Unless money is not an object and you are among the world’s wealthiest travelers, saving money on travel is an important consideration. In my experience, airfare from South Florida to a domestic or international destination is frequently outrageously expensive. I search for travel bargains. Over the years, following four simple rules helps me get the best quality experience without spending too much of my hard-earned money.
Rule 1: Do Travel Research
Readers of DavidsBeenHere.com know that independent travel is a search for authenticity. Our destination guides are a good place to start, because independent travelers want to know as much as they can about the destination before they plan a trip. Reading as much as possible about the local economy and culture always leads to information about favorite foods of the place, transportation, and services available in the area. Research is important, too, because it adds to the joyful feeling of anticipation about my travel experience. Don’t ever skip this step.
Rule 2: Consider Priorities
Before booking travel, know your priorities. Make a budget, plan tradeoffs, and do not waver, because credit card bills for unplanned purchases cause pain. Start by listing the experiences you must have and avoid those you can do without.
The decision to save money on travel lodging is one of the best ways to save. Most people on vacation do not spend a great deal of time in their hotel, so selecting a three-star hotel in a safe area instead of a four or five-star hotel is sensible. Of course, other travelers want privacy and the experience of a top-notch hotel. They may decide to spend less on fine dining instead.
Readers frequently tell us how many hours they spend before booking a vacation. Some people still get in the car, spend gasoline and hours of their free time in search of vacation deals with travel agents. Remember, travel agents must earn commissions to stay in business, so it is important to compare high volume sellers first. Brick and mortar travel agencies simply cannot compete.
Travel Discount Vouchers, Coupons and Promotional Codes
Travel is expensive, and discount vouchers, coupons and promotional codes save thrifty travelers money! Savvy shoppers can save money on everything they need without opening multiple browsers to compare deals: more than 1500 retailers offer savings on the site.
DealsLands.co.uk is a site that is very easy to navigate. The user scrolls through a list of top brands or a specific category (i.e. Tours & Travel) he or she wants to search. The choices will appear below, for instance savings on Barcelo Hotels or Qatar Airways bookings.
Most travelers assume that an individual airline or hotel reward program is likely to save them the most money. A favorite hotel chain might offer a free night for every ten or so nights paid at the typical corporate rate. Certainly, that’s a fair deal, but a comparison of promotional deals and discount pricing can offer even greater savings.
Save On Travel This Summer
Saving money on travel (and almost everything else) is exciting. Here are some ways to save:
- Save 40% on hotel bookings with coupon codes from DealsLands
- Save money in tandem with Retail Me Not, another coupon site used in the U.S. with travel deals on Jet Blue and a variety of vacation packages
- Save on Disney Orlando travel packages
- Save on Living Social Escape
Rule 3: Think Creatively
With vacation season comes highly inflated travel prices. Think creatively (and wisely) about travel choices. In general, avoid tourist zones in airports or large hotels. Seek out those incredible destinations and the road less traveled. Once there, explore local stores to purchase essentials to avoid main street markup. It’s definitely worth the effort.
Researching the destination also helps you understand local customs about bargaining for goods and services. The vendor or seller may expect the buyer to negotiate the price.
As a general rule, don’t accept car services or taxi drivers lying in wait in baggage claim. Use the approved taxi stand at the airport or research public transportation choices in advance of arrival.
Rule 4: Don’t Look Like a Tourist
Consider the residents of your destination before packing travel garb. Although it is challenging to avoid sticking out in the Middle East, it is possible to dress conservatively and avoid showing legs and arms in public places. At minimum, the decision to blend into the local landscape protects you from scams, pickpockets, and price gougers.
Learn the language of the locals before visiting there when possible. For example, memorize phrases you will likely use each day. An online language course is a good place to start. Local residents are likely to offer more favorable pricing to tourists who speak, or attempt to speak, the language.