Getting the most for your money is important every day, and travel spending shouldn’t be any different. After saving all year, some suddenly turn frivolous booking their travel accommodations, with a YOLO mindset.
You do only live once—so why not make the most of it by adding on days to your trip? Pinch pennies elsewhere so you can spend to your advantage on that trip. Here are some tricks and tips for funding your travel.
Going somewhere awesome usually requires a flight (and a prayer that you don’t get delayed). Fortunately for the frugal flyer, websites and apps like SkyScanner can tell you the exact time when your flight would be the cheapest, then alert you to purchase. This is ideal for planning future trips when your travel dates are flexible.
Another credit card? You may think someone is silly for spending every dollar on their Amex, but the points really do add up. If the money you spend on gas and groceries can count for points toward your next hotel, then switch over those expenses! Even if there is an annual fee, it should be minor compared to all the perks you will receive.
Have you ever been browsing for flights and think, “Gee, that is a ridiculously low price, but I’m not sure I want that flight.” I have some advice for you: BOOK IT! If it’s a trip back home or somewhere you know you want to go, just take the deal. The price might go up in an hour or even a few minutes. It is a federal regulation for airlines to offer a 24-hour grace period in which you can cancel your flight absolutely free. Know your rights, and get those flights!
Every time you refresh your browser window, you are alerting the airline and hotels to charge you a little bit more, since you’re likely to buy if you’ve looked more than once. Be wise to these tricks, and only browse for travel in a private window. That way, you won’t get suckered into a room or flight that should be less.
I know what you’re thinking—you’ve seen the horror movie Hostel, and you don’t want to end up in some twisted death game for the rich. In real life, however, some hostels are actually comparable to hotel rooms, and are available for literally a small fraction of the cost of a standard hotel room. Check out sites like HostelWorld for the best accommodations and ratings.
While traveling to Europe and Asia might seem glamorous and would be great for your Facebook feed, don’t neglect the natural and urban wonders closer to home. Yellowstone National Park and the waterfalls of Oregon are some amazing outdoor destinations, and you won’t have to fly overnight to get there. Or if you’re looking for a city vibe, check out a little-known hotspot like San Luis Obispo or Dallas for a destination off the beaten path,that won’t breaking the bank.