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5 Tricks to Save Money on Travel

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If you missed my radio interview with A Single Girl’s Guide to Food, Drink, and Travel, here are my 5 tricks to save money on travel.

5 tricks to save money on travel Traveling Well For Less

5 Tricks to Save Money on Travel

1. Be Flexible

Flexibility is the key to saving on travel Traveling Well For Less

Flexibility is the key to saving on travel

You’ll save the most money when traveling if you can be flexible.

That can mean changing or varying your travel dates.  For example, do you have to leave on the weekend? Your flight could be less if you flew on Thursday instead.

So instead of booking your vacation from Saturday to Saturday, plan it from Thursday to Thursday.

Hotels in some business areas are cheaper on the weekends than during the week, which is great for short getaways.

If possible, consider flying out of other airports. If you live in Los Angeles, you can fly from LAX, John Wayne, Burbank, Ontario, Long Beach, San Diego, even Santa Barbara.

It could be worth driving an hour or two and to another state, if it means saving a few hundred dollars on your airline ticket.

When you’re traveling with a family, that can mean the difference between being able to take a vacation or staying home.

2) Travel Someplace Else

Your heart might be set on seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but if your budget is tight consider avoiding the tourist hot spots.

Instead visit countries that are inexpensive such as Thailand, Vietnam, Bolivia, Portugal, and India.

You can spend less than $60 a day in Thailand (including accommodations, meals, drinks, and entertainment) and that’s without having to rough it by backpacking.

3) Avoid Crowds

But if you need to see Paris or Rome, traveling when everyone else isn’t such as over Thanksgiving will save you the most money.

You’ll pay less for everything from flights, accommodations, rental cars, to food.  Yep, I said it, food. Even restaurants have specials and discounts during the off-season.

4) Become a Joiner

Not only can you get great discounts at luxury hotels during the off-season but you can also get discounts at first class hotels if you know where to look.

Consider signing up for an AAA and AARP membership.

An AAA membership is more than roadside assistance.  For only $48 a year you can get up to 15% off hotel rates.

Recently the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte offered a package rate for AAA members that included accommodations, valet parking, and a 4 p.m. late check out from $309 a night.

And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be 50 to join AARP membership.  You can join AARP for $16 a year, regardless of your age.  Most hotels offer a 15% discount to AARP members.

Remember to sign-up for emails from hotels to be notified of the latest offers and promotions.

I stayed at the Peninsula Shanghai in mid-October for $300 a night which was about $100 less a night than staying at the Sheraton. Currently, they’re offering winter rates for $400 a night.

5) Use Airline Miles and Hotel Points

You can get free flights simply by signing up for 1 credit card.

For example, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard is offering 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

With 50,000 American Airlines miles, you can fly 1-way in Business Class to:

  • Europe
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay

Signing up for credit cards can also get you free hotel nights at luxury hotels.

You get 2 free nights at any Hyatt worldwide from the Hyatt card after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

We used our 2 free nights to stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney.  We had an Opera King room with an amazing view of the Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Opera House at night (viewed from the Park Hyatt Sydney), Traveling Well For Less

Our view of the Sydney Opera House from our Deluxe King Opera View Room at the Park Hyatt Sydney – May 2013. Our cost $0, thanks to the 2 free nights from the Hyatt credit card.

 

You can find additional tips to save money on rental cars, meals, and activities.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card

TSouthwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card's newest signup bonus can get you up to 2 years of free flights! The welcome offer is 100,000 points: 50,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months; another 50,000 points after spending a total of $12,000 in the first 12 months.
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 3X points on Southwest purchases, 2X points on internet, cable, phone, streaming, ride share, and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, $75 yearly travel credit, 4 upgraded boardings each year, and no foreign transaction fees.
 


Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for beginning travel hackers. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining , $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.
 


Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of $200 after spending $500 in the first three months.
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5% cash back at grocery stores the first 12 months (up to $12k), unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can use your points to travel for free.
 

Sydney Australia Opera House and Harbor Bridge Traveling Well For Less
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Laura M. Blankenship

Wednesday 13th of January 2016

I really agree with all of these. Nice list of tips! I'm sure this time i can save money on my travel.

Debra Schroeder

Thursday 21st of January 2016

Hi Laura M. Blankenship,

Thanks, glad you liked the tips and hope it helps you save money on travel.

Best of the Web- April 11 | YoderToterBlog.com

Saturday 11th of April 2015

[…] was a travel agent for nearly 7 years and I would wholeheartedly agree with these 5 Tricks to Save Money on Travel.  She even gave a shout-out to my old […]

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