39 Tips That'll Save You Hundreds on Your Next Trip

By POPSUGAR Smart Living on 18 June 2013 5 comments

Travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can pay for. However, it can also be one of the most expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs so you can afford your dream vacation. Read on for some of the best tips to save on the upfront costs of your next trip.

RELATED: Life-Changing Opportunities That'll Take You Abroad

1. Flash Deal Sites

If you already have several destinations in mind, then check out travel flash sale sites, which can save you hundreds of dollars! Here are a couple to browse through.

2. Check Out Underrated Places

Try up-and-coming cities for some of the best deals. Big cities like New York, Rome, San Francisco, and London are always popular, but other places that may not make the rock-star list often offer you more bang for your buck.

3. Cruise Deals

If you're planning on stopping by a lot of locations, then take a look at some cruise deals. It may be cheaper to travel by boat with an all-inclusive deal. That way, you may be saving on additional airfare, lodging, ground transportation, and meals.

4. Use Your Memberships

Check with your organizations to see what kind of travel discounts they offer. Some to consider include AAA, the AARP, or warehouse clubs like Costco. Get discounts on your flight, hotel, and even your planned activities like visits to amusement parks.

5. Cancel Within 24 Hours

If you change your mind on traveling, then cancel your plane ticket within 24 in order to get your money back without penalties.

6. Price Predictor

Use tools like Bing's Price Predictor feature to see if the ticket price is predicted to drop or rise. The tool even gives a "confidence" percentage in its evaluation for a better gauge of accuracy. A third-party audit has found that the Price Predictor works 75 percent of the time.

7. Book Unpopular Times

It goes without saying that booking unpopular flight times, such as with red-eyes, weekdays, or off-season periods, will garner better prices. Travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays also tends to be cheaper.

8. Use the Right Travel Credit Card

Signing up for a credit card that will give you great travel rewards would be worth considering. Before doing so, keep in mind that you should only charge what you can realistically pay off soon.

That said, if you know you can pay off what you owe, then travel reward credit cards will be a neat way of earning free flights and hotel stays. Here are some good options

9. Currency Exchange

When you're in a foreign country, you can get some of the best currency rates by swiping your credit card or withdrawing money from a local ATM with a debit card.

10. Go City Card

Research to see if the Go City Card will save you money. It's available in nine US cities and lets you visit selected attractions for free for a fee. It's worth getting if the attractions you are planning on visiting are on the Go City Card's list.

11. Buy Your Tickets at the Right Time

The best times to buy your tickets are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. More specifically Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST. Don't buy your tickets on the weekends, as they are the most expensive then.

12. Lock Down Your Seat

If you don't want to commit, some airlines give you the option of holding your seats; Continental lets you hold it for 24 hours and allows you to cancel without penalties. You can also lock down the fare for three or seven days, but it comes with a $5 or $9 fee depending on your chosen time frame.

13. Track the Prices

If you buy your ticket early, then be sure to track it on Yapta.com to see if the price changes. Yapta will send you an email alert when it finds that you can change your ticket without taking a loss on rebooking fees.

14. Book Through the Airline

Oftentimes it's better to book through the airline so you'll be able to to see all the hidden fees that are not necessarily revealed through a booking website. You can also sometimes find deals that are only available on the airline's website.

15. Pick the Right Site

There are some companies like Orbitz that will refund the difference to you if you find a lower rate on a ticket on another site. Research the different travel sites and see which one offers a similar service. After you buy your ticket, keep looking at other sites to see if the ticket price goes down.

16. Check the Hotel Site

Oftentimes, third-party sites don't show many specials that are featured on hotel sites. Check both the hotel and the third-party site before booking the best deal.

17. Airbnb

Fancy a stay with a homey feel? Check out Airbnb.com, a site where individuals rent out their rooms or house to travelers. I found some pretty great deals on the site, with discounted pricing on rooms situated in prime locales. The multiple pictures will give you a good idea of what the rooms look like, and if you're still a bit hesitant, there are plenty user-generated reviews for you to check out.

18. Couch Surfing

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Guest's picture

These are great trips. I love searching travel websites to save on traveling. There is something that makes traveling more exciting when you spend so much time and effort researching it and it is ultimately more exciting when you make it to your destination and you know you didn't blow your budget on it.

Guest's picture

Travel slower, the more you do and see the more it costs.

Guest's picture

Airbnb is the coolest thing, but I don't think I can ever venture to try it. I guess travel is all about the adventure though.

Guest's picture

I've always wanted to try a flash deal, but I'm terrified that I will end up some place that is normally beautiful but it will be the rainy season while I am there.

Guest's picture

I just discovered Airbnb and what a wonderful app! Not only for those looking for a cozy place to stay, but for those home-based businesses that are looking for a way to advertise their place! Niche resources like this will become ever more popular.