Springtime is here and if you are planning for that summer vacation, you may find these travel saving tips helpful. Whether it’s that class reunion, summer getaway or family outing – you have to get there. These days with travel costs on the rise, saving money is essential.
It may take you a little longer to book your travel plans, but the savings may be well worth the time. When it comes to travel, I am all about saving money. I recently saved over 50% on my rental car and it was no ordinary rental. Our rental vehicle was the kind that you want to take home, however the price we paid was equivalent to the type you cannot wait to return.
Here are the Top 10 Ways to Save on Travel:
- Plan Ahead of Time. Booking your travel plans ahead of time (at least two weeks in advance) can save you money.
- Discounts, Coupons and Promotion Codes. Applying discounts, coupons or promotions can translate into big savings on travel. My warehouse club membership travel discounts provided 25% off normal rental car rates plus a day free.
- Discounts may be offered on rental cars, hotels, airfare, train and a variety of other travel related expenses. A few examples of those who may qualify for discounts are AAA, AARP, college student, senior citizen, employer or military.
- Coupons and Promotion codes may be available on the web (e.g. company sites, social media sites), motor club websites, warehouse clubs (e.g. Costco) travel services, credit card promotions or your car insurance provider.
- Shop Around. Compare the prices on the travel websites. Some websites that I use are Hotwire.com, Priceline.com, Kayak.com and Orbitz.com. However, the lowest price may be found on the official company website, so compare these prices as well. Be sure to look for any direct booking special offers or promotions when visiting the official websites (airlines, hotels or rental car companies). Note: Southwest Airlines is not normally on any of the travel websites, you must visit their website directly.
- Be aware of any Extra Fees. Spirit Airlines recently announced that they will begin charging travelers for some carry-on bags. Not to mention there is an airline considering charging to use the restroom once on board. These fees can really add up, so keep in mind any extra charges when doing your price comparison.
- Travel during Off-Peak Times. Traveling on off-peak days (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) can save you money on your airline tickets. Early morning or late night flights may also be cheaper.
- Be Flexible with Travel Dates. Switching your travel date by a day or two could amount to hundreds of dollars in savings.
- Compare Package Deals. Bundling up your travel into a package (airline, hotel and rental car) can be a tremendous savings.
- Look for Last Minute Travel Deals. Yes, it’s true you can find great deals on last minute travel offers. The best way to find out about them is to sign up for email notification or to visit the company (e.g. airline, rental car or hotel) websites to check for any special pricing or last minute offers.
- Join Frequent Traveler Programs. Frequent traveler programs can be beneficial to help you save on fees (i.e. baggage), get travel perks (e.g. special offers, upgrades, priority boarding) or receive free travel benefits (hotel stays, tickets).
- Purchase a Travel Pass. If you are planning on visiting a city and touring some of the major attractions. Travel passes can really save you money. My husband and I purchased a city pass in San Francisco and it included all of the attractions we wanted to visit and public transportation, amounting to about 50% in total savings.
Another travel site that I use is TripAdvisor.com. This site is very helpful with giving you some insight into what to expect from hotels, including hotel rankings and customer reviews (some of these are very funny!). The site also has ideas for places to visit, restaurants, price comparison tools and more.
Do you have any other travel tips to save money? Please share them using the comments.