Not that anyone is directing a pointed glance at the Thai Ministry of Tourism or anything like that, but there are some people who believe if you need to save money you shouldn’t be travelling. That’s the kind of divisive attitude that implies certain people are better and more deserving than others just because they have loads of cash.
In the spirit of encouraging as many people to travel as possible (especially since it will annoy all those who believe the above), the following is a list of money-saving tips that can be implemented whilst travelling:
Start planning your travel long before you actually go
The more you know about where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what you can do once you’ve arrived, the more money you’ll be able to save. One reason why travel is so expensive is because most people don’t bother to plan sufficiently before the trip. There are even travel planners (sort of like wedding planners) who can do most of the work for you, if you’re too lazy to be bothered. You could potentially save hundreds by going down this route.
Go at unpopular times
You’ll have to decide for yourself what the limit of your comfort zone is, but some people avoid a place just because it rains for a couple of hours per day at certain times of the year. Going at those times could save you a reasonable amount on your travel and accommodation costs, but see point one (above), because research is even more important when you’re visiting a place when hardly anyone else is.
You can also get some savings on your flights if your flight departs on days that are less popular for travel. That can vary enormously by region and airline. For example, travelling on December 25 is often outrageously expensive in Asia, but much less expensive in the Americas and Australia. It’s a cultural thing.
Those airline comparison sites don’t always save you money
The problem with airline comparison sites is that they usually only include a select number of airlines, they may show only certain types of fares which are above the lowest available, and they may bump up the cost with extra hidden fees and charges. Booking direct with the airline may also give you more options about what inclusions you’d like to exclude, and more flexibility about how you’ll pay for your ticket.
Consider rail travel
If your journey is lengthy and overland (meaning you don’t have to cross any oceans to get where you’re going) rail travel can be better than air travel in many ways. Sure it’s faster to travel by air, and sometimes it’s also less expensive to buy the ticket, but travel by rail is more enjoyable, more comfortable, and if you buy a sleeper ticket you’re not paying for a hotel room that night.
Check hotel websites for special offers
When you’re busy finding a Niagara Falls hotel for that romantic rendezvous, you may think you’ll get the best deal by searching on hotel discounting sites, but actually those sites don’t always save you money. Sometimes the hotels themselves offer special deals and discounts that you won’t even know about if you’re only looking on third-party sites.
The above list is by no means comprehensive, but it definitely is a good starting point for those of you who want to go travelling and are looking for some little tricks and tips along the way that could save you some cash.
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