Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money This Summer

3 min read

Anthony O'neal
Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money This Summer

Most of us love to travel, and part of being financially free we associate with being able to go on vacations, take your significant other or loved ones on a vacation. However, there are still ways to hack the travel game to benefit you. 

These will allow you to travel smarter, cheaper and ultimately enjoy a better vacation because you were able to hack the travel game, let’s get into it!

Overall Travel Hacks to Save Money

We’re going to start out with an overview on this one, and go over the things that are going to save you money no matter where you’re going or what time of the year you’re traveling. 

Don’t Exchange Currency At the Airport

If you’re taking a vacation or trip overseas, don’t exchange your U.S. dollars for foreign currency at the airport. This is the most expensive way to do this, instead you can order currency from your bank or credit union, even better if you can use a debit card that carries no foreign transaction or ATM fees. 

Let Your Bank Know You’re Traveling 

This is something that a lot of people forget to do, but it can cost you a ton of money in the long run. To avoid your debit card being locked while you’re traveling, you need to call them and let them know where you’re going and how long you’ll be there so they know these purchases are authorized. That being said, you’ll need to make sure you let them know when you get back so that they can continue to keep an eye on suspicious activity now that you’re back home and not spending money on “vacation time”. 

Leverage Special Occasions for Perks

If you’re traveling for a birthday, anniversary, bachelor or bachelorette party, or any other special occasion, let the airline and hotel staff know! You may get special perks because of the occasion like a bottle of champagne, a seat or room upgrade, or complimentary room service. The worst thing that can happen is you won’t get anything, but it doesn’t hurt to brag a bit and see what perks are offered, if any. 

Use a Reusable Water Bottle

This travel hack can save you more money than you think, and you can take it into the airport empty, and once you’re clear of security and baggage check, you can use a water fountain or fill it at a food or beverage stand inside the airport and you don’t have to spend $10 for a bottle of water. This also applies to the rest of your trip, you have that with you to reuse throughout your trip and can cut down on unnecessary purchases of incredibly overpriced water bottles. 

Airline Travel Hacks 

There aren’t many people that find the airport experience enjoyable, but there are things you can do to make the entire process and experience easier and possibly save you money along the way. 

Shop for tickets early

I know that spontaneous trips are a thing, but if we’re talking about saving your wallet, your trips should be budgeted ahead of time, giving you more time to purchase tickets. It’s best to book your airline tickets anywhere from 3 ½ months to 3 weeks before your actual trip. This also helps with discounts and avoiding price hikes during peak travel times.

 If you’re going on a family vacation over spring break because you’re kids are out of school, that’s a popular travel time, if you booked your flights ahead of time, you know you’re trip is secured and you probably got a lower price because you didn’t book during peak travel when they raise ticket prices. 

Strategically choose your travel days 

Weekends are notoriously expensive days to fly, both leaving and returning from any destination. When you’re looking for airline travel, try booking on Tuesdays, Wednesday or Saturdays, as they’re likely to be cheaper than Fridays or Sundays. 

Utilize the Customer Service Number If Your Flight Gets Canceled

This one is probably one of the best hacks that is often overlooked. If you’re at the airport and your flight gets canceled, instead of standing in the absurdly long line, call the customer service number. Typically they can help you immediately and you don’t have to wait in line. 

Bring a Portable Phone / Laptop Charger

In the world we live in today, there are a ton of issues being brought up with malware being placed into the USB ports in the airport. That being said, the simple fact that you don’t want to get there and have no available charging port, it’s best to bring a portable one that you can charge before you leave and use to charge your devices when you need it. Better to be safe than sorry in any situation. 

Get TSA PreCheck

I don’t think there is a person alive who enjoys waiting in lines, and airport security is probably the biggest pain when it comes to the airport process. To make it easier on you, sign up for TSA PreCheck when you book your flight. It's a small additional cost, but you can skip the security line for up to 5 years and instead go through the much faster, and less congested, security screening. 

Weigh Your Baggage Before The Airport

This will not only save you money on extra baggage fees, but also save you the embarrassment of having to repack and rearrange your baggage in the check line to make sure it’s under the weight requirements. You can get a simple baggage scale on Amazon if you’re someone that does a lot of traveling, or you can use the scale you have at home. Either way, making sure your baggage is under the weight requirement before you get to the airport will save you time and money. 

Download Movies and Podcasts Ahead of Time

This hack can apply for longer flights, or standard flights, and you’ll save yourself boredom and frustration. If you have movies, videos, podcasts, or whatever entertainment you want before you get on the plane, you’ll be ready to sit back and “enjoy” the flight without having to realize you made a grave mistake not doing it beforehand. 

Lodging and Hotel Travel Hacks

Unless you’re staying with a friend or family member when you’re traveling, or your hotel and lodging is covered by a business trip, you’ll want to take advantage of these lodging hacks to save you money. 

Search for Hotel Deals

We all want to stay somewhere nice when we’re on vacation or taking a trip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal. Shopping around for hotels instead of booking the first nice one you see, can save you tons of money when traveling. Take advantage of sites like Hotels.ome or Trip Advisor to make sure you’re getting the best deals on your lodging. You can also search for rentals on AirBnB or VRBO which may offer more amenities or perks depending on your situation. 

You can go even further if you’re planning on staying in a hotel, by calling them and seeing if they will negotiate or price match online prices you found. Oftentimes they’re incentivized to do so to get you to book with them directly. 

Transportation Travel Hacks Once You Arrive 

Again, unless you’re planning on riding everywhere with a family member or loved one that you’re visiting, you’re likely going to need a form of transportation once you get to your destination. 

Find Rental Car Deals

If you need to rent a car, it’s important to practice the same strategy you did when you booked your hotel or lodging, shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. You want to make sure that the car you’re getting is going to be reliable and safe first and foremost, but getting a great deal can save you a ton of money when traveling. 

A tip for rental cars, some companies make booking a rental car with a debit card difficult, so make sure you research the company’s debit card policy beforehand so you’re not caught off guard or surprised once you get there. 

Consider Public Transportation

If you’re traveling to a bigger city, one where public transportation is common, consider using it instead of renting a car to save you money. It’s important to be aware of your level of comfortability with taking public transportation, but if you are comfortable with it, it’s cheaper than renting a car and helps you get the local feel of where you’re visiting. 

Let’s Recap

Traveling, taking vacations and trips is always a fun way to unwind and have fun with your loved ones or significant other. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be mindful and diligent when it comes to how you’re spending money during your travel, consider the hacks we went over as ways you can save yourself money while still enjoying your trip or vacation but not breaking the bank. 

Take advantage of these hacks and make sure you’re shopping around for the best deals on flights, lodging and hotels, and transportation. By planning ahead and thinking about these situations ahead of time, you can save yourself money, frustration, and improve the experience of traveling.

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