Life is expensive and every dollar counts, especially when it comes to travel. It’s a daunting thought knowing you could spend the majority of your hard-earned money on flights and a hotel. And what about all the fun “extras” you want money for like food, entertainment, and shopping?
Well, these days, discounts and deals abound— you just have to know how to find them! So, read on for tips and tricks to becoming the savviest traveler possible.
Buying airline tickets
Finding, booking, and purchasing a flight is somewhat of an art if you’re trying to score a good deal. According to the Airlines Reporting Corporation, the best time to buy tickets is six weeks before your flight, and of course, flying on unusual days (namely Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and inconvenient times (like 6 am or midnight) gets you cheaper flights. Even if you want a good price, sometimes the limited times and/or days just aren’t worth it, though, so for more tips learn how to score cheaper fights, including links to a number of handy sites, check out this handy guide.
Know before you go: To avoid exceeding airline weight limits, get a Digital Luggage Scale from The Container Store. For about $20, this worthwhile investment lets you know just how many pairs of shoes you need to lose in order to avoid excess baggage fees. Plus, it only weights eight ounces so you can take it with you to use for your return flight.
Ever heard of Airbnb? Well, go head and familiarize yourself with this travel site that’s become the go-to for affordable lodging. (Kim and Travis are using it for their entire trip to Italy!) Airbnb is pretty much like a home stay. After creating a profile, you can browse listings for your desired destination and contact hosts to book something.
The perks: it’s much cheaper than a nice hotel and much nicer than a cheap hotel! Plus, there are no hidden hotel fees and your hosts can give you the local lowdown on where to go, what to eat, etc. Some hosts cook for their guests (mine made French toast!), but if a solo stay is more your style, there are definitely options without the host actually being there.
Prefer a hotel stay or on a major time crunch? Download the Hotel Tonight app for last minute hotel deals. You can only book hotels through the app (not the website), and since it’s used solely to book a hotel for the night of booking, prices generally go live at noon.
Join deal sites
The only downsides to deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Bloomspot is that your inbox will start to overflow, but hey, at least it’s full of great deals! By signing up for these sites, not only will you get notified of travel specials, you’ll also learn about new products, services, and events you otherwise may not have.
It can take some extra effort to get great deals on travel, but the elbow grease is definitely worth it once you’re enjoying an awesome getaway!
Do you have any travel tips on getting cheaper flights or hotels? Tell us about them and any other ways you save while traveling below!