Whether you are a seasoned traveler or someone who is about to have his first trip, there are always a few tips and tricks you can use. You would be surprised to know how the best travel hacks can help you save a ton of money as well as have a fantastic journey.
Best Travel Hacks for Flight Bookings
Book Your Flight Tickets at Least 69 Days in Advance
In case you’re wondering how we arrived at such a conclusion, CheapAir conducted a research spanning across millions of flights to find out the optimal time to book an air ticket. If you are planning for a domestic trip, booking flight tickets roughly three weeks to four months before you set off on your journey is the best way to get the cheapest fare.
Delete Your Browser Cookies
In case you know how flights keep getting more expensive as you keep refreshing a booking page from time to time, you’re not alone.
There’s a story behind it.
Turns out, airline companies make use of your browser cookies to track your searches. Depending on the demand and conditions, flight ticket prices can be highly volatile. You can get around dynamic browsing by either constantly deleting your cookies when researching flight ticket prices, or simply use an incognito tab.
Spoof Your Location
Regional pricing is a major factor when it comes to booking flights. Depending on where you are located, the price of a ticket varies drastically. The trick mostly applies to international bookings, but if you are planning on a domestic trip, it won’t be of much help. The trick is to book from “fake” locations to lower the price of tickets. You can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to head over to a different version of the airline’s website.
Let’s say you want to book an AirAsia ticket from Bangkok to Amsterdam. Instead of using AirAsia’s regional website for Thailand, you should try a different country like South Africa or Argentina and try booking the same tickets. You can simply use a VPN to pull off the trick. Plus, you would need a credit card that does not have steep foreign transaction fees. It is one of the most reliable ways to save on flight tickets.
Don’t Fly on Fridays and Sundays
If you want to get the cheapest tickets, you should get tickets for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. People usually do not want to fly on these three days as it overlaps with workdays most of the time unless it’s a long weekend. If you do not mind flying midweek and saving some money, you should definitely go for it.
Avoid Peak Hours
The best way to save money when traveling is to avoid peak hours. While it might not be practical if you have family and kids, if you do not mind taking flights at odd hours, you will eventually save a lot of money. The cheapest flights to pick at odd hours would be between 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. or any flight after 8 p.m.
Keep in mind that getting onto flights in the off-peak hours does not mean guaranteeing no queuing or waiting times. If you’re looking to skip through airport security lines, relax in comfortable airport lounges, and score free benefits like checked bags or in-flight Wi-Fi each time you fly, check the best travel credit cards for 2023.
Book Impossible Flights
If you book a connecting flight, you are almost guaranteed to miss flights. Although it is the duty of the flight operator to transfer you to the next connecting flight, do note that it is a huge gamble; you need to do some research on which flights usually do not make it in time. You should try this only when you are sure it will succeed else it is not worth the risk.
Reserve Airport Parking Spot In Advance
Another traveling hack includes finding and reserving the best parking spot for your car for a piece of mind when traveling.
If you’re going to the airport with your car, you’ll need to find a safe and secure parking lot to leave it waiting for you until you return back to the airport.
Almost every airport has both long-term and short-term parking options available with pre-reservation. For example, if you are traveling to Seattle, you can check the Seatac airport parking options and find a cheap parking deal to organize in advance where to leave your car before take-off.
Best Travel Hacks Packing
Create Smaller Packing Lists
Instead of having one big packing list for everything you should be carrying, get all of your travel buddies to create their own packing lists. It keeps things much simpler and allows you to manage your luggage a lot easier. There are downloadable packing lists that you can get from the internet to make things easy on you. And when you are done packing, make sure everything on your lists is double-checked. You shouldn’t have to worry about finding stuff at the last moment. When you pack at a micro level, it allows you to avoid overpacking and adding to the extra luggage costs you end up paying at the airport.
The food at the airport is definitely not cheap, and if you do not want to end up paying a fortune at the airport restaurant serving overpriced food, you should take some tasty treats along with you. You should pack finger foods and light snacks only as you do not want to be carrying more food than necessary.
Buy A Luggage Scale
Instead of packing your luggage and getting the shock of your life at the look of the number of luggage, consider buying a luggage scale. It helps you figure out the maximum amount of luggage you can carry based on your travel plan. Additional luggage charges are no joke. That can cost you a hefty amount of money at the airport. You also need to keep in mind that you will be bringing souvenirs or treats back from your trip so you should allocate some space for that purpose as well.
Don’t Forget Your Meds
If you or your travel companions are on any medication, you should definitely carry them along. While you will be able to find your medicine outside the country, under different brand names in some cases, you won’t be allowed to purchase them without a local prescription which means another visit to a local doctor. If you want to save on useless medical expenses, you should carry your medications with you no matter where you go.
Buy Small Toiletry Sets
If you are about to go on a vacation, there is no need to carry along large bottles of toiletries. Soaps, shampoos, hair gels, and nearly any other personal care product in tiny packages meant for travelers. It helps you save on your luggage space as well as cuts down on additional baggage costs at the airport.
Best Travel Hacks for Booking Hotels
Opt-in for Direct Bookings
Most of the time third-party booking services have commissions and booking charges involved as part of their contracts with hotels. You will be surprised to know oftentimes some of those discounts that seem too good to be true are actually fake. You should check with the hotels you are interested in to find out about their tariffs. They may have their own offers going on that beat those third-party websites.
Another reason to go ahead with direct bookings is loyalty systems. If you are a frequent traveler, you may get access to a special royalty membership that allows you to earn points and redeem perks or discounts on your future trips.
Use Last Minute Apps for Emergency Bookings
There are websites that are designed to help out last-minute travelers. Even in peak holiday seasons, some rooms tend to remain empty because of cancellations. If you want to take advantage of such situations, you should definitely keep an eye out for some of those spectacular deals.
Similarly, you should also use price trackers in case you find any dips in pricing. A lot of hotels often have volatile pricing depending on the demand. If you notice that the price per room drops after you book a hotel, you can cancel your reservation and book again to save money.
You found the perfect room for yourself only to discover later that a better room is available at a more competitive price? Well, the most common thing that most people would do is stick to the room they already booked because cancellation charges can be sky-high at the last moment.
But what if you sell your room to someone else? There are local room reselling options available in every country. In fact, it will be easy transferring your room to someone else during the holiday season.
The best thing is you can also use these services to your own advantage the other way around as well. A lot of room resellers let go of their bookings at nearly half the price when they cancel their trips. You just might be able to snag the hotel room of your choice at a massive discount you can’t get anywhere else. It is one of the best travel hacks to save money and you should definitely take advantage of it.
Don’t Go to The Hotel Bar
If you want to save on your bills during your stay at a hotel, you should definitely not go to the hotel bar. Simply find the nearest place where you can grab a few bars and bring them in. All you need to do is check with your hotel if outside food is allowed. If not, then you’re out of luck. But if your hotel does allow outside food and beverages, you can just bring alcohol from outside and keep your drinks in the refrigerator. It will save you a lot of money.
Find Hotels with Complimentary Breakfasts
If you find a good hotel with a complimentary breakfast buffet, you should definitely consider it. You not only get to have unlimited food for breakfast to your heart’s content, but you also save a lot of money that you would have otherwise spent on street food or eating out at a restaurant. Also, to keep yourself fit, focus on fruits and healthy items on the menu instead of the pancakes and pudding which will leave you feeling bloated for the rest of the day.
Best Travel Hacks for Eating Out
Arrive at Happy Hours
Happy hour deals are available in nearly every restaurant, and if you want to take advantage of these great offers, you should start looking. Find out what the most popular food guide apps are and search for restaurants with happy hour offers. Just make sure to check the reviews to ensure you do not end up going to a subpar restaurant just because their offer sounds too good to refuse.
Use Delivery Apps and Coupons
Delivery services often have offers for first-time sign-ups. You can take advantage of the best local food delivery to save on some money. You might also be able to find some coupons that are specific to popular local restaurants. It will allow you to get great food without spending a fortune on your trip.
Look for Family-Run Restaurants
Unlike most franchised restaurants that are focused on making profits, family-run restaurants bank on long-term customers. When you ask for the best items at a restaurant that cares only about making money more than anything else, they’ll usually suggest the most expensive alcohol and food on the menu. However, family-run restaurants are more likely to offer you something they love making in the kitchen.
Buy Groceries for Long Trips
If you are planning for an extended vacation, you should definitely consider cooking in your hotel room. Eating out every day is not only unhealthy but it also drives up your food bills like crazy. You can simply cook something nice or try out some local recipes yourself. You can also consider packing your food and going out to local picnic spots to share a meal with your family out in the open.
Another tip that comes in handy when shopping for groceries is that you should try to look for local urban markets where prices are fixed. In many cases, people try to scam you into paying more if they recognize you as a foreigner and you might end up paying extra money.
Follow these cool traveling hacks, and you will have a trip that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Let’s work at it.