Taking a vacation should be enjoyable, but often the cost of travel makes planning a vacation a bit stressful. There are many ways to cut these costs and to free up more money to spend on souvenirs and entertainment during your trip. Here are a few of the best ways to save money on your travel expenses.
Unless you have many frequent flyer miles built up, the cost of plane tickets can take a tremendous chunk out of your wallet. However, there are many ways to get greatly reduced fares. First, you should start planning your trip several months in advance. Waiting to book your flight until just a few weeks before your trip may mean fewer chances for low-cost fares.
Next, visit discount travel sites online to view currently discounted airfare. Some of these sites allow you to sign up for email alerts when the price drops. Make sure to read the terms and conditions. Some discount travel sites charge booking fees, while others do not. Unless the price difference makes it worthwhile, you’ll obviously want to opt for the sites that do not charge booking fees.
If departure and arrival times don’t matter to you, and you are not worried about layovers nor have an airline preference, consider using a ticket auction site, such as Priceline, and placing a bid. You can bid as low as you want. If an airline accepts your bid, then your credit card is charged and you are automatically booked. Keep in mind that these are non-refundable tickets, however.
Another big expense is lodging. Many of the same websites that help you find reduced airfare can also help you get discounted hotel stays, even at luxurious hotels such as Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
There are additional options, however. For example, if your vacation is in one area and you are staying for a week or more, staying at an extended-stay hotel with weekly rates is usually cheaper than staying at a standard hotel. You can also check with your preferred hotel to see if they will offer a discount for longer stays. Just because a hotel doesn’t list these discounts doesn’t mean they do not exist. When booking your hotel, remember to mention any rewards cards, such as AAA, that you own as these can give you additional discounts.
If you want to save even more money, consider staying at a youth hostel in the area you will be visiting. You can cut costs in big ways this way and many hostels are situated close to tourist attractions. The hostel in Santa Monica, California, for example, is only a couple of blocks from the beach.
Food is another big expense that can really add up for many travelers. This is because those travelers eat all of their meals at restaurants or order room service. Room service is wonderful, but the cost can really add up. In addition to the price of the food, hotels usually add on a special fee for room service in addition to the expected gratuity.
Eating at restaurants is a fun part of any vacation, but it can be incredibly expensive. Save money by buying breakfast and lunch items at local grocers and limit restaurant visits to the evening meals.