7 Save Cash Travel Tips
Whether you’re heading on a once-in-a-lifetime island adventure, budget backpacking in a foreign country, or just heading on a road trip with your squad, doing some financial prep ahead of time can save you major cash on your trip. While you know how to compare fares, travel during less busy days (FYI, according to Expedia, book your trip on a Sunday, and fly out on a Thursday or Friday to find the best deals) and cost compare hotels, these 7 save cash travel tips will help keep you from coming home broke as a joke.
1 – Make the Most of Your Miles
Unless you’re traveling a bunch for work, it doesn’t make sense to get a credit card that’s only exclusive to one airline. The best travel cards are the ones where miles can transfer easily between carriers. Take a look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card; points transfer across different carriers and hotel chains. Bonus:
2 – Be Smart About ATMs
Using a foreign ATM can lead to costly fees, and can make you vulnerable to identity theft. First, bring along a debit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees; frequent travelers recommend that you use a card which reimburses ATM fees world wide*. Second, only use your debit card at an open bank, not an ATM on a street corner, so someone can help if the exchange goes awry. (There’s nothing worse than watching your debit card be eaten by a foreign ATM on a national holiday in Italy, when all banks are closed. I speak from experience — it can and does happen, and it’s awful.) Finally, take out the equivalent of $100 or $200, depending on where you’re staying, and only use the cash at a place that won’t take plastic.
3 – Use Your Credit Card Exclusively
Not only does using a credit card protect your cash, but since you’re also spending a lot of money in a short amount of time, it’s an easy way to rack up rewards points for your next trip.
4 – Go Budget
European carriers like Iceland Air, Air Berlin, and Norwegian Air don’t always appear on major travel comparison websites, but can offer lower-cost fares. Look into these airlines to see if one runs in your area.
5 – Hit Up a Hostel
No, really! More than just a place for college-age backpackers to hang out, hostels have been going high-end, complete with private rooms, on-site bars, and pools. They’re still less luxe (and less pricey) than a hotel, but it’s not like you have to hang out in a bunk. HostelWorld is a great place to comparison shop.
6 – Time It Right
Want to get out of here, ASAP, and are flexible on when and where you’re heading? Hopper has a flight tonight option; Last Minute Travel offers hotel package options. Secret Flying and The Flight Deal alert subscribers to ultra-cheap airfares.
7 – Use Social Media
Before your trip, follow must-see attractions on social media, where often special deals are announced. Also, excited to stay at a certain hotel? Tweet your anticipation. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes, social media account managers recognize your loyalty and will throw some perks your way.
*All ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Aspiration Summit Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using an Aspiration Debit Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Mastercard®, Interlink®, Cirrus®, or Maestro® logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.
Photo: Mantas Hesthaven