This blog post was updated on May 7, 2020.
A new year brings with it a list of resolutions to try out for the next 12 months. In the travel department, you might have added new year’s resolutions to travel more or even visit a destination that has been on your bucket list forever. In order to visit all your dream destinations in 2017, we’ve come up with a few budget travel hacks you can try out.
Start Charging Your Monthly Expenses on a Travel Rewards Credit Card
Very few casual travelers score free travel for traveling alone. 2017 is a good time to rev up your rewards through travel rewards credit cards. If you don’t already have a travel rewards credit card, sign up for one. If you’re just paying your monthly expenses through your bank account, you’re missing out on points on free flights and hotel rooms. Charge your monthly expenses on a travel rewards credit card instead and pay your bill through your checking account each month. You’ll start to see your miles and points add up by spending merely on your monthly expenses.
When Shopping Online for Flights, Clear Your Cookies and Enable Private Browsing
All too often we just get online and start searching for the best flight deal. Each time you pull up that ticket you are eyeing, your cookies are tracking your movements. While some travel experts say it doesn’t really affect the price of the ticket, it never hurts to clear your cookies each time you shop for airfare. Some contend that airlines use dynamic pricing, raising the price of the ticket when you look at it several times. In 2017, test out the cookie theory by clearing them each time and enabling private browsing when you shop for flights. You just might see a price drop and save some cash.
Become an Early Morning or Late Night Air Traveler
If you want to test out how much you can save on air travel in 2017, you can make a simple sacrifice for savings. Begin the year by only selecting the earliest or latest flights of the day. These are almost always cheaper than mid-day flights. Most people don’t want to take that early morning flight or midnight journey. As a result, airlines often lower these fares considerably. Add up the difference every time you book these less than desirable flight times, and by the end of the year you’ll be amazed at how much you save.
Keep a Travel Email Promotion Folder
Most of us detest junk emails from shops and businesses we frequent so we merely unsubscribe or delete these emails as they flood our inboxes. But beware! Every time you delete or unsubscribe, you could be missing out on cost-saving airline, hotel, and car rental promotions. Whether it’s a mileage promotion or a special flight deal, these emails can save you money. Set up a travel email promotion folder or separate email address for travel sites you frequent. When you do need that flight to Seattle, you can do a quick search of the destination or airline you want to fly to see if you might have had a deal sent to your inbox to either make the cost of travel cheaper or lend you more miles to use on more travel.
Book Refundable Hotel and Car Rental Rates and Use Time to Find Better Deals
Refundable rates on hotels and car rentals can be more costly in the beginning. However, they can also buy you more time to search for discounted rates while still holding a reservation. On numerous occasions, I’ve booked the refundable car rental rate or hotel rate weeks before my trip. Every few days or week leading up to my trip, I check to see if the rates have changed. Almost always, I am able to save a nice chunk of change by canceling that refundable reservation and rebooking the discounted rate. Booking refundable rates gives you the security of a reservation but also the ability to cancel and book a better last-minute deal that almost always seems to pop up a few days before your trip.
Do you have any budget travel hacks you are trying out this year? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.
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