10 Tips For Saving Money While You Travel

My wife and I are currently planning a trip for our 10th anniversary, and in the midst of all the planning we’re trying to find ways to save. The trip we had decided to take a while back is turning out to be quite a bit more expensive than we had bargained for.  To try and save some dollars now we’re trying to find ways to cut back, without cutting out all the fun.

So today I thought I would talk about some ways to save some money when you’re planning your next trip.

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Tips To Save On Travel

10 Ways To Save When Traveling

You can save money in a lot of places, from the travel, to your lodging to your meals while you’re away.  So let’s jump right in.

  • Make your plans far in advance:  Depending on where you’re traveling you can save a ton of money by booking your vacation well in advance.  For example, we saved thousands of dollars on a cruise to the Mediterranean because we booked a year in advance.
  • Book last minute deals: If your travel plans are flexible, you can save not only by booking well in advance, but by waiting until the last minute.  This one isn’t often as reliable though, so make sure you’re OK with waiting for the right deal.  Use tools like Bing Airfare PredictorAirfarewatchdog.com or FareCompare.com maps to find when the best flight prices are available.
  • Travel to the location during off-peak times: Some locations will have cheaper rates and better service if you book for the off-season.  Our current trip for our anniversary is going to be a bit off-season, and we’ll be saving money and experiencing less crowds because of it.
  • Use the Internet!: One of the great things about the Internet age is that it offers us all sorts of great tools to help us save money.  Use sites like FareCompare.comKayak.com, Hotwire.com, Priceline.com and others to fully research pricing and figure out where you can find the best deal.  Don’t forget that some airlines and hotels don’t sell via third party sites, so check airlines direct as well.
  • Stay in a rental home or swap houses instead of a hotel:  Often hotel prices will be astronomical or unreasonable, and staying in a rental condo or home is a better bet, especially if you’ve got a large group.  Try sites like HomeAway.com, Airbnb.com to find one that’s a good fit.  Or check out a site like BudgetPlaces.com.  To save on a hotel stay consider using a rewards site like Hotel Club.
  • Make sure to get a discount on your rental carSave hundreds on a car rental by finding and stacking discounts with coupons and member programs, and finding the best deal through site like Kayak.com, Hotwire.com or Priceline.com.  Try a site like AutoSlash.com to find you even more discounts even after you book.
  • Use rewards credit cards: You can use airline rewards credit cards that will offer bonuses for signing up to help net you a free or discounted flight.
  • Buy a travel guide:  Make sure to do your research and get a travel guide for your destination to help you to find cheap places to eat and discover little known free events.  If you’re a AAA member take advantage of their free trip planning services.
  • Set a budget before you go:  Make sure to set spending limits before you go so you don’t overspend.
  • Don’t eat out for every meal while traveling: When you’re traveling it can be easy to just take the easy way out and eat out for every meal.  You can save a ton of money, however, by going grocery shopping when you arrive, and eating some of your meals in the hotel, or packing a lunch to eat on the go.

So there you go, 10 quick ways to save on your next trip.

Have your own tips for saving on travel? Tell us what they are in the comments!

Last Edited: 10th February 2014

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  1. says

    I love the point about not eating out for every meal. When we travel we typically rent a house or condo and it obviously has a kitchen. I’d say we cook at least half of the meals at the place we’re staying, eat out a few inexpensive places, and then have 1 or 2 fancy meals.

  2. says

    Perfect timing Peter! Last night I got an email from Southwest about signing up for their credit card. They were giving away 25,000 points and waving the annual fee, so figured for a year, why not sign up? Guess who is paying for me to fly to FinCon12…and with points to spare for 1/3 or more of another flight depending on the price.

  3. says

    Congrats on your upcoming anniversary! My wife and I will hit ten years this September. I really like your suggestion of starting early. We’re planning a family trip to Disney next year and we’ve already started doing research on hotels, etc. It’s a big trip and will take awhile to plan.

    • says

      Congrats to you guys as well! 10 years just flew by for us, but I feel blessed to have such a great wife and son!

      Disney vacations are one of my favorites, I never got to go there as a kid, so once I grew up I think I’ve gone to Disney World or Disney Land probably 4-5 times. Can’t wait to take my son there when he gets a few years older. I’ve read up a bit on Disney though, and there are a ton of ways to save, with sites devoted just to saving at the Disney parks.

  4. Tiara Joseph says

    Great article. Often I follow the point not eating out every meal on a tour. What I look for is a hotel room with a kitchen. Doing so, I try to save money on breakfast or sometimes dinner, especially on a leisure tour. Another thing I think everyone should follow is purchase a travel insurance policy specially when traveling abroad.
    Tiara (DebtConsolidationCare Community)

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