The hardest part when planning to go on a several months holiday is to save money on your travel and travel on a budget, but it is doable. There are various ways to do that, from reducing your expenditures, simplifying your life to earn some extra income. You can create a savings plan for example. Nevertheless in this blog we are going to focus on saving on the trip itself and budget ways to travel. Below are 19 ways to travel on a budget.
Budget tips for transportation
1. Always look into round trip tickets
One-Way tickets in general are expensive and sometimes even more expensive than a round trip ticket. Therefore always check the prices for a return flight even though you don’t need one.
2. Try to get back to the same airport
Flying in and out of the same airport get you cheaper airfares. This not only applies to airlines, but also for car rental. In most cases you have to pay extra when returning the car to another location.
3. Be flexible with your travel dates
If you are not stuck to specific dates try to avoid the weekends. It is always cheaper to fly during the middle of the week, as most people prefer traveling during the weekends. In most cases prices are often also a bit cheaper if you fly early-morning or late night or just after a holiday, as fewer people want to travel then.
4. Don’t only rely on flight comparison sites
Many comparison sites only compare airline companies that are willing to pay a booking commission. Therefore sites like Expedia, Orbitz or Kayak don’t list budget carriers because those airlines don’t want to pay these commissions. So always check the budget airlines in the country you are going to.
5. Fly into big cities
In most cases flying into the main country hubs will get you cheaper airfares than flying into small airports. The Price of Travel has created a list with the 23 budget destinations and airports to fly into in 2015. The Huffington post summarized the Cheapest US cities to fly into.
6. Delete the cookies on your computer
Many sites save your previous flight searches and show a higher flight price when returning to their site. Therefore clear the cookies on your browser each time to avoid these scams.
7. Pick Tuesdays and Wednesdays to fly
Many experts agree that the cheapest days to fly are typically Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
8. Travel out of season
The off-season in the airline industry is from January to April and September to November. Good to plan your trips in one of these months.
9. Skyscanner is a good flight comparison site
As it let you choose your departure city, but you can leave your destination blank and it will search for the best deals everywhere. It belongs to the top comparison sites out there together with Kayak and Momondo.
10. The Hopper app claims to save up to 40 percent on flights
Hopper was named the best travel app by Apple in 2015. The app analyzes billions of flights to help you find the best deals and the best days to head out and return. The company claims that it is able to save users up to 40 percent on flights, and in 95 percent of cases will get you a cheaper flight or one that is at least the same price elsewhere so a good app for any budget traveler.
11. Pick your accommodation wisely
Nowadays you stay at a homestay, go couch surfing or use a site like Airbnb. If there is a possibility of traveling by train, take a night train so that you can save on accommodation.
12. Take public transport
Do like a local and use public transport. It will save you tons of money. For a budget traveler Rome2Rio is a wonderful site. It will tell you exactly what modes of public transport are available, at what times and what prices. Another advantage of taking public transport is that you get a much better feeling of the country and the people itself.
Paying and Earning
13. No oversees ATM fees
Pick a bank in the Global ATM Network. This is a network of large banks that have come together and waived fees and allow for free ATM withdrawals.
14. Pick a card that doesn’t charge any fees
When you are a US citizen use Charles Schwab bank as it has no fees and reimburses all your ATM fees at the end of each month. For non-US citizens, the following websites are worth checking: Creditcardfinder for Australia , UK Creditcards for the UK and Rewards Canada for Canadian citizens.
15. Get a low fee bank card
HSBC for example has ATMs all over the world and charges only $2.50 USD per ATM transaction when you use a non-HSBC ATM.
16. Pay everything with your travel credit card
Try to pay your expenses with your travel credit card. In this way you can earn lots of points and thus free flights or other great benefits.
17. Sign up for a frequent flyer program
Almost every airline is nowadays member of an airline alliance. In many cases, this means that you can fly Airline A, and earn miles on Airline B. When you go to redeem your miles, you can often use Airline B’s miles to fly on any number of other airlines, including back on Airline A. It is best if you can accrue miles on one or two key programs within each alliance. The biggest alliances are StarAlliance, SkyTeam and OneWorld. This article gives some good insights into the alliance network.
18. Select a program that already gives points when signing up
Did you know that there are companies that already give you points when signing up for their frequent flyer program? The American AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program for example gives 35,000 miles just for joining. That is a free round trip domestic ticket or miles that can be used for an upgrade. United Airlines gives you 40,000 miles for signing up. Delta offers miles AND elite status miles when you sign up. Those alone are enough miles for a free plane ticket in the United States. This link gives a handy overview of all the programs
Finding budget travel deals
19. Use Couponfellow for coupons for any website purchase
Use the free browser add-on of CouponFellow and it automatically lets you know if there is a coupon code you could use at the checkout page of any website.
20. Many credit cards pay for car rental coverage
Some insurance and many credit cards have car rental coverage so no need to arrange a separate coverage when renting a car. Check the credit cards and insurance you have to see what the coverage is.
21. Get upgrades for free
ExpertFlyer provides you with the best awards and upgrades available for your flight. They use a specific algorithm to constantly provide you with the best seats, upgrade opportunities and the specific codes to use. You can download the free iPhone/iPad app and manage your seat alerts on the go.
What are your best tips to travel on a budget??