I’m not saying I’m a cheapskate, but I can be. I plan quite a few trips every year, so I try to save money where I can. This means saving on anything from flights to hotels to restaurants to sightseeing. Here are a few ways I’ve managed to cut my travel expenses.
1. Departing from a different airport. I’ve written about this awesome trick before (read the full article here), but I saved $1,150 on two tickets by leaving from an airport 6 hours away. Yes, I’ll pay for gas and $90 to park the car for 8 days, but it seemed worth it to me! Especially since flights are not getting any cheaper these days. If you have the time, and can drive somewhere else, it can pay off.
2. Checking my hotels to see if rates have gone down since I booked them. I like to book things ahead of time, so I’m sure to have the hotels that I want. However, I recently checked to see if any of the rates had gone down for the hotels I booked. One of them, had gone down $40 a night! So I booked the same room with the lower rate, and canceled my old one (the good thing about Booking.com’s cancellation policy, check out this article for more information on that.) So nothing changed… except my bill!
3. Checking Groupon for places I’m going. Always check Groupon if you’re going to any major cities. You might find a really cheap deal on a hotel, restaurant or spa treatment. I’ve gotten rooms on here for cheap, and cheap deals for restaurants. If you’re going to spend $100 on a nice dinner, you might want to see if they have any deals first.
4. Using my National Park pass. Everyone should have a National Park pass (in my humble opinion). When we were driving through Chattanooga, we wanted to stop by and see Lookout Mountain. Turns out, it costs $20 a person! Instead of paying that, we used my pass to get four of us in to Point Park National Park, which had gorgeous views and it cost us nothing.
5. Using hotel parking, instead of airport parking. Since we saved money by driving to another airport, we need to park our car. Airport parking was $140 for 9 days, but a hotel (only two miles from the airport) was $80. Parking at the airport requires a shuttle anyways, and the hotel offers a free shuttle. It’s the same amount of hassle, only its $60 cheaper.
6. Checking blogs for free (and cheap) things to do in popular places. I recently went to New York City, and researched free things to see, and free places to view the city. We didn’t visit all of them, but for example, instead of paying $34 to view the observation deck, you can visit a roof top bar, get a drink and view the city. (Or skip the drink… I doubt people would even notice!) I also found out a way to view a beautiful castle when we go to Germany for free. Always check for free things before you go. You never know what you’ll find.
What ways do you have to save money on your travels?