Whether through credit card churning, travel hacking, or simply using rewards points, many people seek to maximize the value of their travel dollars. And online travel companies can help with that.
Saving money for Online Travel Companies can often mean significant shifts in lifestyle — second jobs, smaller homes, and years of debt reduction. But the end goal can be worth it: to trade material possessions for experiences that become part of your personal story.
Get the Best Deals
Travel companies know that savvy consumers can sniff out good deals online. Search tools have made it easy to see baggage fees in advance, while niche OTAs are known for their secret deal sales.
Purchasing a whole trip through one company can also save money. Many OTAs sell travel packages that bundle airfare, hotel, and car rentals with tours and attractions, while others, such as CheapTickets (now owned by Expedia), let you purchase event tickets, hotels, and flights separately or in combination for a package.
A travel agent’s local connections can also help you cut costs. For example, a travel agent in New York City might suggest dining and attractions that locals frequent rather than those popular with tourists. If you don’t need a car on vacation, consider selling it and setting up an automatic transfer to add the proceeds to your travel fund. This could also reduce your insurance, maintenance, and fuel expenses. And, of course, avoiding peak travel days (like Thanksgiving and the eves of Christmas and New Year’s) can reduce your airfare costs.
Taking a trip may mean a significant shift in your lifestyle—second jobs, smaller houses, years of savings. But, if travel is your priority in life, it’s a worthwhile trade for experiences that will last a lifetime.
Airfares tend to rise and fall with supply and demand, so being flexible on your travel days can help you save money. For example, flying on Tuesday and Wednesday instead of Friday and Saturday can save you up to 30%. Also, avoiding holiday eves and Thanksgiving flights can reduce ticket costs too.
Another way to be flexible is by buying a vacation package. Many online travel agencies bundle airfare and hotel stays to save time and money. Plus, most of these packages come with the option to cancel or change your itinerary without penalty.
Go Off Season
Traveling in the off-season can save you a significant amount of money. Flights, accommodation, and even day tours are often significantly cheaper than during the high season. This is because tourist destinations often raise their prices in the high season to compensate for higher demand.
This is not only an excellent way to save on vacations, but it can also make your trip much more enjoyable. When you are traveling in the off-season, you will find that there are fewer tourists and crowds. This means that you will be able to enjoy the sights and attractions without having to fight your way through the crowds.
In addition, many local restaurants and businesses that cater to tourists will close or operate at reduced hours during the off-season. This can significantly benefit travelers who want to experience the local culture and cuisine. It can also be an excellent opportunity to meet locals and learn more about their way of life. However, check weather reports before making plans, as some locations may have rainy seasons.
Buy Vacation Packages
Buying packages is an excellent way to save money, especially for travelers visiting resort destinations or tourist-friendly capital cities. Packages often include airport transfers, tours, and guides. They also typically bundle payments, making them easier for travel agencies to negotiate rates.
However, it’s important to note that some packages may offer little flexibility once you reach your destination. For example, meals are only sometimes included, which can be a hassle traveling to an area where local restaurants have fixed menus. Furthermore, packages can be expensive if you travel to a popular destination during its high season (i.e., Semana Santa in Mexico or Easter weekend in Europe).
Ultimately, it’s up to you to prioritize travel and save money wherever possible. Whether that means making large shifts in your lifestyle or taking on extra work, it’s worth it to pursue the experiences you dream about. And who knows, by working to reduce travel costs, you can start saving for your next adventure sooner than expected.
Don’t Overpay for Airfare
We all know that vacationing is expensive. But the amount you spend on flights, hotel, and food can be controlled entirely if you’re willing to be resourceful with your planning. Additional charges like Wi-Fi and parking often add up and make your trip more costly than you initially planned. Travel services companies can bundle these expenses into one package, helping you budget for them and avoid overpaying.
The time of day you book your flight can also influence your price. For example, according to ARC research, booking a flight on Sunday can save you around 5% on domestic flights and up to 15% on international flights.
Setting airfare alerts can also help you find great deals. For example, Keyes kept an eye on a fare for his friend’s wedding in Las Vegas and watched as the prices steadily dropped over several months. By catching that fare right when it decreased, Keyes saved over $300. You can also track expenses using a credit card’s travel portal, which uses predictive technology to see when it’s an excellent time to book and provides free price drop protection.