Traveling is notoriously expensive, and as such, it would behoove you to find ways to cut down costs and stretch your dollar the furthest. This can be done in a myriad of ways, but most are purposely hidden from public view so airlines, buses and other forms of transportation can exploit your wallet for a profit. That said, there are plenty of solid guidelines you can keep in mind to save the almighty buck and get the most out of your vacation.
Book In Advance
Booking in advance seems like a no-brainer, but there is an art to finding the best price for flights and car rides that will not break the bank. It goes without saying the earlier you make a reservation the better, but it is prudent to join customer reward programs for any company you are considering using. This is because several of them offer early bird special plans to their customers, particularly if you are new to their service. The reason they provide this to consumers is to hopefully gain your repeat business and positive word of mouth. Booking in advance also makes the price tags for seats lower because there is more availability. The fewer the vacancies there are, the higher the amount of cash you are going to have to fork over.
Being prepared when you travel is critical to avoiding last minute fees and additional hassles. For example, when flying, always be positive the weight of your luggage, should you have any, fits within the designated limit of pounds per person. This is a vital tip to adhere to because airlines fleece customers on a daily basis through this process because travelers have no choice but to agree to the fee. Preparation is also worthwhile when it comes to licenses and forms of identification, so you do not have to purchase them in a hurry.
Flexibility is always your best friend when it comes to travel, but it additionally provides you the opportunity to go to and from your destination the cheapest. This is because if you are not set on specific dates for your departure, you can pick the surrounding dates that will lower the cost dramatically. This option is so valuable because travel agents expect a certain amount of customers during holidays and important dates, so to be able to choose the less coveted times and days will save you a ton of money.
Most of us do not have the luxury of navigating the world with just the shirt on our backs, but traveling light with very few possessions not only helps you move quicker, it is better for your bottom dollar. The bulk of customer complaints when it comes to travel are bag fees and the price of carts to shuttle your gear around. With carry on items, regardless of whether you are using plane, train, or vehicle, you will not have to incur any cost beyond the purchase of the ticket.
Bundle Your Trip
You have likely come across bundling in other areas of commerce, be it your internet or TV packages, but it is most advantageous when it comes to traipsing around the globe. Bundles will depend entirely upon where you are going and what you plan to do at your destination, but putting the cost together of a flight, rental car, or hotel can literally save you hundreds of dollars. Every time a company successfully bundles with another, they get a royalty on the transaction made. This gives them the opportunity to lower their cost substantially, because in theory, they have earned a new customer.
Bargain Hunt Last Minute
This avenue is for people that have no set schedule and do not mind making last minute decisions. Airlines and other methods of travel do not like empty seats, as this ultimately hurts their bottom line. Because of this, if you have the ability to book a flight or car at the last minute, you can get it for a deal since they would rather have some revenue as opposed to none. Booking your travel plans right before departure is a risky business, but ardent adventurers have brought it down to a science and proven it is truly one of the cheapest ways to travel. This is particularly true for unusual travel times, such as a red eye option.
With the digital age almost everyone has a smartphone to quickly access the internet, and this can be very handy when it comes to seeking out the cheapest way to travel. It is wise to always be mindful of the updates given by your preferred choice of travel, because it may grant you a chance to save some green. This is because cancellations from other patrons, or weather delays, just to name a few, can alter each company’s plan. An example of this is when a traveler has been bumped from a flight, and needs to take the next one out immediately. When this occurs, frequently the airline will generate a discount to anyone willing to depart at a later time. The same is true of trains and buses in most instances.
Use Credit Cards That Reward Miles
Credit cards are becoming increasingly popular in the travel space, because they have realized most patrons prefer to charge their trips as opposed to using cold hard cash. The mistake most individuals make is they end up working for their credit card, instead of their credit card working for them. Should you have the appropriate amount of credit to your name, choose cards that reward flyers for their travel reservations. This comes in the form of coupons to use in the future, but typically they also provide a cash payout, allowing you to save overall.
The cheapest way to travel, as you might expect, is to do so in an intelligent, organized fashion. Having all your paperwork, a solid game plan, and a flexible, fluid nature with how you carry yourself in the stressful world of navigation will all benefit you enormously to not have your bank account negatively affected by hidden costs and unforeseen fees.