sure to utilize your phone – some apps can alert you to price dips for airfare.
3. Choosing the Most Cost-Effective Accommodations
Did you know that after you’ve booked a hotel room, you can still get a better deal on it? Just keep watching prices, and if you find that same room cheaper, they’ll often price match it. When booking, try to find a hotel that includes things like Wi-Fi, parking, or breakfast in the cost. Being a hotel chain rewards member is also a way to save money.
Some of the same search principles apply here as they did for airfare. Search for midweek stays, travel in the offseason or choose a less-popular destination to save the most money. Sites like Groupon offer more deals on accommodations, and you may be in line for even more savings if you take advantage of Groupon codes and coupons.
Or consider renting instead of booking a hotel. Sites like Airbnb offer great alternatives to hotels and often end up costing less. Up for an adventure? Save money by staying at a hostel or campsite. Or, bunk with a friend if you’re flying solo.
Getting the Most Out of Your Savings
Ideally, finding cost-effective travel options shouldn’t be this hard. But committing to a thorough search for deals is the best way to go on those fun vacations without breaking the bank. It really comes down to searching through the choices and not settling for the first one that comes along, and these tips will get you off to a good start.