Are you planning a vacation overseas? Do you want to take a weekend trip with friends? If so, it’s important you get the most bang for your buck. Stop overpaying for plane tickets, hotel accommodations, or food, and start making decisions that’ll actually save you money.
Traveling is expensive enough, but airlines, hotels, and other services will try to gouge you for even more money if you’re not paying attention. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to hack the system and put money back into your pockets.
In fact, if you follow these travel hacks below, there’s a chance you could save hundreds of dollars (or even more!) on your next vacation. Start planning — and saving — now!
Travel in the Off-Season
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember when booking a trip. The price of flights, hotels, tours, and other accommodations will skyrocket during the peak times of the year, so it’s a good idea to travel during the off-season.
For example, if you want to travel to Italy, the peak season is between June through August. This is probably going to be when everything is at its most expensive because more people will be traveling within the country.
Italy’s off-season is between November through March, so you’ll probably be able to snag the best deals throughout those months.
Utilize Sites Like Flyglitch.com
Fly Glitch may seem like it’s too good to be true, but I’m telling you, it’s not. All you have to do is sign up, select nearby airports you could fly out of, and they’ll send you email alerts of flight “glitches.”
What’s a “glitch?” Well, sometimes airlines or booking sites will have a literal glitch in their system which causes flights to be listed at ridiculously low prices. For example, I know someone who was able to get a roundtrip ticket to Bali from New York for less than $400. Insane, right?
While it does cost money to sign up ($20 for six months, $30 for a year), you will be sent between five to 12 glitches a month. You don’t get to choose the destination of these glitches, but part of the fun is seeing all the interesting places you could fly to on a budget.
Who knows, it may encourage you to go someplace you never would’ve thought to visit in the first place!
If you don’t want to sign up for Fly Glitch to save on flights, there may be another way to save on airfare. Use incognito (or private browsing) to search for flights on the computer. This mode will allow you to search for flights without storing data on your computer.
Why is this important? Well, some people believe booking sites will change their prices if they can tell you’ve been searching for a specific flight over and over again. Sneaky buggers!
It’s unclear if this rumor is true (that’s why it’s a rumor, after all), but it doesn’t hurt to try just in case!
Book With a Hotel Directly
Do you want to save money on hotels? If so, stop booking your accommodations through an online booking site. Instead, call the hotel you’d like to stay at and book it through them.
You’ll almost certainly get a better deal (or at the very least be offered a discount) if you book through the hotel rather than online.
A little unknown secret is these sites (such as Booking.com or Expedia.com), get income every time you book something through their website. That’s usually why the prices tend to be higher than if you just cut out the middle man and called the hotel yourself.
Pack a Reusable Water Bottle
This is a small hack, but it could save you a considerable amount of money (and time), especially if you’re going to someplace like Europe.
Believe it or not, most restaurants in Europe charge customers for water when they sit down to eat. In fact, you could pay anywhere from four euros to 10 euros (even more!) just for water.
In order to avoid this charge every time you go to eat, bring your water with you! This will also ensure you have clean water, as you may not be able to drink the tap water in the country you’re visiting.
Take Advantage of Free Breakfast
When booking your hotel for your trip, see if breakfast is included in the price. A lot of hotels in Europe will include breakfast, as will hotels in Asia, and it’s amazing.
When I traveled around Europe a few years ago, I realized that it was cheaper for me to stay in a hotel than it would be for me to stay in a hostel, simply because there was breakfast included!
I also waited to eat until the latest possible time (which was usually between 10 or 11 a.m.), and would consider the meal to be my “brunch.” It kept me full until the afternoon, when I would usually have a snack, and saved me from having to buy lunch every single day. It may seem like a little thing, but that money adds up!