10 Money Saving Travel Tips Slideshow
1. Find a Hot Spot
Bring your computer to a hot spot like Starbucks where access to the Internet is free or to restaurants and cafes where you can get free Internet with the purchase of a drink or snack instead of paying $10 to $30 a night that many hotels levy for internet fees.
2. Look for Free Food
Find hotels with free food, such as free breakfast or free meals for kids. The money saved really adds up. Diener notes that many Holiday Inns offer free food for children as do Orlando-area hotels. Residence Inns, Courtyard, and Hampton hotels also offer breakfast deals, according to Diener. Get upgraded to the concierge floor and take advantage of free food all day long at many hotels.
3. Stay Longer
Many hotels offer a third night free, especially if traveling in California or Florida, so always check rates if you plan to stay an extra night.
4. Skip the Drinks
Don’t pay for drinks. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up after passing security at the airport and save on bottled water throughout the trip as well.
5. Rent a Basic Car
Always book the lowest class of car; they often are not available and you get a free upgrade, according to Diener who asks, “Why pay more?” We couldn’t agree more. Use the extra money to eat on the go.
6. Avoid Baggage Fees
Never pay for luggage. Fly Southwest, join the right frequent flyer program, or get the credit card that gets you free checked bags, said Diener. The money saved can be used for inflight meals or a nice dinner at your destination.
7. Be an Early Bird
Fly early in the morning for the lowest fares.
“A 6 a.m. flight is often hundreds of dollars less than a mid-morning flight,” said Diener. The money saved could mean fancier meals, more souvenirs, or an extra day at your destination.
8. Shop Around
Find the lowest rate and then always call travel sites, naturally Diener suggests his own getaroom.com but there are plenty of options, for the unpublished rate, which is typically 10-percent to 25-percent less than the lowest online rate.
9. Try vacation rentals
Vacation rentals are often the same, or are lower in price compared to a hotel room, and provide much more space. Some even have kitchens so travelers can save by cooking their own meals.
10. Plan Ahead
Thousands of hotels offer 14- or 21-day advance purchase rates, which are 10-percent to 30-percent off the rates; just for booking early. The money you save can be used towards food, drinks, or even an extra day of fun.