Holidays, vacations, traveling…whatever you call it, it’s a favorite the world over. The joy of going to new lands, exploring new regions, and discovering new cultures, all while spending much-needed time away from work simply can’t be beat.
However, that which is good for us often comes with a price tag that is not. Travel is expensive, but it doesn’t need to be prohibitively so. There are tips, tricks, and unknown secrets to keep your costs down, allowing you to go further with less. In this article, we take a look at different ways to score travel deals.
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7 Tips For Scoring Great Travel Deals
Traveling is a notoriously expensive activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Discover how you can save on your next trip with the below tips!
1. Use travel coupons
Everybody likes a bargain and visiting a website that aggregates them, like Coupon Dad, may just provide the kind of savings you need to make your trip a reality. High-value travel coupons have been linked to a greater sense of satisfaction amongst travelers, reaffirming what we all know: saving money on a trip is a wildly satisfying achievement.
Travel coupons can be used for all manner of experiences, some of which include:
- Vehicle rental
- Hotels & resorts
2. Keep your eyes peeled for cheap flights
One thing travelers should come to terms with is that the transit itself is often the most expensive component of your trip. Despite this, airfares have become considerably cheaper over the years (relative to incomes), making travel accessible to many. Some ways to take advantage of competitively priced flights include: (2)
- Regularly checking price comparison sites: This is a great way to get a feel for general prices so you know how to identify a deal when you see one.
- Considering budget carriers: Budget airlines have been undercutting traditional airlines for years. Bear in mind that hidden costs are impossible to avoid and the flashy banner and cheap prices on their home page may seldom yield prices that are quite so low. Although, you will almost certainly save compared to traditional carriers, usually at the expense of comfort and service.
3. Be flexible with dates and destination
If you leave yourself open when it comes to dates and destinations, then the world becomes your oyster. There are always cheap flights, but the time and day at which you fly won’t be the most conventional. This is one of our best tips for scoring great travel deals. The cheapest flights are generally on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the cheapest times are usually early morning or late evenings.
If you’re not fussy about the destination either, this can shave hundreds off of your flight. Many flight comparison sites now let you choose an “Everywhere” option that allows you to check all flights from your location. A spontaneous flight to India, or Bangkok, or New Hampshire can inject a huge dose of excitement into your itinerary.
4. Don’t hold yourself to staying in hotels
A lot of people like the convenience and luxury of hotels. They often have additional facilities not found at home, and are synonymous with relaxation. That being said, all this often comes at a huge cost. Consider some of these hotel alternatives:
- House swaps: You may find someone from another city and yourself trading homes over a period of time.
- Short-term rental websites: These kinds of websites have increased in popularity in recent years. They provide authentic home accommodation, often away from tourist hubs, providing a more local feel to your trip.
- Camping: Going rural? Get yourself a tent and pitch it where you can.
5. Follow the news and watch for trends
The world is a tumultuous place, and this can have a big impact on the cost of certain destinations that have been in the news for less-than-ideal reasons. In fact, there are fairly distinct correlations between disasters and instability and reduced tourist numbers. (4)
Some examples include the price of an Everest trip in Nepal post-Gorkha Earthquake in 2015, reduction in numbers to Asia after SARS, and reduced numbers to Greece during its economic upheaval.
Additionally, tourism is vital to many economic recoveries. Visiting these destinations not only provides much-needed income for these hardship-stricken destinations, but it normalizes travel there, helping to set a trend to re-establish tourism numbers.
6. Get involved with a travel-focused rewards-based points system
Nowadays, numerous credit cards and point schemes reward you for shopping, often with points or credits that can be used for travel. For every dollar you spend, points are accumulated which can be redeemed for flight or accommodation discounts.
7. Wing it
What websites won’t tell you is that many of the best deals are on the ground, not on websites for the whole world to see. Price comparison and third-party websites will add additional fees that are built into the prices. Often, going into a hotel at your destination (especially in hotel heavy districts) can give you more room to negotiate on price. Although, if arriving at a destination without accommodation isn’t for you, then you can always reach out to the hotel directly via phone or email.
With a bit of skill, luck, and persistence, there are numerous ways to score a bargain on your next trip. This ranges from using travel coupons; being open to different dates, destinations, and accommodation; staying informed; using a rewards system; and doing work on the ground.
As travel today remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulations, as any travel is at your own risk.
If you do decide to travel at this time, here are a few recommendations:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and status of local businesses.
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute. I also suggest checking hotel reviews in my favorite site, TripAdvisor.
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Alexa Meisler is the editorial director of 52 Perfect Days. Born in Paris, France she has since lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring California and Mexico.
Travel has always been a part of her life; traveling to such places as Morocco, Tangiers and Spain as a young child as well as taking many road trips to Mexico with her grandparents as a young girl. Since then, she has traveled abroad to locations such as Russia, Taiwan and throughout Europe.
Prior to working at 52 Perfect Days she was a freelance travel writer; focusing on family and women’s adventure experiences.