Do you have dreams of traveling the world? But unsure how to make these dreams a reality. We review the best secrets of the frugal traveler below:
1) Clear Your Cookies
This tip continues to be highly debated, some travel experts say there’s nothing to clearing your browser. But hey it can’t hurt? Many travel sites store cookies on your computer, remembering what you have been searching for, so if you come back a second time ready to book that flight, hotel room, or rental car the travel site will hike up the prices. Beat those sneaky travel sites by clearing your cookies or searching in a different “incognito browser” window.
2) Use Tripadvisor
TripAdvisor is a frugal travelers dream, this site provides a plethora of real traveler tips, reviews, and photos. Plus a ton of local advice.
3) Bid on Your Hotel
Bidding on your hotel or using “blind hotel” options will save you big, if you don’t have a specific hotel in mind, but rather a preference in area and hotel level, this is a great option for you. Priceline.com is a travel site that allows you to “name your price” on a hotel stay. How it works: specify neighborhood, for example Upper East Side in New York or Union Square area in San Francisco. Next you choose your star rating and enter the price you want to pay. You can bid every 24 hours, unless you add more neighborhoods or increase your bid. This is a great option if your budget calls for a 2 star hotel but you are longing for a 4 star hotel.
4) House Sitting/House Swap
A great way to see the world is to offer to house sit in cities you want to visit. Don’t have many house sitting connections abroad? Sign up for a house swap program, Home Exchange offers travelers an easy secure way to swap homes with someone in their chosen destination. Nothing is better than free lodging.
5) Travel During Off Season
By traveling during the off-season, you will secure deep discounts on flights, hotels, and tours. Nothing like Europe in the winter! However, before booking that vacation during low season, check average weather trends and make sure the sites you want to visit will be open for business.
6) Book flights during off-peak days/times
When flying, your cheapest flights will be available mid-week, early in the morning, late at night, or overnight. If you have flexibility, book these cheaper options. Plus a red-eye flight will save you on hotel costs.
7) Pack Light
By packing just a carry-on you save big on baggage fees, unsure if you can fit all of those clothes into one carry-on? Use vacuum sealed travel bags, you’ll be able to add even more, with room to bring home those travel treasures.
8) Use Credit Cards with no international transaction fees
Many travelers don’t realize that their go to credit card has foreign transaction fees, each time you use your card abroad you are charged a “fee,” these charges can add up quickly! A great travel card is the Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard®, which boasts no foreign transaction fees plus a low APR. If credit isn’t your thing, pay with cash, however beware, many ATM’s have withdrawal fees, often travelers are hit with a fee not only by the bank where they withdrew the money, but also their own local bank. An easy fix, contact your bank and ask for a list of sister banks, if there are none, withdraw a large sum so you can avoid multiple withdrawals fees.
9) Use a budget airline
If traveling internationally, there are a number of budget airlines that serve your travel country of choice or ones nearby. For example if traveling in Europe, use one of their local airlines to get around vs. a larger international carrier.
10) Book that Deal
Once you find a good deal, whether it be accommodations, flights, or rental cars, book it. Good deals never last, nor does the price go down, strike while the iron is hot, you’ll be thankful you did.