While you’ll need to put a bit of effort into it, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from paying noticeably less for your vacation.
Travelling is a dream for almost everyone, but it stays a dream for many. The main reason for that is the cost associated with it. Depending on where you’re going, it could end up costing a small fortune. Nobody wants to break the bank to pay for this, but you don’t have to.
By using a few ways to cut down on your travel costs, you can make everything much more affordable. While you’ll need to put a bit of effort into it, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from paying noticeably less for your vacation.
Whether you’re booking a weekend away or an extended holiday, seven specific tips can be recommended to bring the costs down. You’ll still be able to enjoy the holiday, and you could end up enjoying it much more because of how affordable it is.
It’s worth diving into how you can do it.
1. Take advantage of sales
One of the easiest ways to figure out how to save money shopping online for flights and hotels is to take advantage of sales when you can. Vacation sales happen relatively regularly, and you could end up saving much more than you would’ve thought. While these could mean travelling on a specific date, the low cost could make it worth considering.
These don’t just focus on waiting until certain times of the year. Instead, some airlines offer regular discounts on certain days of the year. Virgin Australia, for example, offers a Thursday Happy Hour, during which you can save a considerable amount on your flights.
You wouldn’t even need to spend a lot of time looking around for these sales and discounts. Multiple sites focus on finding and highlighting holiday-related sales. By subscribing to these websites, you’ll be notified when they come up. It’ll be as simple as finding one you like and booking it at a discount.
These can also be applied to hotels and similar holiday-related expenses, so it’s worth spending some time subscribing to these websites.
2. Get bumped
Getting bumped from a flight isn’t seen as a pleasant experience for many people, but you can turn it into one. Plenty of airlines overbook their flights and hope some of their customers will cancel or simply not turn up. If everyone turns up for the flight, then the airline needs to bump some to another flight.
They’ll ask for volunteers for this, and usually offer some kind of incentive for doing so. That includes discounted flights in the future, and even accomodation vouchers. While this means missing the flight you booked, it could end up making the rest of the holiday more affordable.
You could even extend the trip a little without spending anymore money.
3. Mix transportation
If you’re going abroad for your vacation, flying will be the only practical way of getting there. That isn’t always the case if you’re having a staycation. With these, you have more transportation options than you’d be aware of, some of which will be more affordable than flying.
For relatively short distances, for example, you could consider driving there. While this could mean extending the trip by a day or so to accommodate travel time, it saves you a significant amount of money, making it worth it.
It could even be a way to bring you and your travel partners closer together.
4. Find free things to do
You might think you’d need to spend a lot of money once you land in your vacation spot. The hotels and transportation will be the most notable of these, but your holiday activities could be some of the larger expenses. Expensive options are far from the only things you can choose from.
There are more than a few free activities you can engage in no matter where you go. Taking in nature can be one of the more notable, and all this needs is going to the beach or doing some hiking. Not only will these be free, but they can be much more enjoyable than you’d expect.
5. Use apps
There are apps for practically everything these days, and travel certainly isn’t an exception to this. You can download more than a few of these onto your phone and use them to hunt for better holiday deals. Some of these apps specialise in finding low-cost vacation deals, so you wouldn’t even need to put much effort into looking around.
It could be as simple as inputting some criteria, such as where you want to go and a rough time frame, and letting the app do all of the hard work. It’ll notify you when any deals that match your criteria come up, letting you simply press a few buttons to book your deal.
It’s one of the more low-effort ways to cut down on your travel costs.
6. Travel during off-seasons
You mightn’t have realised that travel has on- and off-seasons, both of which have a significant impact on costs. On-seasons will be expensive, as quite a few people will travel during this time. Airlines and hotels know they can ramp up their prices without it negatively affecting the number of sales.
These are usually during the school holidays, as families don’t want to interrupt their children’s education. Christmas and New Year are also popular times to get away, making them some of the more expensive.
Off-seasons, as you’d expect, are the opposite of this. They’re when relatively few people travel, so airlines and hotels go out of their way to convince people to book with them. That often entails drastically reducing their prices.
It’s worth travelling during these times to save on costs.
7. Use reward points
If you travel often, you’ll likely have built up frequent-flyer points that you can use against the cost of your flights. Even if you don’t fly too regularly, you could have more of these than you’re aware of. While you mightn’t be able to get the flights completely free, you could knock a noticeable amount off the price.
It’s worth looking into how many reward points you have saved up and asking the airline what these might entitle you to. Upgrades could be the most appropriate option for this. You could book a coach ticket, for example, before upgrading it to first-class. You’ll have a much more enjoyable and relaxing flight without needing to spend much money on it.
Rewards points can vary from airline to airline, and they can’t be switched between them. To take full advantage of reward points, stick to flying with the same airline constantly. Your points will build up faster, and you can use them for larger and more appealing upgrades.
Even some credit card companies let you build up these points when you use them, so it could be worth switching to them.
Ways to cut down on your travel costs: Wrapping up
There are more than a few ways to cut down on your travel costs, many of which can be recommended. They’ll not only make sure your holiday is as affordable as possible, but also that your time away is as enjoyable as possible.
A low-cost holiday doesn’t need to mean an unenjoyable or boring one. You wouldn’t need to compromise as long as you use these tips. Taking advantage of sales, travelling during off-seasons, finding free things to do, and similar travel tips can all help with this process.
While that means putting some effort into planning out the holiday and looking around for deals, the savings will be more than worth it.