Travel hacking is a term that is used to describe ways that travelers can save by using free deals, airline miles, elite benefits, and rewards. Traveling abroad can be very expensive; however, by using various methods for saving before and during your travels, it is possible to save a significant amount of cash. Travel hackers save while using rewards and miles, when checking into motels, while dining out, on transportation, and the secret is to know how!
The following tips are designed to help you make the most of ‘travel hacking’ on your next trip abroad.
There are several ways to save money on airline tickets. The best way is to combine numerous strategies. Watch for great deals; many specials are available for short periods of time so it helps to stay flexible and open to the best opportunities. Use airline aggregators to check multiple sites and play with dates and times when you search. Once you have found a deal, go to the airline’s site to see if they offer even lower prices. Compare currencies, altered routes, and less familiar carriers that fly into smaller airports. Use frequent-flier credits when possible and fly for free! Many credit cards and member groups such as the PPS club provide exclusive benefits and privileges for travelers.
Next to the cost of airfare, your accommodations are a major expense. Once again, there are several ways to ‘hack’ the costs. One way is to bid online for great rates through a travel navigating site. Once you’ve established the dates, start comparing other user’s winning bids on rooms and start bidding accordingly. Many credit cards provide bonus-points that can be redeemed, sometimes for cost-free accommodation. Additionally, ‘couch-surfing’ and ‘freeloading’ sites may help match you up with an amenable host. Other options include staying in hostels, house-sitting, ‘garden-camping’, and working for free room and board.
A good ways to save on food is to eat where the locals eat and purchase food from street vendors and local shops. Often you will experience some of the world’s best dining while seated in an outdoor café or in a ‘street stall.’ Many restaurants provide lunch specials and buffets. By moving your main meal to midday, it’s possible to save a significant amount. Whenever possible, buy fresh foods from markets and prepare your own dinners.
Tourist cards offer an ideal way to hack transportation expenses. Many of these cards provide free transportation around the cities via tramways, trains, ferries, and buses. Or you might want to share a rental car and split the costs, or get paid to move someone else’s car from one location to another. Whenever possible, walk!
Hacking the Extras:
Many credit cards provide bonuses on tourist attractions and amenities. It’s easy to hack the price of extras by watching for specials, locating free events, and by purchasing tourist cards for the cities where you plan to stay.
Plan ahead, save on airfare, check out the best deals, use credit card discounts, rewards, and exclusive benefits, and watch for free deals. Travel hacking has never been easier. Not only will you be able to make the most of it on your next trip abroad, the amount that you save can help you save toward future travels!