- Lisa Hetz
10 Tips to Save Money on Travel
Use a Travel Advisor! Professional Travel Advisors have years of industry knowledge and access to vendors and supplier that regular consumers don't. Often times, Travel Advisors can find better prices, great package deals, and provide customer itineraries for their clients, You also save time by letting these professionals do all the work for you!
Sign up for price and savings alerts for things like Flights, Vacation services, car rentals, and more! Some examples are Going.com for Flights, subscribing to travel-related newsletters, and following Travel experts on Social Media to catch the deals and specials they post!
Be Flexible with your Travel Dates When planning a vacation, give your Travel Advisor a date range instead of exact dates if possible. This allows us to find the best time to travel for you, and base our other recommendations around that.
Consider Various Accommodation Options For a family of 5, staying at a vacation rental may be more cost-effective than staying at a hotel. For solo-travelers or backpackers, staying at a hostel or shared home may make more sense than a costly hotel room that charges for double occupancy.
Bring food with you to the Airport! Yes, it's allowed. We all know how expensive a simple bag of chips can be at the airport! A good rule of thumb is to pack your food in clear, ziplock bags so TSA can see what's inside, and remember not to bring liquids or drinks through (unless its for an infant or baby). I once brought 3 whole bags of chips through security in Jamaica and had no issues with TSA. In fact., they giggled and acknowledged that it was a good idea!
Eat, Drink and Travel how the Locals Do. When in Rome, right? When we're traveling, we tend to want to do and see all the things we saw on Instagram. We often rely on hotel concierges and the Excursions stands to tell us where to go. The problem is that those people deal with tourists all day, every day, and are paid to tell you to visit the most expensive places! The best thing you can do is let your Travel Advisor research Authentic, Local hole-in-the wall places and hidden gems for you to visit. That way you're not stuck in a massive crowd of tourists waiting for hours to take a picture of something, or scrunched in an over-crowded (and often overrated) restaurant waiting for your meal. By eating, drinking and traveling like a local, you're also stimulating the local economy and shopping with small businesses that truly deserve your attention.
Shop at local grocery stores! Yes, restaurants have amazing food, but grocery stores always stock up on local produce, regional specialties, and even ready-made meals that are often three times cheaper than what you'll find elsewhere. It's significantly cheaper to hit up a local grocer to pick up some cheese and wine for a picnic than it is to go out to eat at a restaurant. Then you can take your snacks to a park, (or sit under the Eiffel Tower) and enjoy a romantic picnic with your beau!
When Traveling Internationally, Use a Credit Card with No Foreign Transaction Fees And be cognizant of currency conversions! Always use a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees when paying for anything internationally. Otherwise, you will likely be paying 3% or more on top of your purchase cost. Also be aware that some sales clerks and cashiers will ask if you want to pay in your home currency or the local one. Your home currency, such as US dollars, might seem like the more convenient option, but it's really not. Always pay in the LOCAL Currency. Bonus Tip: You will almost always get a better currency exchange rate from an ATM at your arrive point than you would if you withdrew money beforehand.
Bring more than 1 credit card with you, and notify your cards and banks that you will be traveling. Before you depart for your trip, be sure to contact your credit card companies and banks, Most financial institutions have built-in fraud flagging to spot any unusual behaviors on clients' accounts. It's not uncommon for them to block overseas transactions, which could lead to your card being frozen. For this reason, don't rely on just one card — always bring multiple in case one becomes frozen, gets lost, stolen, or hacked.
Use a travel or airline credit card for your travel costs. Not only will you earn points or cash back, you might also get access to airport lounges, seat upgrades, and discounts on travel-related product or services!