Last updated on October 24th, 2016
Save money here! Book your flight here! Rent you car at this time! There are so many different travel tips that are designed to help you save money that it can make your head spin! How many of those tips help you save money AND make your trip easier? These expert tips are designed to do just that without compromising the joy that traveling brings to the soul. Let’s take a look!
6 Ways You Can Make Your Next Trip Easier:
Tip #1: Stay Where Business People Stay… On the Weekends
The hotel and hospitality industries are fueled during the week by business travel. On the weekends, however, the hotels that are in major business districts tend to offer reduced rates to help keep their room rates higher. If you don’t mind staying in the business district and commuting to the different sights you want to see on a Saturday or Sunday, then you can get some amazing deals on 4 & 5 star accommodations! Some business hotels extend the weekend out to Thursday, which just means more time for you to save and explore.
Just think – maybe in the future, you’ll make use of those seminar coupons that they leave in your room too!
Tip #2: Book Your Flight Mid-Week, Maybe 4 Weeks In Advance
Of course you want to fly out to your next destination in a way that won’t interfere with the enjoyment of your trip. You also want to fly back at during an easy time to maximize the enjoyment of your trip, right? To save money and make flying easier than ever, plan on booking your trip about a month ahead of time and look for Wednesday flights. It’s the least common flying day in many hubs, which means you can save upwards of 75% on a round trip flight to some locations. Plan on returning on Wednesday afternoon to maximize your savings and though the midweek travel might be a bit of a hassle, a family of four can easily save $1,000 on tickets.
As an extra bonus, you spend a lot less time with your friendly TSA agent too.
Tip #3: Keep an Inventory of What You Take With You
A 2006 trip to Seattle was one of the best two week holidays my wife and I ever took. We saw art galleries, went out to the ocean – the real ocean, not Puget Sound – and did all the normal wonderful things that one does on a rare sunny Seattle day. Outside of the guy who thought my rugby jersey I wore made me German and got angry at me when I didn’t know what he was saying, what do I remember most about this trip? The fact that I left my pillow at the hotel.
With an inventory of the items you have for your trip handy, you can check off the things you packed in so that packing out is a much simpler process. That way, when you’re halfway home, it won’t dawn on you that the best pillow you’ve ever had is being tossed into a garbage can. Unless you lose the inventory list, that is. Then all bets are off!
Tip #4: Eat at Places That Have Menus in the Local Language
I took 5 years of French in high school [and yes, you read that right]and the most I can remember off the top of my head is to ask my daughter “So… what is your name?” Despite this awkwardness with a language I should know, I still go for the French menu in France because the English menu – it will cost you about 30% more than it should. In my book, it’s better to butcher the language than pay extra.
If you’re looking for recommendations, you can get an idea of what to expect from review websites and that’s fine in a pinch. You could ask the hotel for recommendations, but they’re usually paid to refer people to certain establishments. My preference is to just pull some unlucky fellow off the street and ask him where he’d plan on eating tonight and go from there. It’s usually a reliable method… except for that one time when we ate at a curry place that was so spicy your nose started running the moment you opened the front doors.
Tip #5: Go Get Some Yogurt
It’s the bacteria in yogurt that helps keep your digestive tract balanced so you can spend more time enjoying yourself and less time begging the housekeeping staff for more toilet paper. Yogurt doesn’t pack well, so just grab some at the local store when you arrive. It’s great as breakfast, a mid-morning snack, or any time you really get the munchies. Not a fan of yogurt? Some kombucha can do the same thing, but if you’re in a place where zero-tolerance for a blood alcohol level is in force, you’ll want to go with option 3: some ginger root.
Tip #6: Call Local To Get Local Deals
Those toll-free numbers to make a hotel reservation can make life easy, especially when you’ve got a last minute need to get a room. Online websites make reservations simple and it makes you feel like you’re getting a great deal too. For the best deals, however, you’ve got to call local to get something local. Book your reservation through the hotel’s direct line and you’re not dealing with the clearinghouses that are paid to make you think you’re getting a deal. You’re dealing with the manager who is specifically authorized to get you a deal!
If you don’t save on a room, you might get other perks by calling directly. At one hotel, we were able to get our kids free room service for the entire stay by speaking with the manager. Another hotel gave us free dinner coupons for the week at the steak house across the street. The bottom line is this: if you don’t ask, you won’t get an answer.
Do you have any travel tips that you frequently use to make your life easier when you travel? If so, then please feel free to share them with us below!