Saving Travel Costs: Booking early, using reward points, looking for coupons online, eating in as opposed to eating out and considering travel insurance.
One of the top priorities for anyone who’s going to be doing a lot of traveling is to save on costs.
In fact, you’ll probably want to save on costs even if you’re only going to be going on a single trip. Travel is expensive, and the cost of everything adds up, from the flights to the hotel rooms to the food to the travel insurance and anything else you can think of.
Here are five steps that anybody can take to save on travel costs:
Step #1 – Book Early
Easily the very first thing that you can do to save on travel costs is to book early, and by early, that means several weeks if not months ahead of your planned leave date.
Why is booking early so important? It’s because the prices of hotel rooms and flights are always changing. They’re not static. And generally speaking, the earlier you book, the cheaper your flights will be (as in potentially several hundred dollars cheaper).
Step #2 – Use Rewards Points
One of the simplest ways to save on travel costs will simply be to use rewards points. Many travel credit cards will have great sign up offers (such as 50,000 rewards points if you spend $3,000 in four months, or something to that effect).
Additionally, you can also save up rewards points for travel when you pay for things using your credit card (so long as you pay off the card regularly). All together, using rewards points from a credit card company is an excellent way to keep travel costs down.
One more piece of advice would be to travel with a credit card with no foreign transaction fees; otherwise, a fee of 1-3% per transaction is really going to add up.
Step #3 – Look For Coupons Online
The internet is filled with coupons and promo codes that you can use to save on airline tickets and hotel rooms as well, and many people seriously overlook them.
Just go ahead and type in something like “domestic flight offers” into your search engine and you should be pleasantly surprised by what comes up. Most of the major airlines have promo codes and coupons and other discount offers that could allow you to save anywhere from five to twenty percent on a flight ticket.
Step #4 – Make Your Own Food
There are few costs incurred on a vacation or business trip that will add up as quickly as the cost of eating out repeatedly.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with eating out. Trying out new restaurants is actually a fun part of traveling. You can also save on the costs of eating out by using restaurant apps that tell you the cheapest places to eat out.
At the same time, however, the true cheapest way to eat while traveling is simply to make your own food. Buy the ingredients at a local supermarket or grocery store and then prepare the meals in your hotel room, much like you would do at home.
No, it may not quite as exciting as eating out all the time, but if saving money is truly something you value then it’s the best course of action to take.
Step #5 – Consider Travel Insurance
Many travelers don’t even consider purchasing travel insurance because it’s an added initial cost. Indeed, travel insurance is something that you’ll have to pay extra for.
But there’s another way to look at it as well: if you incur any major unexpected expenses on your trip, as in expenses that could deal a major blow to you financially, travel insurance is simply the best way to keep yourself financially afloat.
For example, what if you have to cut your trip early and cancel any non-refundable flights or hotel rooms? What if you get seriously ill or sustain a major injury and need urgent attention in a foreign hospital (where your American medical insurance is most certainly not going to cover anything)? What if any valuable items you have with you on your trip get lost or stolen?
In any of these instances, travel insurance can be used to help cover the costs you’ll incur. Just be sure to read the fine print of your plan to see what is covered and what isn’t.
Saving On Travel Costs
While you will most likely have to spend money on travel no matter what, applying each of these steps we have covered in your life can really help you to keep the costs down.