If you are a frequent traveler, then you know more than anyone else how important saving money is, right? Traveling allows you to explore new places and cultures, and also create unforgettable memories. But it can be expensive if you plan to visit many places. This can be enough reason that discourages many people from starting their dream adventures. Since you are here, maybe you are as well. Don’t worry, because, in this post, I will walk you through the best travel hacks and tips that will save you money. I’m going to split these hacks into 3 parts. Part 1 will be the tips or hacks you should do before you start your adventure, part 2 will be during travel, and part 3, after travel. So let’s help you discover the world without breaking your budget.
Before You Start Your Travels, Make sure to:
1. Set a Budget
If you don’t set a budget, it’s easy to overspend on things you don’t need. That’s why it’s a very important step. Making a budget will help you track and prioritize your spending. Start estimating your total travel costs for things like flights, hotels, transportation, food, etc… Also, split it into categories. This step will help you a lot to stop overspending and save money.
2. Do Your Research and Plan in Advance
Advanced planning will save you time and money and reduce stress and uncertainty. Let’s see how. By doing your research early, you can avoid last-minute booking fees and may also get a better deal on flights. Also, it will help you know what you’re doing; I mean, it can help you control, and feel less stressed. Especially when you plan to travel to a new place or have a tight schedule. Not only that, but this will let you have a better experience by reading about the best places to visit and being more prepared for unexpected events. Remember, advanced research and planning are key to saving money.
3. Book Your Trip Early
Remember this rule: the closer the travel date, the more expensive your flights will be. Maybe this is not the first time you’ve heard or read this: “Book your flight early.” So when I was doing my research I was wondering like you now. Does the time of your booking really matter? Guess what I found. It’s true according to a study by Hopper. Let me explain more. Now, for example, booking in the afternoon can save you more money on travel. The study says that the average price of a flight is 10% lower in the afternoon than in the morning. This is because there is less demand in the afternoon than in the morning. So why not? If you can get your flight at a low price, it’s a great opportunity. In the end, our purpose is to get the best price possible.
4. Think about traveling during the off-season
If you don’t mind traveling during the off-season, then it will be a great opportunity for you to save money. During the off-season, you will find cheaper flights, accommodations, and activities. But keep in mind that the off-season also means less favorable weather, fewer activities, and limited availability.
5. Be open to changing your travel dates
Being flexible enough to change your travel dates can be a game-changer when it comes to finding the best deals. Let’s explain how. Now, traveling during off-peak seasons will save you significant money compared to popular dates. For example, Let’s say you are flying from New York to Los Angeles. So, if you fly on Monday or Tuesday, it will be cheaper than on Friday or the weekend.
6. Set the Price Alerts
Price alerts are one of the best hacks you can use to get the best deal. This is an amazing feature provided by many travel sites that allows you to get notified when the price drops if you track a particular flight or hotel.
7. Pick an Affordable Accommodation
To get the best experience possible on your trip, you need to choose affordable accommodations. It is the most expensive part of your trip, so it’s important to save money on it. But how? You have other options to use, like staying in a hostel or looking for discounts. There are many popular travel agencies that give you discounts on your hotels, like Booking.com, GetYourGuide, Viator, etc… Remember to check the cancellation, change, and refund policies carefully before you book.
8. Last-Minute Travel Deals
When it comes to discounts, airlines, and hotels sometimes offer significant discounts to fill up empty seats or rooms. So keep your eye on these deals; it’s a great opportunity to save money.
9. Leverage Student and Senior Discounts
If you are a student or a senior, then you can take advantage of travel discounts. These are a type of discount provided by many airlines on both domestic and international flights. It varies by airline and age, but it can be up to 25% off. Also, museums and attractions offer these discounts as well. So don’t forget to ask about it when you make your bookings.
10. Use Coupons and Promo Codes
Travel coupons or promo codes are able to save you an average of $41.05 per purchase and an average 8.2% discount, according to a study on CouponFollow. It is another opportunity to get more discounts, so why not? It’s free anyway. The popular sites I mentioned above give you these coupons to use on their websites. To find these coupons, you only need to visit our Booking.com coupons page to find your coupon or deal, then apply it on the checkout page. But wait, discounts and coupons are not the only ways to save on Booking.com. Here is a blog post where you will find the 16 best tips to save on the platform. Also, we have coupons for GetYourGuide; you can find them on this page, along with tips to save on its platform as well.
11. Travel with a Group
If you travel solo, traveling with a group can lead to large savings. Simply because you share expenses, many accommodations also provide discounts to groups. By doing this, you will split expenses and make the trip more affordable for everyone involved.
12. Pack light
Remember, the less luggage you bring, the less money you will have to spend on checked bags.
During Your Travels, Make sure to:
13. Act Like a Local
By acting like a local, you will save a lot of money. All you need to do is eat at local restaurants because it’s less expensive, take public transportation, shop at local markets, etc…
14. Negotiate Prices with Local Vendors
Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices at local markets and small shops. In many countries, bargaining is a cultural norm, so vendors expect it. Polite haggling can save you money to buy souvenirs and gifts at a fraction of the original price.
15. Take advantage of free activities
There are many activities you can do for free to save money. For example, take advantage of free museum days, walking or hiking, visiting your local library, volunteering, concerts, festivals, etc… These are just a few ideas of free activities, but with a little creativity, you can find a lot of ways to have fun without spending a dollar.
16. Volunteer or House Sit for Accommodations
Volunteering or house-sitting is a great option if you want to save money. When you volunteer, you can exchange your labor for free accommodation, reduced food costs, and more. There are many websites that can help you find these opportunities. But remember, there are some drawbacks to volunteering or house-sitting as well. For example, you may have to work long hours or do tasks that you do not enjoy. But overall, the benefits often outweigh the drawbacks.
17. Use Travel Apps
Make sure to use travel apps to find the best deals, manage your expenses, and find important information like Maps, Weather, Emergency services, etc… These apps can save you money and time, and you can also enjoy your journey.
18. Cook Your Own Meals
New places mean new food, so if you taste every meal you meet, then be ready to drain your finances fast. That’s why it’s important to consider staying in accommodations with kitchen facilities. Visit local grocery stores to buy fresh ingredients to cook your food. I don’t mean not eating outside ever but when you make your food and eat it before you go out, you will be able to stop yourself from eating so much outside. Don’t forget to try local street food, which is often both affordable and authentic.
19. Bring Your Own Bottle
Don’t be surprised; these small things can cost you a lot of money. A bottle of water can be very expensive, especially when you’re in countries where tap water isn’t safe to drink. It can cost you from $3 to $5 at an airport. Many hotels and restaurants also charge for bottled water.
Quote: “Never underestimate the power of the little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
20. Check the Tourist cards
Ensure to check if your destination offers tourist cards because it will help you a lot. These cards may offer you discounts on public transportation, tours, activities, dining, and shopping.
21. Avoid Currency Exchange Counters
Often, the exchange counters at airports, hotels, and some other places charge high fees and offer poor exchange rates. That’s why you need to check if your bank or credit union offers currency exchange services. Or you can use a prepaid travel card, a credit card, or Withdraw cash from ATMs. These places often provide better exchange rates.
22. Make Money While Traveling
If you’re planning to travel for the long term, then think about earning money instead of just saving it. We are in 2023, so you can make money from your place only by freelancing on popular platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, etc… or starting a digital business. Also, you can start a youtube channel and share your experiences and moments. This will allow you to support your travels.
23. Find Free WiFi instead Of Paying For It
When it comes to making money, as I mentioned above, it will require more costs for the Internet. That’s why you should look for places that provide free WiFi, like your hotel or hostel, coffee shops, restaurants, and libraries.
After Your Travels, Make sure to:
23. Check Bills and Receipts
Review your hotel and restaurant bills for errors or unexpected charges. Also, assess your spending to identify areas where you can cut costs for future trips.
24. Collect Rewards Points
Join loyalty programs of booking sites like the Genius loyalty program of Booking. This program allows you to get travel rewards and discounts of 10%, 15%, and 20%. Also, free breakfasts, rooms, and more. It will save you money on your future trips.
25. Avoid Common Mistakes
Not getting travel insurance, not being aware of your surroundings, not learning the local language, etc… These are only 3 mistakes travelers make, but there are more. That’s why, if you’re interested in visiting a specific place for the first time, it’s important to do your research about it to avoid common mistakes. Learn from previous travelers by joining communities and forums to discover new hacks. In these places, travelers share experiences and insights that helped them avoid unnecessary expenses.