How to Save Money on Travel
Updated On November 1, 2021
Editorial Note: This content is based solely on the author's opinions and is not provided, approved, endorsed or reviewed by any financial institution or partner.
If you want to know the best way to save on travel, it’s relatively simple to do. In this guide, we will show you:
- Ways to save money on vacation
- How to save money on hotels
- The best way to save money on flights
These money-saving tips will help you save money on travel and have an awesome vacation all at the same time:
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Ways To Save Money On Vacation
Everyone wants to save on travel. With these helpful tips, you’ll learn the best ways to save money on vacations.
1. Compare rates
Compare the best flights and hotels on sites such as Expedia and TripAdvisor. They will help you compare different travel options, and find the best airline and best hotels that fit your preferences. Sites such as Expedia and TripAdvisor help you compare the lowest rates and are supported by reviews.
2. Use rewards credit cards
If you have a rewards credit card, you can use your travel rewards for free flights and hotel stays. A travel rewards credit card is a smart idea for travelers who want to earn rewards for their everyday spending. You can compare the best rewards cards and best travel cards directly on Mentor.
3. Convert currency at home
If you are traveling internationally, one of the best ways to save money on vacation is to change currency before your depart. Why? The currency conversion rate is often cheaper in the U.S. than it is at the airport or in your destination country.
4. Avoid impulse purchases
Sure, you may want to take home a few souvenirs, but don’t bring back a whole suitcase full of souvenirs. You may end up paying duty for it when you return to the U.S. (unless it’s duty-free), and you also may overpay if you’re shopping in tourist areas.
5. Rent your home while you are on vacation
With services such as AirBnB and HomeAway, you can even make money while you travel by renting your home. The money you earn can be used to help you save on travel, and is one of the best ways to save money on vacation.
How To Save Money On Hotels
When it comes to your vacation, how to save money on hotels is often top of the list. If you’re on a week-long vacation or longer, your hotel costs are more expensive than your flight.Here’s how to save money on hotels for your next trip:
1. Compare hotel costs online
Expedia and TripAdvisor are two reliable sites to compare hotel costs. You will see how to save money on hotels through comparison shopping. You can also evaluate reviews, ratings and proximity to the city center.
2. Use hotel rewards cards
The best hotel rewards cards can help you earn free hotel stays, hotel upgrades, free nights and even special club floor access. With hotel travel cards, you can earn points for every dollar you spend that you can redeem for travel rewards.
3. Find promotions and discounts
To save on travel, always check the hotel website for discounts, deals and promotions. The good news is that you can often find discounts for multi-night stays or if you travel during the off-peak season. Sometimes, hotels will honor the discount even if you book on a third party website. However, you should contact the hotel first to ensure you can get the promotion even if you book through a third party.
4. Use AirBnb and HomeAway
To save on travel, we already discussed the possibility of renting your home. However, you can also rent a home, apartment or villa on AirBnb or HomeAway on your vacation. As an alternative to a hotel, you may find a lower or comparable cost dwelling with more space. AirBnb and HomeAway work especially well with larger groups if you are traveling with friends and family.
5. Eat outside the hotel
If you want to save money on travel, the hotel restaurant may not be your best bet. One of the best ways to save money on vacation is to save money on meals. You don’t have to eat all three meals at the hotel restaurant. It’s often more cost effective to eat off-premises, and grab breakfast at a local coffee shop. Plus, you can save additional money on food by buying snacks at a local grocery store, which you can enjoy while you are sightseeing.
How To Save Money On Hotels
When it comes to your vacation, how to save money on flights is another essential goal. Along with your hotel costs, how to save money on flights should be your next focus.
Here’s how to save money on flights for your next trip:
1. Compare flights online and look for layovers
Use Expedia and TripAdvisor to compare flight options. Obviously, flying non-stop is the fastest way to travel. If you have flexibility, you may be able to find cheaper flights with one or more layovers. When traveling internationally, in particular, a long enough layover in a city can mean a free trip to that city (even if for a few hours). If you’re lucky enough to snag a 24-hour layover, congratulations – you just earned a free trip to your layover city.
2. Have flexible travel dates
When it comes to the best way to save money on flights, your best move is to be flexible on travel dates. It’s often easier to fly on a weekend, but the lowest fares are during the week. The best days to fly to save on travel are a Tuesday or Wednesday. You can also save money on flights if you take a redeye and fly overnight (rather than fly during the day). This is called an "extended stayover."
3. Look for two, one-way flights rather than a roundtrip flight
The best way to save money on flights can be to book two, one-way flights, rather than a round-trip fare. It doesn’t work on every route, but many flights (particularly international ones) can be hacked this way if you find the right city to city combination. Another strategy is to drive to a nearby airport in another state to take the second one-way flight to save money on travel.
4. Fly during off peak times
To save on travel, try to avoid the usual winter and spring break that everyone else does. Airlines tend to give discounts after the major holidays. For example, you can save on travel by flying after Spring Break in April or after New Year’s in early January. If you have the flexibility, the best ways to save money on travel flights is to target these off-peak times. Of course, these dates may vary in different parts of the world, so keep an eye on prices for international travel.
5. Consider premium coach seats
Have a long distance flight and don’t feel like sitting in the last row of coach in that middle seat? We have all been there before. The best ways to save money on travel can be saved on your flight. Business class or first class may be a stretch, so a premium seat in coach near the first row may be worth the additional fee. Of course, the quality of the seat may vary for each airline, so do your research in advance. If you have a connection, a premium seat at the front of the plane can save you time when deplaning. A premium seat may also come with extra legroom.