From booking flights to fine dining: find out how to save cash on holiday. Why pay more than you need to on travel? Cut costs and travel cheaper with these top ten travel secrets for slashing the price of your holiday.
Forget travel tips… they will only get you so far. For the best help with your upcoming travel plans, these 10 best travel secrets will ensure you get a better travel experience.
Travel at the cheapest times
The price of flights varies considerably depending on the month, day and even time of travel. Several flight-booking websites let you compare flight prices across a whole month, meaning you’ll be able to see the cheapest days to fly, saving you a potential packet. Avoiding the weekends can make a huge impact on the price of flights. Why not compare travel from a Wednesday to Wednesday rather than a Friday to Friday? Flying on a Saturday and returning on a Tuesday will be a better option then going for the traditional Friday/Sunday or Monday combination. Return airfares are still cheaper in the States, but almost everywhere you can now get fares at very low prices for one way. Do your research!
Beat the baggage fees
If you’re worried about excess baggage charges, why not wear your extra items instead of cramming them into your case? There are some fantastic products on the market that let you take additional belongings on your person ensuring they won’t count as excess baggage. A luggage jacket combined with a good hand-luggage bag will get you the absolute maximum amount of luggage on a plane, without having to pay any check-in costs.
If money is more important than time, then consider a flight with a stop-over. Go for indirect routes as they are often a far cheaper option.
BYO food on board
Nowadays, many airlines charge for food on board. So save yourself a small fortune by taking along your own snacks instead of buying them on the plane or in the airport.
Get the best seat on board
There are a few serious tricks of the trade to be told here. First of all, seatguru.com is a good place to start. Here you will be able to enter the aircraft you are flying on and find out immediately where the best seats are in economy class – those with extra legroom, those that don’t recline, those to avoid, etc. Another handy tip (once you know the seat you want) is to take a risk and not pay extra for the extra legroom, but instead request those seats on check-in – as this is when those seats will be released without an additional charge. Just ask nicely and you shouldn’t have any troubles!
Know where to find free Wi-Fi practically anywhere
Gone are the days where one must buy a coffee at Starbucks or a burger at McDonalds to get a little free wi-fi, but if you do go down this route, you can actually walk in and use the wi-fi without making a purchase if you just look like you are waiting for someone. Regardless, free wi-fi is now in many more places for travellers. When you arrive at the airport you will almost always find free wi-fi – but it usually comes in the form of a free 30 minutes or 60 minutes connection. But don’t be fooled by the initial fees when you try to connect – scroll down the page and you will find the ‘connect for free’ timed option.
Frequent fliers – you NEED them
For a long time, I avoided joining frequent flier programmes out of sheer laziness – but as it turns out, it is incredibly worthwhile. This is the most sure-fire way of getting free upgrades as you accumulate points. But it’s not only flights that will reward you and increase your chances for an upgrade. Many programmes also reward you for hotel bookings, car hire, and a range of other services. It’s all a little too time-consuming for my liking, but if you do just one thing, sign up and try stay loyal to one or two airlines when you travel.
Save on accommodation
If you want to go on holiday, but are sick of the usual hotel chains and expensive, soulless rooms, then why not consider a home swap? It will cost you virtually nothing, as the name ‘swap’ suggests, and you get to visit a new country whilst enjoying all the comforts of home.
You can also try a private room instead of a hotel. Over the last few years, there’s been an explosion in websites that allow locals to rent out their sofas, spare rooms, whole apartments and even gardens! The experience can be far more rewarding than a stay in a chain hotel, as well as being cheaper.
Eat like a local
Not only is tasting new cuisines part of the joy of travelling but you’re likely to eat far better as well as saving money, when you eat like a local. Local food produce is usuallylocally sourced rather than imported and a lot tastier. If they’ve had to ship a tin of baked beans 4,000 miles, it’s not going to come cheap! Another top tip is stocking up from the hotel buffet breakfast and shopping in local supermarkets for lunch.
Save on foreign currency exchange
Withdrawing money abroad can cost a lot in charges. Although using a debit card can be cheaper than a credit card, be aware that most banks will charge for each cash withdrawal on top of a commission fee. Best practice is to take out larger sums so you’re charged less frequently, only take care and don’t keep all your money in the same place. Getting your currency before you arrive at the airport is also a way of securing the best rate you can and works out a lot cheaper.
This article was written by KRISTIE OMAR.