There are plenty of “how to” posts on ways to save money on a vacation, but what about saving money before the vacation starts? This post dabbles precisely in ways to save money before you’re even on vacation. There’s no nicer feeling leading to a vacation (aside from the vacation itself) than knowing you saved up a great deal on your trip! The words “great deal” are like music to the ears as it means more money to play with while on vacation. If you want to enjoy your vacation without having to worry about how much you spend, just implement the following tips to save money before you leave town.
1. Book flights during a major event
Booking flights during the low season is, sure enough, a good way to save money, but you can maximize your vacation savings even more by simply booking smartly at the right time. You can snap up even better deals when booking your flight during major events or celebrations that draw the world attention such as the: • NBA finals • Groundhog Day • Boxing Day • The Super Bowl • World Cup • Olympics • The Grand National • Halloween • World Series • Wimbledon • The Masters I have done the test myself by booking my flights tickets during one of these major events mentioned above and airfare has been considerably cheaper than during normal days. Having said this, to make this hack work 100% of its magic, you will want book your flights 8 weeks from the date of the major event for domestic flights within the US, and somewhere between 10 and 12 weeks for trips overseas.
2. Keep on Eye on Airfare Glitches
Unbeknown to many people are the airfare glitches experienced by airline booking systems where they unintentionally advertise a plane fare price ridiculously low.
How low? How about paying $25 for a RT (round-trip) ticket from Cincinnati to Minneapolis? Or paying $6 for a RT ticket from NYC (New York City) to Houston? Or, better still, paying nothing. Yep, Delta experienced this glitch this past Boxing Day where they sold flights for $0–and guess what? I was one of the lucky ones who got a ticket! Even if I had to pay $25 for Cincinnati to Minneapolis, it’s a still a “steal” because that trip normally costs in excess of $200. These airline computer glitches don’t happen all the time, but when they do happen it’s “Bonanza” time, I tell you. That said, airlines don’t have to honor these “glitches”; though as far as I know, they always do.
3. Churn Credit Cards for miles
Want to save money on your next trip, or better still, get a free flight? Simply sign up for a new credit card (a.k.a. churning) and make several purchases on it to benefit from great offers such as free air-miles, no annual-fees, or no foreign and transaction fees.
For instance, when you sign up for a Southwest Airline credit card, you automatically get a welcome air-mile bonus of 50,000 miles, which is good for two round-trip flights. The Southwest Airline credit card is one of hundreds of credit card deals you can sign up for. All credit card companies are literary offering this type of promotional offer to get your business, which is awesome for us customers. Do make sure, though, to pay the balance in full every month and carry no debt on the credit card to avoid hurting your credit score.
4. Check Your Car Insurance
Renting a car on vacation can be a convenient and inexpensive way to get around, but it can add up to a huge expense due to the purchase of car rental extras. To hack a good car rental deal, you will want to avoid extras such as rental insurance, navigation system, adding a second driver, etc. Many car insurance policies and credit cards (i.e. American Express and MasterCard) offer insurance coverage for rental cars, so be sure to look this up or inquiry this with your car insurance or credit card provider. Other things you can do to hack an ever better car rental deal include: • Hiring a car at a second-tier airport (car rental companies based at major airports and nearby charge a premium for their convenience) • Picking up a car rental on weekdays (to avoid the high weekend rate) • Hiring a subcompact car to save up as much as $15 a day • Signing up to a car rental loyalty program such as National Car Emerald Club or Hertz Gold Plus Rewards • Search for discounts online (one of the best threads I found to be very useful is Flyertalk’s “new discount contract ids coupons thread”)
James Jones lives in California and blogs for My Travel Guide Posts. He has written topics such as things to do in Uruguay and tourist attractions in Southern India.