With gas prices going up everyday, many of us are looking for ways to save money. Another “staycation” may not be what you want to do, but there are ways to save on your trips. It may take a bit of research but its worth the money savings in the long run.
At a the recent LA Times Travel show, three travel writers gave their tips on how to save money. Here are their tips.
Here are a few more tips we found to save money on your next vacation.
a) Be flexible on dates and locations: The day you travel can affect the price of your airfare. Also, if you are not looking for a specific location but maybe just a beach locale, search a variety of destinations to find the best deal. Also, if you don’t mind the time it may take, connecting flights vs direct flights can save you money.
b) Travel during “shoulder seasons”: This is the time between peak and off-peak season. You can often find a better deal during these times.
c) Buy package deals: A hotel/airfare combo deal is usually better in the long run.
d) Useful websites and codes: Check out the following websites for help with airfares and special discount codes: Travelocity, Airfarewatchdog, Kayak.com/explore, Yapta.com, Itasoftware.com, and bing.com/travel.
e) Smartphone Apps: many travel sites offer special offers through their mobile apps that you cannot get via their website.
f) Know your Hub: Try to book with the airline that has the closest hub to your home. It will offer the most flights and usually the best deals from your city.
g) Fees: Know the fees that an airline charges.
a) Family travel: research family-friendly hotels that over perks and discounts for kids
b) City next door: Often the city next door to where you are going may have cheaper hotels. Investigate on if the drive is worth the savings.
c) Vacation homes: planning a longer trip than a few days? A vacation home most likely will be a better deal than a hotel.
d) Home Exchanges: save on hotel costs completely by exchanging homes with someone. Check out Homeexchange.com.
e) Opt for suites: Typically a two bedroom suite will be less expensive than two individual rooms. Check to see which is the better deal.
f) Useful websites: BiddingTraveler.com (helps you execute the optimal bidding strategy on Priceline), Hotels.com (find good last minute deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays), Luxurylink.com (discounts on high end villas and hotels), and homeaway.com (rentals).
a) One way car rentals: When you are visit multiple locations, you may pick up a car at one spot and then return it at a completely different spot. If you can split the car rentals between the destinations, you can usually save a some money.
b) Insurance: A lot of auto insurance companies and some credit cards provide rental insurance. Check to see if your insurance or credit cards provide this to save on rental insurance from the car rental business.
c) Size: Don’t need much room, opt for a smaller car to save on cost and gas
d) Filling up: It is usually a better deal to fill the car up on your own before returning it vs. taking the car rental business’ offer.
e) Autoslash.com: Offers discount coupons on car rentals, continually checks on lower rates and coupons until your trip date and will automatically apply any discounts that it finds.
f) Car seats: check to see how much car seats are to rent. This cost to rent the car seats may be cheaper than the fees you will have to pay with the airlines for checking them.
Food and Entertainment
a) Deal sites: Sign up for Groupon or Living Social where you will be visiting to get deals on restaurants and more. Or use Yipit.com that gives you deals from 787 services in 118 North American Cities.
b) Ask your Concierge: Often your hotel concierge will know about the best deals around the city and will have coupons and connections for you.
c) Food: Bring snacks and your own water bottles to your hotel room. If your room has a microwave, stop by a local grocery store to pick up some meals that could save you on meals during the day. Ask the restaurant where you are eating dinner if they will give you extra bread. You can use that bread for the next day for breakfast.
Use your social media sites to find recommendations from friends and family. Follow airline and travel site Facebook and Twitter pages for special deals. Follow bloggers that have the inside scoop on deals and more.
It may take a little digging but the money savings and the getaway will be worth it. What are your saving tips when you plan a vacation?