You love travelling, but are somehow always short on cash? Welcome to my world, where we have to take good care of our travel expenses, to make sure, this isn’t the last trip we are taking for a long time! 😀 Fortunately for us, with experience comes wisdom and we have learned a few tips and tricks in order to avoid tourist trips and save a little on our travels, but it’s always good getting more ideas on how to save, right? That’s why I have written down my top 5 booking saving tips. Maybe there is also something you haven’t thought of yet or that is a completely new info for you. You never know, so take a look and definitely let me know in the comments if I missed some major saving hack here!
Timing is everything when booking your flight… and deleting cookies
So you have decided where to travel next and it’s time to compare airfares and try booking the cheapest flight there is (the more you save on getting there, the more budget is left for your stay after all). In general, if you’re not hoping on scoring a great last minute offer, the rule of thumb is: the earlier the cheaper your flight will be. Frequent travellers also suggest to check for deals and book your flight in the middle of the week, ideally Tuesday or Wednesday, as it seems that airlines raise the prices sightly on the days that people are usually at home with more time to do so.
In addition, your computer saves usually saves what you’re interested in (through cookies). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in everyday life, it helps giving you a better, more personalized experience online, but when it comes to booking your trip, this can cost you! Some booking pages have algorithms that raise the prices automatically if you keep looking up the same flights or hotels from the same device and/or IP address. You basically let them know that you are very interested and sales is all supply and demand…So use another device and IP when you are ready to book and you might save a bit!
Check for the extras
When we book accommodation, us we budget restrictions (I include myself here definitely :-D) tend to look for the cheapest solution. But beware, this isn’t always the best deal! Some hotel, hostel, caravan park, etc. might cost slightly more but offer extras like airport pick-up, breakfast, free tours and other bonuses, that can in the end be cheaper than booking the super-low-price option and paying for those thing separately!
Book a package deal
I know, I know, the word “package deal” gives us avid travellers a cold shiver somehow… (or is it just me?) Booking the flight, hotel and tours that suit you best and that you like the most is great obviously, don’t get me wrong, but if you want to save some money, package deals can help you do so. Look for example at sites like Expedia, where they offer you lower prices if you book the flight and hotel together and you can also add car rental.
And don’t be scared to approach a travel agent! We often think cheaper than booking ourselves isn’t possible but airlines, tour operators and hotel chains sometimes provide them with offers, that we don’t have access to!
Keep in the loop
If you are flexible on the next destination, make sure you sign up for newsletters and/or messages on your phone from sites that keep an eye out for mistake fares, special offers and extra-low prices. My favourites are: TravelPirates, Secret Escape, The Flight Deal
If you don’t have a very specific destination in mind and are just after the best deal there is, they’ll pretty much do the hard work for you and keep looking for great offers and errors. All you need to do is make sure to check their messages and be quick when one comes up that you like!
Another way to save, if you are a frequent traveller, is by demonstrating your loyalty. Many hotel chains, air lines and even booking websites offer the classic point-based reward system if you keep travelling with them and offer you special deals, free upgrades or discounts. Others like booking.com give you a discount after a certain number of bookings. So as much as we like trying new things and experiences, once we have found something we truly like it might be well worth it to stick with to save on future trips!
Sandra is the founder of 4 Itchy Feet. She has travelled to over 30 countries and is trying to add as many more as possible, even if everyday life and her job as a translator and web marketing specialist currently don’t allow her to pack her suitcase as often as she’d like. She loves the outdoors, the sea and discovering places off the beaten track.