25 Smart Tips to Travel the World Cheaper and Longer
What do avid travelers think of when they look back at good times they spent traveling the world for years. It’s more about adopting a travel lifestyle more than bothering for where the money is going to come from. You don’t have to be rich to travel the world is a common belief among these travel enthusiasts.
On your trip around the world perhaps you will also come across similar people who have been traveling longer than yourself. And once you are hooked on to experiencing new people, cultures far apart and different than yours, sights you could never have imagined existed; there is no looking back. Its when thinking about money is not a consideration anymore, thinking about the next destination definitely is.
Here is the essence of what all their memoirs and diaries of these travelers suggest about traveling economical and for a longer duration.
1. Set a fare alert:
Sites like Expertflyer.com, Hopper or Google’s flight tracker notifies you as soon as a seat becomes available keeping you ahead of others so you can book early in case this is to your advantage.
Hopper is a great choice to look for same-day flights. The inventory consists of all major airlines and also low-cost carriers and their prices are quite favorable. A recent British Airways round-trip featuring on Hopper was for just $500 from JFK Airport to London Heathrow.
2. Use Google:
Google travel tools are a new fad among travelers. Options like the Google Flight’s Discover Destinations allows travelers to key in their preferred dates and it will populate dozens of destinations with perfect fares.
ITA Matrix from Google lets you search cheapest flights on any airline and any departure and destination on a given date to find economical routes. Once you make a pick, you can head directly to the air carrier’s website and book directly with it.
3. Some websites offer great flash deals:
Websites like the TheFlightDeal.com and SecretFlying.com come up with short-term steal deals on their website every day. If you are hooked in, then you can pick up some really killer deals. However one has to be alert as these deals only exist for a couple of hours or days.
Check out amtrak.com/deals which is another affordable alternative for short-haul or regional flights that provide deals, affordable tickets and lots of promotions.
4. Consult a travel specialist or a Consolidator:
Booking through a travel consultant at most of the times can earn you discounts easily between 20-35% because they can offer you things which other travel sites won’t such a economical car heir, additional amenities like a spa or a bed and breakfast, extend car heir days with the help of collaboration with different service providers.
Likewise, you can use a consolidator to book a ticket. Their tickets do not require advance purchase, however, may carry other restrictions like a nonrefundable ticket. Check out Airline consolidator, one such site that offers economical tickets.
5. Book Tickets Anonymously:
This is no secret anymore. Generally, when you check prices on a constant basis, the airline keeps a track of your cookies and the information supplied by you. Everytime you revisit and appear to be eager, airlines peg the price a little higher. This intensifies when you check for a particular destination repeatedly. It’s perfect to clear your cache to wipe out traces of visit to any portal or site.
Likewise, loyalty doesn’t work to your advantage all the time because everytime you enter your frequent flyer number before a purchase, airlines tend to show higher prices.
6. One-Way Tickets works out to the advantage:
It’s always better to compare and check prices one way before booking a round trip with an airline. Generally flying with two different carriers offer a better value. When flying internationally, you need to submit proof of your return while checking-in, so carry the return flight ticket along.
7. Off-peak days for booking:
Most airlines offer cheaper tickets on certain Low Days, Tuesday and Thursday seem to be the most feasible days when the tickets are priced cheaper. Some airlines keep Sunday as a low fare day too.
8. Steer Clear of the Business Crowd:
Frequent flyers and business travelers usually fly out on Monday mornings and Friday evenings. They pay a premium price for this so better days to fly are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
9. Ask Your Concierge:
Hotel concierge staff always have a good connection with the local service providers. They have suggestions to cater to your wishes and have tips on little-known or up-and-coming hot spots.
10. Combo deals VS assortments:
When it comes to booking a combo deal, it may look steeper than going for an assorted itinerary, however, in the end, going to destinations where the cost of add-ons is unpredictable it’s always perfect to book a combo rather than going for assortments. Bundling your airfare, hotel, cars and even activities through one vendor may end up in savings.
11. Use Transferable Points and Credit Cards rewards to purchase tickets:
Programs like the Citibank Thank You, American Express Membership Rewards points etc are a good way to cash points in lieu of money to be paid for the ticket. Airline open reward space at the last moment when seats remain unsold.
Similarly, credit cards can earn affordable airfare, cheaper hotel stay and other travel perks. These credit cards offer a decent amount of travel points on signing up and most frequent travelers keep multiple cards as per need to leverage their points
12. Off-Peak Travel:
This is one of the perfect ways to secure a discount on all fronts from economical airfare, cars, and hotels. Off-peak travel can earn discounts as much as 40% like a trip to the Caribbean from mid-May through October.
13. Plan around the deals:
The perfect way to make unbelievable savings is to plan it the other way around. Instead of fixing a place and time for yourself as per your suitability, fish for the unbelievable deals that are making a buzz in the travel circuit and plan your trip around these deals. This way you can save more money rather than cutting the corners on a plan already made by you.
By planning around deals floating in the market, you can save more money and see new places as well.
14. Red-eyed and odd hour flights:
Least desirable flights are the ones that fly at odd hours between 4 am to 6 am. This can help you save up to 20% on airfares. And to add to that you can also avoid long queues at the airport.
15. Book unique properties and Rental Condos:
AirBNB.com is the new way to book properties rather than conventional hotels which are expensive and don’t even have extended spaces and sometimes lack a personal touch and privacy.
AirBNB.com is a common platform that hosts millions of travelers and property owners who list their spaces that help people book unique accommodations. Renting a room versus renting a unique property at better rates is the concept they bank upon. Hosts are verified by Airbnb and travelers can communicate, transfer payments to the host directly on a trusted platform. Rooms are better and unique, rents are cheaper and negotiable and that includes a choice of local food and activities.
16. Lodge with the locals:
If you want to give your travel a local tinge then the perfect way is to stay with the locals, eat and be shown around by them. Services like CouchSurfing helps to lodge with the locals and EatWith help to dine at the houses of the locals. Many of their members are Michelin-starred that gives you a true representation of the place at some great cost. Plus mingling with the local crowd, experiencing community dining, tasting authentic meals and enjoying some local activities, being guided for your next destination are many of the other advantages of lodging with the locals.
And don’t worry most of these websites have people with verified profiles and reviews as well.
17. Hit the local streets and try local food:
At the hotel, you get the regular meals however if you try out local food it can be a very fulfilling experience. Locals and store attendants, even flight attendants all are a good source to ask for recommendations about the perfect joints and eateries around the place.
Hotels don’t even come up with happy hours and splitting meals that often.
Avoid local hotels which cater to tourists often charge higher for a mediocre food. These are generally located near airports and other tourist attractions.
18. Sign Up for Discounts:
Groupon’s subscription is an easy way to take advantage of dining deals and help save the cost on food during the vacation. Their destination specific newsletter is very helpful too. Once back from the vacation you can always unsubscribe from the destination-specific newsletters.
19. Use credit cards as often as possible:
Most travel experts suggest using credit cards whenever possible while on a trip abroad. These credit cards help earn credit on every purchase you make which helps in offsetting the costs of your travel expenses.
There are other cards and programs that give you more points and better perks on a list of hotels and airlines. These cards help you to secure a free stay, some nice flight discounts, W-Fi and breakfast when you enroll in their programs.
Credit cards have other advantages as well. It always gets you good exchange rates whereas the debit cards attract a percentage fee on every international transaction. Credit cards are more protected and are covered for fraudulent transactions than debit cards are.
20. Traveling in the Low season:
Traveling in shoulder seasons which is a cusp of peak and off-peak season offers great prices, avoiding endless waits at the airports and favorite spots to visit plus the weather would have just begun to turn favorable.
Guidebooks and websites related to a particular place give ample tips on what places to check-in, kind of clothes to carry etc.
21. Subscribe to Newsletters and Twitter of your favorite airlines:
E-mails and tweets from your favorite airlines help you with last-minute flight deals. Besides this there are other 3rd party sites like Airfarewatchdog, Scottscheapflights, that help you find economical fares.
22. Manage all components of travel simultaneously:
Don’t be in a rush to grab a great deal on a flight and ignore the hotel booking. This can be the fallout of a hasty plan, especially during high seasons when hotels are operating at their full capacity. All the components should be in place so that benefits of cheap air tickets should not get canceled by paying for a much higher accommodation.
23. City Passes:
City passes are a good option for cutting costs and are convenient for sightseeing. Most popular cities offer affordable packages to top attractions and may club travel on local transport with these city passes.
24 Use a Discount Aggregators for car rental:
Car-rental companies sometimes offer significant discounts on unreserved cars through the aggregator sites. Carrentals.com has some of the perfect deals but is a member only discount service so you need to sign up before availing the service. There are others like the BJ’s and Costco which are worth a check when looking for car rental deals.
25. Check for the city patterns:
Many cities have their own patterns and visitor trend which you can work to your advantage. Cities like Las Vega is popular for weekend recreation and casinos which is expensive on weekends and cheaper during the week whereas cities like London and New York are cheaper on weekends since it draws a big business crowd.