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4 Incredibly Effective Ways You Can Save More for Your Next Trip

4 Incredibly Effective Ways You Can Save More for Your Next Trip

Not having enough money is one of the most common excuses people give for not going on a tour, vacation or just travelling the world. Is travelling expensive? Yes. Do creative travelers find inexpensive ways to travel and see the world? Yes as well. All you need  to do is rethink your style of travelling whilst sticking to your budget and satisfying your wanderlust at the same time.

Bear in mind, your travel experience doesn’t totally depend on how much you have spent. See this as a way of getting a different experience while saving more money at the same time. Who knows, you might just discover a new favorite way of seeing the world.

You can save more for your next trip by doing the following:

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Ditch the hotel

Why spend tons of money on expensive brand hotels when you can get decent comfort elsewhere? It is foolhardy to spend $150 per night when just $50 or less would have gotten you an equal value. You might want to consider the following means of lodging for you coming trip:

  • Momandpop hotels

These are guest houses and inns run by small families. Not only are they cheaper, they also have more than enough personality to them than the big expensive brand hotels. Some of them are listed on websites like hotels.com as well as tripadvisor.com.

  • House-sit

This is another great way to save money. This is even better when you are part of a big group. House-sitting involves helping someone take care of their home while they are away. In exchange, you get to lodge for free. The length of your stay will depend on the home owners. This service can be explored on platforms like Mind My House, Luxury House Sitting and House Carers.

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  • Apartment rentals

When travelling with family or friends and in no need for a maid service, concierge or other provisions that come with lodging in a hotel, an apartment rental could be ideal. You get to cook your own meals and save some money instead of eating out. For resources for this, you can check out vrbo.com, Airbnb.com, and Wimdu.com.

  • Bid for hotel deals

You might still want a hotel despite the other options you are now aware of. You can get to lodge in a standard hotel without paying big bucks. Research what other travelers pay for rooms in other major cities. You can do this on the internet by checking out BetterBidding.com. You can make use of name-your-price services or opaque from hotwire or Priceline. You can then bid for a similar prices and hope that they accept your bid.

Strategically pay for train travel

Books your tickets in advance, about 2 weeks before the day. This way, you can get yours 50% cheaper. You can purchase them through the national rail website of the country. In case you are not going for a point-to-point trip but for a tour instead, consider a rail pass. Using this properly will save you hundreds of dollars. This is even better when you taking a long distance, high speed or overnight train.

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Also, a pass allows you to pre-book your train travel. You can do this by making use of pre-set amounts or a certain number of rides. If you use this optimally, you will be able to save well, especially when compared to buying individual tickets. A rail pass can help you cut cost by 70% in Australia.[1]

Is your trip a tour?

When going on tours and cruises, it is best to book at the last minute. Tour companies want to fill the seats. The cost of the tour is still the same whether the seats are filled or not. Companies, like Intrepid Travel, offers up to 15–30% discounts when you book last-minute tours.

Grab a cheap flight

These days, cheap flights abound. All you must do is visit sites like Google Flights and Momondo and search for the closest airport to where you are staying. A search through the departure and destinations will show you the list of cheapest flights available. There is also private jet sharing apps that now makes luxurious trips cheaper than ever before.

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pexels.com

Reference

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Zuhair Sharif

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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