1. When planning a trip, be flexible in terms of timing.
Many airline websites allow you to search for fares using date ranges. Flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday may be significantly less expensive than doing so on a Thursday or Friday. Hotels and lodging options such as condos also tend to offer lower rates on weekdays than weekends. Throw out the tradition of only traveling Saturday to Saturday and you will save money.
2. Book multi-bedroom accommodations.
If you travel as a family or with friends, look for a hotel or motel that offers two-bedroom options. Such setups often lower the cost per room. Plus, you can socialize more comfortably in a common area than in a hotel room where beds take up most of the space.
3. Plan to eat in instead of out.
Building on tip No. 2, look for lodging with kitchenettes. That way, you can hit the grocery store for supplies and not eat in a restaurant for every meal. To see the potential savings, consider the cost of cereal, milk and fruit for the week, then compare that to how much the hotel charges for its breakfast buffet. Also check for hotels and inns that include breakfast as part of the price. To make the most of an extended family vacation, find a house with a full kitchen for rent. Simply enter “rental property — vacation rentals” and the destination city in the Dex Knows search engine.
4. Skip the costly rental car insurance.
Call your agent to find out if you already have rental car coverage. If you don’t, ask how much it would cost to add it to your policy and compare that to how much the rental car company charges. Also, certain credit cards come with such insurance as a benefit. It may be much cheaper to open a new credit card and use it to pay for the rental car.
5. Take public transportation.
In some cities — New York and Chicago, for example — renting a car may not make sense. Visit the public transportation websites before arriving to see whether multiday passes can save you money. If you can, avoid using taxis because they cost significantly more than public transportation.
6. Save your receipts.
Certain countries will return all or part of incurred retail sales taxes to you upon leaving the country. Simply fill out the necessary forms at the airport and show your receipts.
7. Stick to your budget.
It can be easy to get carried away while traveling. Do you really need those purple leather boots from the trendy shop in Rome? Come up with a budget that covers your hotel, transportation, meals, activities … and splurges. Don’t go over on that last category no matter what. Having to pay off a credit card billonce back home keeps you from saving for your next trip.
8. Search for travel coupon codes.
Hundreds of websites, offer coupon codes valid for just about every aspect of travel. Simply search online to find savings on airline fares, hotels and motels, restaurants and attractions. When it comes to lodging, find your rooms first, then look for coupon codes. That way, you book accommodations that best suit your travel style, not just the cheapest rooms available.