You Need These Travel Hacks to Save Money
While puzzling, it’s true that most Americans don’t take full advantage of their vacation time. With that knowledge in hand and the start of a new year upon us (aka a reset on your vacation time), you can avoid being a part of this statistic and plan to make traveling one of your goals for 2019. There are a lot of simple travel tricks to save money and maximize your vacation time.
So, what are the best travel hacks to save money so you can make the most of the new year by traveling more? Here are 19 of our best travel tips and tricks for 2019:
1. Don’t Fly Direct
While flying directly to your destination certainly makes for shorter travel days, it can also impact your wallet in a big way. If you want to find a deal, consider booking a less expensive flight into an airport close to your final destination, then taking a bus or train to where you need to go.
Shopping around for flights is a must, and there are plenty of specific airfare hacks you should explore to book flights for cheap too. Flight booking websites like FlightHub and Priceline can offer a variety of deals for your air travels and leave you with more money for exploring your final destination.
2. Get Travel Insurance
This is one of those travel essentials that you never hope you’ll need. If something goes wrong while you’re traveling, you don’t want to be out thousands of dollars because you didn’t pony up for travel insurance. Travel insurance is one of the best travel tricks to save money in the worst case scenario, although obviously we’re all trying to avoid needing it when we travel.
3. Make Extra Copies Of Important Documents
Documentation is extremely important when traveling, especially if your trip is taking you to foreign countries. Before you head off on your travels, make extra copies of your important documents and give them to someone you trust (i.e. parent, sibling, best friend, etc.). While you won’t necessarily be able to travel without your passport, having the important contact info and numbers will make getting a replacement much easier while you’re abroad.
4. Learn The Language
If you’re traveling to a destination where English is not the native language, then you should definitely pick up a few common phrases to help you along the way. The locals will appreciate your effort to speak their language and it will make simple interactions easier. Learning a new language can be difficult, but there are easy ways you can pick it up quickly. Consider purchasing language learning softwares, like Rosetta Stone, or signing up for a language learning app to boost your skills before your trip, or help you while you’re abroad.
5. Opt For Socially Conscious Travel
As topics of human rights, equality, and environmental issues continue to grab headlines, socially conscious travel is one of the biggest growing markets within the tourism industry. Before you venture to a new place and plan your itinerary of sightseeing, consider adding socially conscious elements to your trip. Stay in a homestay overnight to support a local family and gain a deeper understanding of the culture, opt to take public transportation instead of hiring your own private car, or look for opportunities to volunteer for a day, maybe at a local animal shelter or community garden. These are all great travel tricks to maximize your experiences while traveling.
6. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology in the tourism industry is growing exponentially. Starting in the research stage of a trip, travelers want recommendations based on their personal profiles and AI (artificial intelligence) is making this easier. You can look for tourist attractions using digital tour guides and augmented reality to boost your experience of different sites.
7. Visit Historical Sites At Off-Peak Times
The worst part of visiting some historical sites and attractions can be battling the crowds. One way to avoid this is by going there during downtimes, like during lunchtime or an hour before closing, as well as during off season months. This can be a great way to have historical sites all to yourself.
8. Take Pictures Of Your Luggage and Clothes
If the worst should happen and an airline misplaces your luggage, or it is stolen, having pictures to identify your belongings will speed up the process of having your travel insurance reimburse you or the airline find your bags.
9. Try Out Traveling By Yourself
There is no better way to learn about yourself than by traveling solo. It can help you build confidence in your decision-making abilities and give you the freedom to truly be your own person. Traveling isn’t only about seeing new places, it’s also about learning more about yourself too!
10. Pre-Book Tickets
While waiting till the absolute last minute to book a ticket can sometimes save you money, it can also mean you might be stuck without a ticket if they sell out. Many major attractions will let you reserve a spot and skip-the-line in advance. By taking advantage of these opportunities you can make the most of your days and avoid long, time-consuming lines.
11. Take Micro And Weekend Trips
Local economies and destinations are stepping up their game with accommodations, such as yurts and caravans, to cater to travelers who want to take exciting weekend trips or experience unique overnight stays closer to home. There are also loads of destinations and attractions that offer travel coupons for the very reason to attract people who are within arms reach or already vacationing in the area and want to take a micro trip.
12. Travel For Learning
Semesters abroad are far from a new trend. However, “trips with a purpose” are becoming more popular as people look to make a mark on the world through volunteer trips, fundraising trips, and international work placements. Don’t be afraid to explore ways to take your travels from vacation to a learning experience by opting to join one of these impactful programs.
13. Choose Sustainable Tourism
As people become more aware of global consciousness, they’re making smarter choices in their travel destinations. Booking.com has predicted that sustainable experiences and destinations will top the list of choices amongst millennials and Gen Z travelers especially.
14. Pack Healthy Travel Snacks
While eating chips and sugary treats may give you comfort during a long travel day, it’s a sure-fire way to get your trip started off on the wrong foot. The foods that you consume should provide you with vitamins, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. An easy way to pack your carry-on is to narrow your snacks down into three categories: proteins, nuts, and fruits. Drop by Walmart before your trip to pick up trail mix, bananas, beef jerky, and any other easy to pack snacks.
15. Sign Up For Flights Deals
Flights are almost always the biggest expense when it comes to traveling. Cut down on fight costs by signing up for websites like MyFlightSearch and SmartFares or with airline mailing lists to get the latest info on upcoming flight deals.
16. Cut Down On Baggage Fees
While your workout routine may leave you a long way from joining the army, you can still take advantage of the army packing technique. When done correctly, this technique maximizes your luggage space, allowing you to cut down on the amount of luggage you bring while leaving your clothes wrinkle-free. Avoiding check in bags can make the check in and arrival process faster, and save you money.
17. Get Off The Tourist Path
This trend has been growing for years and now more than ever travelers want to avoid over-touristy areas. Always avoid tourist-style restaurants near popular attractions as you’ll be sure to overpay for some not-so-authentic food. This is an easy travel hack to save money.
18. Fly During The Week
Typically, flights during weekdays are less busy than flights on weekends or holidays. For this reason, airlines entice people to book during the week by lowering their prices for a Tuesday or Wednesday departure day. Consider flying during the week if you want to save on flights.
19. Look Into All-in-One Passes
When traveling to a major tourist city, an all-in-one pass or travel coupon can help you save money and time by avoiding long lines. For example, the Paris Museum pass gets you access to more than 60 popular museums and monuments. Or, the Firenze Card in Florence grants you access to all its major museums.
Ready to Use These Travel Tips & Tricks?
The new year brings a new perspective and a fresh outlook on a world full of travel opportunities. With a little flexibility and creativity, you can make 2019 the best travel year for you yet. Make the most of this year by maximizing your vacation time, looking for deals and travel coupons, and getting off the beaten path with our best travel tricks and hacks.