So you’re going on a trip? Congratulations and Bon Voyage! Everybody needs a chance to relax and restore themselves away from work and the stresses of everyday life. But trips themselves can become stressful when you start adding up all the costs associated with being away from home.
Here are some general money saving travel tips that you can use regardless of if you’re going on a two week vacation to Europe, or a weekend stay in a town not far away. We’ve separated our tips into helpful categories so you can skim to what’s most important for you to know!
ParkWhiz’s Top Money Saving Travel Tips
- Budget for travel ahead of time so you don’t have to feel bad about the money you spend. Instead, you can focus completely on having a good time!
- Take note of the season you’re planning to travel. If it’s a busy tourist season, prices for lodging and transportation will be hiked up, and you’ll be paying a premium.
- Apply for a card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees or out-of-network ATM fees. Chase and Schwabb both have solutions.
- If you can be flexible, use a service like HotelTonight to find affordable lodging.
- Groupon Getaways offers several all-inclusive (airfare, hotel, transportation) packages at a fraction of their retail price. (NOTE: some people think it’s a scam because the price is too good. Feel free to see this article)
- Call a hotel and ask for their best rate. If they’re below capacity for the night (which they likely are), there’s room to negotiate.
- Use Airbnb to find affordable lodging almost anywhere in the world!
- Enjoy your vacation! But don’t think that every meal has to be a big one. If you’re staying at a place with breakfast included – take advantage.
- Make lunch your biggest meal of the day. Prices will be more affordable than a similarly sized dinner.
- Carry around snacks to make it easy to fight your hunger while touring
- If you’re flexible, you can use Hopper to find the best deals on airfare using historic calendar year data.
- When booking flights, make sure to use an incognito window to get the best prices (the airlines are watching you!)
- If you’re going into a major city from an airport, see what their public transportation options are. You’ll likely pay a small fraction of the cost to get a cab if you decide instead to use a bus or train.
- If you’re flying, try not to check a bag. You’ll save money by fitting everything into your carryon luggage.
- Don’t forget we operate in 150+ cities across the U.S. including Chicago and New York. Line up your itinerary with our available spots, or get our app on mobile and take a drive without any plans. We’ll be there when you’re ready to get out and explore.
- If the place you’re visiting has a free walking tour, check it out! It’s a great way to get acclimated. But don’t forget to tip your tour guide!
- See if the place you’re visiting has any free museum days and spend the afternoon learning something new.
- If you’re in an unfamiliar place, plan out your ride home before you go out. Evaluate the different options and keep contact information handy so you don’t have to make a decision later, in the moment.
- If you want to do a certain activity, it doesn’t hurt to Google it and see if there are any promotions going on! You may be surprised by what discounts you wouldn’t have otherwise realized existed.
It’s easy to be distracted by all the shiny objects you could buy to commemorate your trip. Just like going to the grocery store, it’s important to plan ahead.
Make a list of the people you’re buying souvenirs for, give yourself a budget for each person, and stick to it! Don’t forget to include yourself on this list.
While our list of money saving travel tips is certainly not exhaustive, we’d love to hear from you! What are your best money saving travel tips?