Whether you’re looking for the ultimate cultural experience or you simply want to relax and explore a new city, we’re all looking to save a bit of money along the way. Here at The Tour Guy, we know a thing or two about traveling and we’ve put together our favorite tips to save money on hotels and flights.
The Best Ways to Save Money on Travel
- Set alerts using online travel companies
- Check different flight dates and times
- Book flights several weeks ahead of travel
- Fly out of an airport slightly farther away
- Book a hotel just outside of your ideal destination
- Bundle your flight and hotel
- Revisit the same hotel
How to Save on Flights
Setting Alerts with Online Travel Companies
Ticket prices change all the time, so don’t miss out on low-priced airfare by setting a flight alert. Websites like Skyscanner allow you to set alarms to places where you want to visit and help you find the best flight deals.
It’s super easy. Using Skyscanner’s website or app, simply search for the flight you’re interested in, click the “Get Price Alerts” button on your screen, and then you’ll get notifications directly on your phone or in your email.
Not only do they notify you when prices on your flight are going down, but they also let you know when prices are going up. Then you can catch prices before they increase any further. It’s a simple but effective way to take advantage of great deals and save money on flights.
Checking Different Dates and Times
If your schedule is flexible, you have a great opportunity to try different dates and times until you find the cheapest option.
It probably won’t come as a surprise, but most people depart on the weekend. This means that if you book during the week you can often save upwards of $100 on your flight.
Even if your date isn’t flexible, you can usually save some money by departing late at night or first thing in the morning. You might have to get up at 4 a.m., but at least you’ll save on ticket prices. Try it and you’ll likely find the absolute cheapest time to travel.
The Best Time to Look for Flights
Average ticket prices tend to rise as the departure date gets closer. This is true for both economy and premium seats. According to data provided by the Airlines Reporting Corporation, the best time to look for flights is at least seven weeks ahead of when you are planning on leaving.
With that being said, if planning seven weeks out is too early, try for at least three weeks. Anything later than that and you’ll probably run into pricier tickets.
Departing From an Airport Farther Away
If you are traveling domestically, you can often find good deals at your “home” airport. But if you are traveling internationally, it’s a good idea to look for flights departing from major metropolitan areas.
It all comes down to how much traffic an airport gets for your target destination. If an airport is flown into more often and more airlines support similar routes, it will lower the fares.
So the next time you are looking to travel abroad, try using an online booking site to monitor flight prices from a variety of airports that are relatively close to you.
How to Save on Hotels
Book a Hotel Just Outside of Your Target Destination
When you are ready to book a hotel for your dream destination, it’s pretty tempting to stay in the heart of downtown. While it’s likely to be very convenient, hotels normally charge more money for that exact reason.
Instead, try staying at a hotel just a few miles away. If you’re not familiar with the area, sites like Booking.com offer maps so you can easily expand your search area and find lower prices.
Using the map below, you can see how the prices change for hotels in Rome by just moving slightly further away from major tourist attractions such as Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and the Colosseum.
Bundle Your Flight and Hotel Together
You can save money when you go on vacation by bundling travel essentials. Through websites like Booking.com, you can acquire cheap airfare, a hotel reservation, and a rental car in one complete package. It’s a quick and easy way to save hundreds of dollars.
Revisit the Same Hotel or Hotel Chain
If you travel regularly, it’s a good idea to sign up for loyalty rewards points. It allows you to score great deals when you stay at the same hotel chain every time you travel.
When you book your room, make sure that you provide your rewards card or mention that you’ve previously stayed there. Hotels want your repeat business and so they’ll typically sweeten the deal. They may offer you a better rate, free wifi, or an upgraded room just for being a frequent visitor. We’ve even managed to snag a free night!
If you know of any other ways to save money on travel, let us know in the comments below.