Category: Travel

Tips For Saving Money On Your Next Trip

You may save quite a lot of money on your next trip, and you will feel as though you have planned for a trip that is half the cost you thought. You may take a number of steps that will save you money, and you will find that your trips are much more fun because you have access to money that may be used on the trip. You are free to spend your money any way you like, and these few tips will ensure that you are saving as much money as possible.

#1: Reduced Fare Airlines

You must choose from reduced fare airlines that will give you brilliant fares to your final destination. You must be willing to look at airlines that offer a stop on your trip, and the trip may be much cheaper than it would have been otherwise. You are wise to shop far in advance before the trip, and you will notice that all the fares are cheaper when you are planning before the trip starts.

#2: Consider The Train

You may beaches the chance to take a train trip to many destinations for far less than you may travel on a plane. The train trip is quite a lot of fun, and it is much cheaper in many cases. You may consider a party bus or similar bus line, and you may choose from a number of lines that will take you where you want to go.

#3: Choose Conference Hotel Rates

There are many hotels that will give you a conference rate when a conference is in-town, and there are many that will give you a discount if you call and ask the front desk. The front desk will give you a better rate because they want you to come visit them, and they will offer better customer service if you are traveling for a specific purpose.

#4: Choose Local Restaurants And Shops

Shopping local will help you save money when you are on your trip, and you will run across many local businesses that you may want to support in the future. It is much easier for you to have a lovely time on your trip when you are going to locations that offer local hospitality.

#5: Use A Travel Agent

You must use a travel agent who knows the area you wish to travel to, and they will show you the best places to stay, the attractions to choose and places to eat. Your travel agent will save you quite a lot of money, and they will save you even more time. This is an important part of the travel process, and it prevents you from doing all the work on your own.

There are many people who will enjoy using the travel agency or simply shopping smart online. You may search for ways to save money that work for you and your travel planning style. You will alter everything just a bit to ensure that you are not spending too much.

Summer Vacation Money Saving Tips

How do you save money when traveling during the summer?  Well, here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1.  Airfare:  First, you have to get there, right?  The question that most people have on their mind is how to get the lowest fare.  The new lowest fare, for both international and domestic flights, is called, The Super Economy Fare.  They are the new, no frill, seats.  How do you know if you have one?  Well, they will not only be the lowest priced, but they will also, have you board the flight last.  Why? Because they are the last 2 -4 rows.  This means they are the seats by the bathroom.  They come with an absolutely, no refund-no exchange policy.  If you are certain you are going and don’t mind the above, then you will save some serious change.  Before purchasing, if you are an online, do-it-yourselfer, I recommend that you contact the airlines or a travel agent.  The seats have a code attached to them that you cannot see.  They can decipher the code and check it for you.  Finally, the airlines may limit your carry-on bag to zero.  There is, however, a way around it, shown in Step 2.

Step 2.  Amount of Luggage:  Purchase a luggage jacket.  It is a front-zippered jacket with both inner and outer pockets.  Some of the pockets are long, short, wide and narrow.  The pockets are expandable.  They are quite fashionable.  The vests are thigh length, colorful and chic, with long, short or no sleeves.  Now, you don’t have to carry on any luggage at all, or at the very least, you can get your two bags down to one.  Since they are re-usable, you will earn your small investment back in no time.  Once you arrive at your destination, you can empty those pockets and refill them with your passport or credit cards.  Look on the net under, Travel Jacket, for your favorite style.

Also, weigh luggage before you leave home and subtract five pounds.  This is because the airlines scales can be a bit off.  You may be able to get them to re-calibrate their scales by asking them.  Even better, just request a different scale. This can be a huge money-saver.

Step 3.  Travel Insurance: Simply put, not recommended.  Why?  Because you have to go through a lot to get reimbursed and even then you may not.  They also come with pages and pages of conditions.  If you insist on getting it, read the Terms and Conditions, line by line.  They are sold with loopholes in favor of the Insurance Company and are pushed heavily by travel agents and the airlines.  They are a huge profit for them.  Instead, check out the membership cards and your own credit cards. Many people do not know that certain American Express comes with it.  Those dollars that you just saved can now be used for an upgraded, not so restrictive, airfare or for more fun in the sun.

Step 4.  Hotels:  How to save money on your hotel is easy.  Request from the hotel the room that is the most restrictive in change-ability.  You will get the room at the rock bottom, lowest price.  These will be the rooms with the no refund-no exchange policy.  Now that you’re at that price, check to see if you can upgrade to the same room type but with less restrictions.  To find them you can go online or have your travel agent search and compare for you.  If you decide to call the hotel, use their direct number.  The 800 or 866 numbers are usually out-sourced.  The reservationists may not be provided the proper codes to book them.

Step 5.  Apps:  Need a City Guidebook now that you’re there?  Download a free App!  Simply say the Destination City plus the word Guidebook.

Now, with these five easy steps, you’ve saved quite a bit of cash.  You can now enjoy the summer with more money left on your card.

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Traveling without blowing a hole in our wallet

Mrs. Moneyseed and I have been married almost 3 years now, and we haven’t taken one actual vacation for leisure, as most of our previous vacation days were used to spend time with family, or to attend weddings, etc.

This year we’re breaking that mold as we are planning not one, but three, awesome vacations.

The first trip is to Orlando, Florida. We’ll be spending about a week in town hitting the tourist traps, but primarily spending our time hanging out with friends, cooking, lounging by the pool, drinking a few beers and playing the occasional board game*.

Expenses: ~$1000

The second trip is the big one, it’s a full-week resort getaway in Ecuador. Mrs. Moneyseed and I will be spending the week with Mr. Money Mustache, JD Roth, Jim Collins and Cheryl Reed, as well as 23 other lucky individuals, doing a little soul-searching as well as helping out the local community.

Expenses: ~$6000

The final trip will be to St Louis, Missouri for FinCon13, an event for personal finance bloggers to learn from, share, and network with some of the greatest members of the community. Apparently this conference is supposed to be the bee’s knees for us finance nerds.

Expenses: ~$1000

Every month we put $750 into our American Express high yield savings account so that we can put it towards new experiences/travels. Even though we have the money readily at hand to go on trips like these at our whimsy, it just wouldn’t be right unless we tried to somehow “earn” the $8000 so our savings would not only be unscathed due to our travels, but they would continue to grow.

Here are a few ways that we can save a little extra money to help absorb the costs of our travels:

  1. Refinancing our house. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t doing this so we can go on vacation. We’re doing it because we were able to reduce our APR to 3.25%, which brings our payment down by $300/month. We are closing next week, so we will get a pass for April’s mortgage payment. That means we are saving $300/month May-December and saving $1900 in April for not having to make a payment. Total $4300
  2. Utilizing child care vacation days. It’s pretty standard that you have to pay for daycare year-round to keep your kids’ spots even if they are out for a day, a week, or longer. Our daycare center gives us 2 vacation-weeks a year (per child) where we can pull our kids out, and not have to pay for them for the duration. We will be fully taking advantage of this perk this year. Total $600
  3. Selling stuff. I can’t set an exact amount that we will receive from selling stuff this year, but just looking around the room right now all I can see is dollar bills. My aim is to sell at least $100 worth of crap online every month through December. Total $1000
  4. Credit card rewards. Traveling is a great time to cash in credit card reward points. At the beginning of the year we had a balance of $250 unused rewards, and we are projecting $800 additional points this year. Total $1050
  5. Blog income. Since two out of three of our trips can be written off as business expenses, it only makes sense to pay for as much as these trips with blog income as possible. To fully pay the remainder of trip expenses we would need to average $105 in blog income from now through December. Total (hopefully) $1050

Will everything go according to this perfect arrangement? Probably not, but unlike the typical American family, we aren’t just saving for vacations, we are trying to Save Our Savings as well. If we are $1k-$2k short in the end, then we still managed to not spend $6000 on traveling.

Saving money alone isn’t enough to get you ahead. It’s only enough to level you out. Back to zero. To accomplish this feat of traveling practically for free, you have to be creative, and try to find money where most people would overlook it.

What lengths do you go to to save money for traveling or other big expenses?

* In addition to being Personal Finance junkies, The Moneyseeds are also huge board game nerds.