When it comes to travel, it can be difficult to stick to a budget without compromising on quality or experience. With airfare and hotel costs consuming more than half of most travel budgets, it can seem impossible to afford vacation essentials such as food, local travel, and admission to local attractions. Furthermore, with so many options it can seem almost impossible to know if you are truly getting a great deal on your trip. While every trip is different, some cheap travel tricks are universal and will work anywhere you want to visit.
The most effective techniques for lowering your travel costs are to target the expenses that are the highest. For most trips, these expenses are airfare and hotel expenses. Targeting these purchases first are the most effective in terms of lowering your total expenses.
What many travelers don’t know is that there are many ways to fly for free using credit card reward miles. Credit card companies have a lot to gain by making you their customer, and they will offer generous incentives in order to gain your business. A single credit card can offer hundreds of dollars in free airfare, with no obligation to keep the card for more than a year.
When signing up for a travel card, it’s important to look primarily at the signup bonus. Many cards offer will offer competitive interest rates or other perks, but if you pay the card every month these benefits do not matter nearly as much as a generous bonus just for signing up. It is also important to take note of any spending requirements necessary to collect the sign up bonus.
The next best way to save on a travel is to target the next highest expense: hotel stays. Hotels can cost upward of hundreds of dollars per night depending on location, but there are ways to cut these costs down.
Many credit card rewards can be applied to free hotel nights, and some credit cards offer free hotel nights as a signup bonus for the card. The exact same steps used to earn free flights can be used to earn free nights in hotels around the world.
Outside of credit card bonuses, it’s still possible to save on hotel rooms. Many hotel chains and timeshare providers sell away excess inventory in the form of resort certificates, which can be purchased at deep discounts. In addition to purchasing overstock inventory from the hotel provider, there are private timeshare holders that may not be able to use the resort week they have already paid for. In cases like this, travelers can purchase these weeks discounted.
It’s important to note that most certificates are valid for any type of room offered by the company. In some cases, this can be spacious, three bedroom accommodations, or locations in high demand. For a single rate, a traveller can select the most valuable rooms and locations.
While there are many cheap travel tricks, the simplest way to save on travel is to focus on your greatest expenses. The more any single expense costs, the greater the benefit in searching for a better deal, so this is where the most effort should be focused.