Go further with these 10 travel hacks
Summer is over? Not so much. It’s pretty hot here and most of us are thinking of a trip to cooler temperatures: Northern Europe, South Africa or Australia offer that break from the heat. You’ve been away already and can’t afford another trip? Think again and let us show you some of the best travel hacks for another holiday.
How much can you realistically spend on a holiday? Getting away from it all shouldn’t have you going into debt. Yes, you can put it all on a credit card. It’s probably not the first post you’re reading from us and know that we don’t like this idea unless you pay off the balance every month. Look at locations that fit your budget and then start saving.
Like with your pension contributions, which you’ve hopefully automised, transfer money into your holidays saving fund immediately after you’ve received your pay check. You can set up an automatic transfer into a regular savings account or a higher yield one, provided there are no penalties taking the money out prior to a specific period. You can ask your bank representative which one is best for you.
Keeping your travel dates flexible can reward you with lower airfare. Websites like Skyscanner take over the time-consuming search for good deals. Generally, flights on a Tuesday and Wednesday appear to be the cheapest and if you’re travelling during the off-peak season, you’ll find some good deals.
Go one step further. Pack light and take carry on only. You can benefit from the cheapest ticket of them all.
Now this may be a catch 22. We’ve seen numerous websites and apps offer you these incredible hotel or package holidays offers. True, they may be great. In reality, they’re also luring you into spending what you didn’t plan to buy in the first place. As you’re checking the different offers, ask yourself how it fits into your overall budget.
Are you or your partner travelling a lot for work? And are using the same airline and hotel alliances? Start collecting points if you aren’t already. You can convert these points to a “free flight” or book rooms at special rates.
Before you’ll utilise your points, check the additional costs. Sometime, the free flight or night costs you more than an offer due to the taxes, etc which you still have to pay.
Recall what I said about the credit cards. Provided you’re paying yours off every month, you may wish to consider a point collecting credit card. 1 mile for every 4 dollars spend seem to be a common offering. Credit cards like Capital One Venture Rewards Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Platinum Card from American Express can give you better deals, as Mrs Frugalwoods points out.
You know of price comparison websites for hotels and have tried AirBnB. Have you done house sitting though? You’ll stay in someone’s home and watch it while they’re away. Nat and Jodie have been travelling the world as house sitters for the last 3 years and you’d be amazed by some of the stories they share.
Make public transport your friend. Most cities have a well-developed route network for buses, trams and metro at very affordable rates. Research day or week passes with unlimited access.
What time are you arriving at your destination? If you’re arriving during the day, start your adventure here. Check the online schedule from the airport to your accommodation before you’ll leave. If you’re arriving in the evening, you may pre-book a hotel shuttle or Uber rather than taking an airport taxi which tend to be more expensive.
When you’re travelling, you may not wish to cook. By researching happy hours and events taking place at your destination, you can discover great discounted venues.
You can also reduce your food bill by avoiding the hotel breakfast. In 2013, we stayed at a hotel in Athens, Greece which charged EUR 28 (AED 114 or USD 31) for breakfast. There’s no way we could eat that much! Think how many lukumades and frappes you could eat and drink.
Find the local supermarket and buy local produce and products for your breakfast and snacks. Are you the person to take it easy? Get your ingredients for a picnic in the park or a wine & cheese tasting in your temporary accommodation and save big.
Buying a drinks package on a cruise may seem reasonable. In reality, how much can you drink?
We have What’s On here and there are so many local websites that compile the upcoming events in different parts of the world. Start by looking at the tourism websites where you can re-directed to these event websites. Many locations have free events, not just offered by the public library (think of the light and music festival Vivid in Sydney).
It’s so tempting to just continue using your mobile as if you were at home. After all, you took out an international roaming package. Make sure you understand which network providers are covered and only connect to those.
You may wish to take an old phone and buy a local SIM card.
Use open WIFI carefully and better, ask for the password to a private network to avoid being hacked. Or simply enjoy your travels and stay offline. Give yourself a little break from your phone.
There are so many ways to save when travelling. What are you favourite travel hacks?
Until next time,