10 Ways To Save Money on The Road: The Ultimate List of Travel Hacks - Rest Nova Site

10 Ways To Save Money on The Road: The Ultimate List of Travel Hacks

10 Ways To Save Money on The Road: The Ultimate List of Travel Hacks

Travel is back on the menu in 2022 as borders are open again. You can finally go on that vacation you have been longing for or had to postpone.

The only problem is that 2022 has also brought a financial squeeze for many of us. T

So, can you reconcile your travel aspirations with a diminished budget?

The encouraging answer, according to many seasoned travelers, is, “Yes.” There are things you can do to save money, both before departure and while you are away!

Let’s look at these cost-saving travel hacks in detail.

 #1. Be flexible when booking tickets

There are several things you can do to reduce the price of an air ticket. The key to getting the best deal is flexibility. This applies to the date, day, and time you fly, the number of stops, the route, and the length of layovers.

  • If you are going on vacation, you are probably not tied to specific departure dates. Looking at a range of dates will give you more options to choose from and a wider range of prices.
  • The day of the week and time of day can also impact the cost. More popular days such as Fridays, when people are going away for a weekend, or mornings, when business travelers are booking flights, are usually more expensive.
  • Direct flights often come at a premium. If you are prepared to have a stop (or two) you can save a lot. In the example below from com, the cheapest direct flight is $2,705.

However, searching with the same parameters but multiple stops, the cost drops to $1,117. That’s a staggering saving of $1,588 that you can use for other things!

  • You can also potentially save money if you get creative with your route. Have a look at the maps and see what your options might be. Instead of seeing these as annoying delays in getting to your destination, view them as part of your adventure.
  • Booking a flight that includes a long layover can also have advantages. You can use the time to explore the city the airport is in. Just make sure you have the right paperwork to leave the airport if you are still in transit.

Finally, it is invariably more cost-effective to book travel tickets online yourself. Using an agent might be more convenient, but fees and commissions are payable.

#2. Select the credit card you use with care

As with most things, not all credit cards are created equal. When it comes to the credit card you use for travel, there are two things to keep in mind:

  • Pay for your travel tickets on a credit card that offers free travel insurance because travel insurance can be expensive. As with any insurance, it is important to check the ‘small print’ to ensure the cover is right for you.
  • Take a credit card with you that does not have foreign transaction fees linked to it. These fees range from 1% to 3% of the value of the transaction and can add a lot of expense to your trip. Cards that do not charge these fees may also offer rewards in the form of points you can redeem for more travel.

You may find that it suits you and your lifestyle to have a credit card that is a dedicated travel card account and have another one for other things.

#3. Use local airlines for national/internal flights

It can pay off not to book all your flights before you leave. Once you are in the area you want to be, fly with local, budget airlines.

For instance, it does not matter if you have not heard of Thailand’s NokAir. They offer discounted flights, rewards, and convenience.

The same goes for other local airlines. Most of the time they offer attractive deals on flights and this can help you save some cash.

#4. Use a VPN or private browser tab

If you hide your IP address when you shop online for tickets you can save money. The best way to hide your location is with a VPN. Reputable options are sometimes country-specific, such as a UK VPN.

You might also notice that repeated searches from the same IP address affect prices. This will not happen if your address is hidden.

You could also change your country of origin but keep prices in your currency of choice as flight ticket prices may depend to a degree on the strength of your local currency.

#5. Do not change your currency at the airport

It can be tempting to go to a currency exchange desk at an airport. Avoid the temptation as what you gain in convenience you will lose in cash. These foreign currency exchange agents will give you the worst rates.

If you have the time, go to your bank before you leave and arrange the currency or a currency card. Alternatively, go to a bank or foreign exchange agent in the city or town you are in.

#6. Adapt your travel and accommodation style to fit the country you are in

If you have done some research, or are just observant, you will learn that different countries, regions, or cities differ greatly in terms of the way you can get around and the accommodation options they offer.

For example, in New Delhi, India, you can get a hotel room for a single person for around $6 a night. There is no way that is an option in Paris or London where even an Airbnb will cost you at least 3-5 times more. So, in bigger cities, you need to think about other means of budget accommodation such as hostels, backpackers, etc.

Public transport differs greatly too, so find out from the locals what is the most affordable way to get around.

#7. Make a long-term accommodation booking

Making a long-term accommodation booking on Airbnb rather than a short one can save you significant money as doing so often results in a large discount offered by the host.

For example, here’s a 25% discount for a monthly stay in an apartment in New York.

While here, you can get 43% off for renting this beautiful flat in Paris for a month!

You don’t necessarily have to spend every night in the town or city the accommodation is in, either. You could use it as a base for day trips or overnight adventures. It is a real boon in a city or region where there is a great deal to see and do.

#8. Use Apps and websites that are designed to help travelers

Many apps cater to travelers on a budget. It is a good idea to use these tools when you are planning and booking your trip.

  • Expedia and Booking.com are perhaps two of the best-known sites for booking hotels and flights. HotelsCombined.com is another great option to look for a cheaper place to stay. Booking.com has a “Genius-level” and once you reach it you get 10 – 20% off bookings for life. Expedia has a rewards program that allows you to earn points and use them for future bookings.
  • If you are comfortable booking accommodation sight unseen, Hot Rate, Express Deals, and Secret Deals allow hotel bookings, but you will not know which hotel it is before purchase. Some of these mystery hotels are high-end ones wanting to fill beds. Others may be less desirable…It’s a hit-or-miss!
  • You can also use an app called Hopper which allows you to get highly accurate rates when looking for flights.

Have a look at the various options and see which works best for you.

#9. Join the house-sit/pet-sit movement

Have you ever heard of an alternative to formal accommodation such as house-sitting?

There are several sites out there where you can sign up to house sit. Once you have paid the small fee and been vetted and approved, you get free accommodation, and the homeowner gets someone who takes care of their home and garden/indoor plants.

A house sit may also include, or be mainly about, pet-sitting which is great if you are a thrifty traveler who loves animals!

#10. Be smart about spending on meals

Food and drinks (especially drinks!) can make up a big chunk of your daily expenses. There are ways to reduce spending by following these simple tips:

  • If breakfast is included in the price of your accommodation, make the most of it.
  • Self-catering/house-sitting accommodation allows you to cook/prepare your meals which saves money.
  • Make lunch your biggest meal because restaurants often have “daily specials” that can dramatically reduce the cost of a meal. Specials are less ‘special’ or frequent in the evening.
  • Avoid eating in a restaurant more than once a day. Buy food or ingredients from markets, stores, or street food vendors.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle as you can refill it in most places. This will save a fortune on bottled water or bought beverages and it is better for the environment too.

Use your discretion, be flexible as options will vary from place to place, and control your expenses in line with your budget.

To Sum Up

While we discussed flexibility when booking air tickets, it also helps you adapt your travel and accommodation style and type, and your eating habits.

Whether you opt for traditional accommodation or something unknown or new, using the right credit card, tools, and resources such as apps and websites will also help you save a lot of money.

Roaming the globe does not have to cost the earth!

Travel is back on the menu in 2022 as borders are open again. You can finally go on that vacation you have been longing for or had to postpone.

The only problem is that 2022 has also brought a financial squeeze for many of us. T

So, can you reconcile your travel aspirations with a diminished budget?

The encouraging answer, according to many seasoned travelers, is, “Yes.” There are things you can do to save money, both before departure and while you are away!

Let’s look at these cost-saving travel hacks in detail.

 #1. Be flexible when booking tickets

There are several things you can do to reduce the price of an air ticket. The key to getting the best deal is flexibility. This applies to the date, day, and time you fly, the number of stops, the route, and the length of layovers.

  • If you are going on vacation, you are probably not tied to specific departure dates. Looking at a range of dates will give you more options to choose from and a wider range of prices.
  • The day of the week and time of day can also impact the cost. More popular days such as Fridays, when people are going away for a weekend, or mornings, when business travelers are booking flights, are usually more expensive.
  • Direct flights often come at a premium. If you are prepared to have a stop (or two) you can save a lot. In the example below from com, the cheapest direct flight is $2,705.

However, searching with the same parameters but multiple stops, the cost drops to $1,117. That’s a staggering saving of $1,588 that you can use for other things!

  • You can also potentially save money if you get creative with your route. Have a look at the maps and see what your options might be. Instead of seeing these as annoying delays in getting to your destination, view them as part of your adventure.
  • Booking a flight that includes a long layover can also have advantages. You can use the time to explore the city the airport is in. Just make sure you have the right paperwork to leave the airport if you are still in transit.

Finally, it is invariably more cost-effective to book travel tickets online yourself. Using an agent might be more convenient, but fees and commissions are payable.

#2. Select the credit card you use with care

As with most things, not all credit cards are created equal. When it comes to the credit card you use for travel, there are two things to keep in mind:

  • Pay for your travel tickets on a credit card that offers free travel insurance because travel insurance can be expensive. As with any insurance, it is important to check the ‘small print’ to ensure the cover is right for you.
  • Take a credit card with you that does not have foreign transaction fees linked to it. These fees range from 1% to 3% of the value of the transaction and can add a lot of expense to your trip. Cards that do not charge these fees may also offer rewards in the form of points you can redeem for more travel.

You may find that it suits you and your lifestyle to have a credit card that is a dedicated travel card account and have another one for other things.

#3. Use local airlines for national/internal flights

It can pay off not to book all your flights before you leave. Once you are in the area you want to be, fly with local, budget airlines.

For instance, it does not matter if you have not heard of Thailand’s NokAir. They offer discounted flights, rewards, and convenience.

The same goes for other local airlines. Most of the time they offer attractive deals on flights and this can help you save some cash.

#4. Use a VPN or private browser tab

If you hide your IP address when you shop online for tickets you can save money. The best way to hide your location is with a VPN. Reputable options are sometimes country-specific, such as a UK VPN.

You might also notice that repeated searches from the same IP address affect prices. This will not happen if your address is hidden.

You could also change your country of origin but keep prices in your currency of choice as flight ticket prices may depend to a degree on the strength of your local currency.

#5. Do not change your currency at the airport

It can be tempting to go to a currency exchange desk at an airport. Avoid the temptation as what you gain in convenience you will lose in cash. These foreign currency exchange agents will give you the worst rates.

If you have the time, go to your bank before you leave and arrange the currency or a currency card. Alternatively, go to a bank or foreign exchange agent in the city or town you are in.

#6. Adapt your travel and accommodation style to fit the country you are in

If you have done some research, or are just observant, you will learn that different countries, regions, or cities differ greatly in terms of the way you can get around and the accommodation options they offer.

For example, in New Delhi, India, you can get a hotel room for a single person for around $6 a night. There is no way that is an option in Paris or London where even an Airbnb will cost you at least 3-5 times more. So, in bigger cities, you need to think about other means of budget accommodation such as hostels, backpackers, etc.

Public transport differs greatly too, so find out from the locals what is the most affordable way to get around.

#7. Make a long-term accommodation booking

Making a long-term accommodation booking on Airbnb rather than a short one can save you significant money as doing so often results in a large discount offered by the host.

For example, here’s a 25% discount for a monthly stay in an apartment in New York.

While here, you can get 43% off for renting this beautiful flat in Paris for a month!

You don’t necessarily have to spend every night in the town or city the accommodation is in, either. You could use it as a base for day trips or overnight adventures. It is a real boon in a city or region where there is a great deal to see and do.

#8. Use Apps and websites that are designed to help travelers

Many apps cater to travelers on a budget. It is a good idea to use these tools when you are planning and booking your trip.

  • Expedia and Booking.com are perhaps two of the best-known sites for booking hotels and flights. HotelsCombined.com is another great option to look for a cheaper place to stay. Booking.com has a “Genius-level” and once you reach it you get 10 – 20% off bookings for life. Expedia has a rewards program that allows you to earn points and use them for future bookings.
  • If you are comfortable booking accommodation sight unseen, Hot Rate, Express Deals, and Secret Deals allow hotel bookings, but you will not know which hotel it is before purchase. Some of these mystery hotels are high-end ones wanting to fill beds. Others may be less desirable…It’s a hit-or-miss!
  • You can also use an app called Hopper which allows you to get highly accurate rates when looking for flights.

Have a look at the various options and see which works best for you.

#9. Join the house-sit/pet-sit movement

Have you ever heard of an alternative to formal accommodation such as house-sitting?

There are several sites out there where you can sign up to house sit. Once you have paid the small fee and been vetted and approved, you get free accommodation, and the homeowner gets someone who takes care of their home and garden/indoor plants.

A house sit may also include, or be mainly about, pet-sitting which is great if you are a thrifty traveler who loves animals!

#10. Be smart about spending on meals

Food and drinks (especially drinks!) can make up a big chunk of your daily expenses. There are ways to reduce spending by following these simple tips:

  • If breakfast is included in the price of your accommodation, make the most of it.
  • Self-catering/house-sitting accommodation allows you to cook/prepare your meals which saves money.
  • Make lunch your biggest meal because restaurants often have “daily specials” that can dramatically reduce the cost of a meal. Specials are less ‘special’ or frequent in the evening.
  • Avoid eating in a restaurant more than once a day. Buy food or ingredients from markets, stores, or street food vendors.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle as you can refill it in most places. This will save a fortune on bottled water or bought beverages and it is better for the environment too.

Use your discretion, be flexible as options will vary from place to place, and control your expenses in line with your budget.

To Sum Up

While we discussed flexibility when booking air tickets, it also helps you adapt your travel and accommodation style and type, and your eating habits.

Whether you opt for traditional accommodation or something unknown or new, using the right credit card, tools, and resources such as apps and websites will also help you save a lot of money.

Roaming the globe does not have to cost the earth!