Traveling has become a staple for many of us. Some of us travel abroad while others decide to explore our own country from boarder to boarder and coast to coast. The travel industry continues to grow each year and whether it’s due to inflation or a rise in demand, travel seems like it has become more expensive. Whatever your reason is for travel, business or pleasure, retirement or gap year, we did the research for you to help cut travel costs and save some dough while still getting the best out of your traveling.
Whenever you decide to take a trip, before booking a flight it is always best to book your hotel first, no point in paying for a ticket if you have nowhere to go when you land.
1 • Sign Up:
Whether or not you have a preferred hotel to stay at when traveling to your destination, it is always a good idea to sign up for the hotel newsletters. It’s a great source of information and they will send you the dates of events happening in the area, group deals or when they are having specials on rooms, such as honeymoon sweets outside of wedding season.
2 • What Do You Really Need:
We all want to splurge on our vacations, after all; it is a time to cut back and relax, no need to worry about work or stress out about the morning traffic to work. When you’re booking your hotel room, take a moment to consider what you will really need out of your room. Do you need a king sized bed? Do you need the best view of the ocean? Chances are that you’ll sleep in and then head out for some sun and fun most of the day. Smaller rooms on lower floors usually cost less than larger rooms on higher floors.
3 • Wi-Fi:
In today’s world, we don’t seem to be able to function without Wi-Fi. Although vacations are meant to be an escape from work and family drama, they tend to be unavoidable and follow us all over the world, no matter the time of day or if we are in a completely different continent, even hemisphere! A lot of hotels will say “free Wi-Fi”, what they tend not to tell you is that it is free… in the lobby, only. To cut costs with this, check at the front desk before live streaming that movie you didn’t have time for at home.
4 • Mini-Bars And Hotel Shops:
So convenient, you don’t even need to leave the hotel! The only thing is that it will cost you at least double. When it comes to convenience items such as soap, shampoo, sunblock and so on, if not free in each room, there’s usually a little shop in the hotel that will have these readily available but you can cut the costs of these by heading off to the nearest drug store. As for the mini-bar in your room, the items found there also tend to charge an unreasonable amount. We suggest bringing your own water bottles and filling them up as well as snacks and whatever else you desire to sip on during your stay. Make use of the mini-bar to keep it all cool and fresh. Warning: some mini-fridges automatically charge you when you remove items.
5 • Book Direct:
Ever heard the phrase: “cut out the middle man?” Live by it when booking your hotel room. Travel agents may save us time when booking for us but they need to make money for themselves somewhere. By booking directly with the hotel you wish to stay at, you save money on the travel agents fees. The only exception is cross-checking booking sites like Orbitz and Priceline for good last minute deals.
Some of the best places to travel hold festivals, conventions and other events. Hotels around such things raise their prices during these times and why wouldn’t they? Plan your vacation so that it won’t be around the time of such events.
Flying above the clouds is the safest and usually the fastest way to travel. Long distance travel is usually cheaper by plane and there aren’t many alternatives if you’re traveling over seas. Below are some tips for saving when flying.
7 • One Way Vs. Round Trips:
Two tickets booked in five minutes of being online is awesome, especially since they usually cost less than a round trip. That’s what we usually think and airlines know it. It’s not always the case but sometimes taking that extra minute or two to look at the cost of two one ways is worth it and leaves your purse or wallet just a little thicker.
8 • Time To Fly:
It’s true, we don’t want to wake up at 2am and head to the airport, however, these early morning and midnight flights are not only cheaper but easier as well. As no one actually wants these flights, the airport is quieter and easier to get through. As for the time of week to travel, Tuesday to Thursday look the best because there is normally high air traffic on the weekends and Mondays.
9 • Souvenirs:
Whenever we go on a trip, our loved ones always seem to want us to bring something back in order to share our experience. Buying these gifts from hotel gift shops and airports is the worst case for your wallet as these are two of the most expensive places to buy from. Have a look at nearby market places for something truly unique to the country; these items are usually common and inexpensive as well.
10 • Look For Smaller Airports:
Many big cities with international airports are big enough to have one or more smaller airports as well. These “alternative airports” are usually a lot smaller and are occasionally cheaper than their larger, more commercial competitors. You may have odd connections, but saving money can be worth an hour or 2 of waiting.
11 • To And From The Airport:
Taxi cabs tend to add up and when you’re in a foreign country, it’s difficult to tell what the usual or going rate for a taxi is. More often than not, the cheaper or more affordable taxis will be in town while people just hopping off the plane have fewer options. Most hotels will collect you from the airport and take you back at the end of your trip, and you may find they’re courtesy shuttles. Though Uber is a good option, some airports don’t allow them to pick up/drop off. Is that a Union thing?
Price Cutting Tricks Outside Of The Airport and Hotel:
It’s well known among travelers that two of the biggest expenses are airfare and hotels, but there are other costs that add up without us knowing. Here are ways to avoid that.
12 • Packages:
As said before, cutting out the travel agent can cut the cost of your hotel, but if you are looking for a pre-planned, all inclusive vacation then look for package deals. These will include airfare, hotel costs, tours and other entertainment while the only thing you will pay for out of pocket are souvenirs and other splurges you want to indulge in on your vacation.
13 • Check For Discounts:
Always keep an eye out for discounted expenses. Cancellations in airline tickets and hotel rooms happen a lot of the time, but their loss is your gain. Keeping an eye out can get you huge discounts but it is also a last minute thing, so this will be most beneficial to those who have a pack-up-and-go lifestyle.
14 • Passport/Visa/Documents:
Traveling abroad can be a difficult thing, one document isn’t to someone’s liking, and the whole vacation is over before it began. Research your destination’s passport regulations as some require it to be valid for a few months longer than you plan on visiting. Make sure there are a couple of blank pages open for stamps and visas as well.
15 • Activities:
Many businesses around the world offer special deals via 3rd party sites. A great way to get the best experiences on your vacation for the least amount of cost is to pre-book activities. Right now we specialize on discount Maui activities, but we’re branching out to other islands and soon to the mainland. Keep us bookmarked!
16 • Add-Ons:
Add-on expenses have a way of sneaking up as we swipe our credit cards without much thought. Silly things that we forget about while we travel include: forgetting to turn off cell phone data and roaming, tipping restaurants and tour guides, currency exchange costs and extra luggage weight. Set some extra cash aside for such things after doing some research into how much you will need. Add it to the budget.
17 • Budget:
Vacations without concern for the total cost isn’t a reality for many travelers. The best way to cut costs in traveling is to create a budget and stick to it. Figure out what you can afford to spend on a hotel, airfare, activities, souvenirs, and add-ons. In theory, this is an easy method of staying on track, but it takes practice and discipline to stick to your guns.