4 Savvy Traveler Money Saving Techniques for Planning Vacations

  • Travel Team
Mar 27, 2013

It's no secret that traveling is expensive. For globetrotters planning adventures to some of the most popular spots around the world, saving money is of paramount importance, and there are a few practices that can help vacationers make the most of a travel budget.

While it may be difficult to stick to a budget while putting together the trip of a lifetime, it's certainly not impossible. There are many ways travelers can stay ahead of the pack when it comes to scrimping on cash, and the funds saved on the most expensive parts of travel - typically airfare and hotels - can instead be used for special adventures. Spa treatments, fine dining and even an extra night at your destination can come about as the result of pinching pennies, giving you an extra incentive to find those superb deals.

1. Have flexible dates in mind

Travelers who have flexibility with their schedules can take advantage of the cheaper airfare rates which often are present in the middle of the week. If you can steer clear of departure times on weekends, you can tap into a world of lower ticket prices and significant savings. As an added bonus, airports may be less crowded during the week, allowing you to get through security checkpoints and baggage claim with ease.

Avoiding peak travel season also relieves stress on a budget. Some times of the year, such as the winter holidays, may be impossible to get around, but early spring or late fall usually boast some money-saving discounts for savvy travelers. You can reap the financial rewards of vacationing at these times of the year without sacrificing things like good weather.

2. Look around for free upgrades

Signing up for frequent visitor or flier programs can give you access to a host of special deals, even if you only plan on using a service once. Many accommodations offer little tidbits of savings here or there, such as a minibar credit, complimentary spa treatment or free Wi-Fi, but a few others can go as far as giving away a free night's stay or room upgrade just for signing up. By looking around for these perks, you can give yourself a few money-saving extras during your trip while setting up prospects for future travel.

3. Cash in on credit card perks

If you're looking for a relatively safe way to capitalize on special deals and discounts, see what your credit cards have to offer. Frequent flier miles are a common advantage of using plastic, but if you sign up for an airline-affiliated card you can cash in on some other benefits. Free checked luggage, priority boarding, and luxury lounge passes are only a few of the usual perks to entering a program.

4. Keep checking hotel rates

There are still ways you can save even after booking a hotel room. You can manually check rates and contact the hotel yourself, but many tools have recently been introduced to help travelers take advantage of decreases in price.

According to Fox News, hotel rates drop between when you book the room and when you check in about 20 percent of the time. Some of these savings can be quite significant, and luckily there is a way to recoup the potential savings. Websites like constantly compare room prices and credit the differences back to your card if the price drops, while other travel sites have similar policies.

Another helpful tip is to look beyond the nightly rate. For example, if one hotel is moderately more expensive than another but offers a free night's stay or extra amenities, it may be worthwhile to book the rooms - regardless of the initial sticker price.

Tell us your money saving techniques for planning travel!

We'd love to hear additional tips and tricks! Please share in the comments section below. We might even feature your insight in a blog post!

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