The average cost of a vacation is now up to nearly $1200—and that’s just for one person! Of course, a lot depends on where you’re headed and how long you’re going to be traveling.
But even if you plan to visit a more affordable destination somewhere like Southeast Asia or Eastern Europe, you may still be a small fortune just getting there.
To help you keep a little more money in your pocket, our travel experts have put together this list of effective ways to help you save money on your travels. Here’s everything you need to know!
Beat Dynamic Pricing With a VPN
Have you ever noticed that when you first visit a website, you’ll see one price for a flight than the next time you come back, it’s even higher? This is an example of dynamic pricing. Travel companies, including hotels, planes, car rental sites, and more often use this technique to create the impression of scarcity and convince people to book now instead of later.
They do this by tracking your IP address. Your IP address reveals all kinds of data about you, including your approximate location, and this can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your bookings when you add it all up.
Fortunately, you can easily bet dynamic pricing by using a VPN. With a VPN such as nordvpn.com you can connect to servers in different countries to make it appear to travel sites as if you’re browsing from there.
You should see sudden price changes in your favor. Here are some of the best ways to use a VPN.
- Change your IP address to a lower-income country since sites offer deals there since they assume people won’t be as willing or able to pay as much.
- Switch to an IP address in the airline’s home country. Sometimes they give you preference to people they think are returning home.
- Change to the airline’s home country (similar logic as above).
The same also goes for hotels, cars, and other bookings you want to do. You’ll have to do a little experimenting with different locations, but it pays off!
People are predictable. They want to fly on Friday and come up Sunday night or Monday morning. Likewise, they want holidays off and travel more frequently in the summer months.
Changing your schedule just a little bit can save you big. For example, international flights scheduled for Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be much cheaper. Likewise, if you don’t mind traveling earlier in the morning or later in the evening, you can save a lot.
As you might imagine, combining weekday travel with off-peak hours can save you huge amounts of money. And you’ll have the benefits of reduced lines at security and fewer travelers to battle to get to your gate on time.
Reserve Through Your Credit Card Portal
Many of us have travel credit cards that may have been pretty idle for the last few months. You might not realize that most card issuers have dedicated travel portals for booking flights, accommodations, and rental cars.
Reserving through here will only give the option to book with points/miles and get more value out of them and even score some free upgrades.
Wander Off the Beaten Path
For some reason, most of us are committed to going to the same handful of destinations like Hawaii, France, and Italy. While these places are great, their popularity also makes them incredibly expensive and crowded.
Skip the lines and save some cash, by checking out some of these excellent and under-rated travel gems recommended by The Telegraph:
- Albania: Relax in a 5-star hotel in the capital city of Tirana from less than $100/night
- Budapest: Savor a classic European city in a 4-star hotel from $100/night
- Honduras: Kick back at 4-tar beach hotel in Roatan from $130/night
- The Philippines: Savor the luxury of the capital in a 4-star hotel from $122/night
You will not go wrong even if you choose Montenegro. Whoever was there, is happy to come back again, especially young people who love the nightlife in Budva.
While staying in a luxury hotel is great, they certainly don’t give you the best value. Take to Airbnb or VRBO to rent apartments, houses, condos, and other larger spaces that can often be cheaper than a standard hotel room.
This is especially important if you’re staying somewhere for more than a few days and would like to do laundry without paying $5 per T-Shirt or do a little cooking of your own.
By choosing private accommodation, you will have more privacy, and you will also be able to make your coffee and have a snack without moving out of the room.
Don’t go in the height of the season
You have probably noticed that the prices of accommodation in July and August are almost twice as high as in June and September. That is why we recommend that you avoid these two striking months. Moreover, we believe that you will have a better time because they are less crowded. And if you decide for the very end of the season, you will be lucky enough to swim in the sea when the water is warmest.
Take additional equipment with you
If you are one of the people who love an active holiday and enjoys cycling, rollerblading, fishing, or surfing, try to take some of it with you if you have space in the trunk. Otherwise, be prepared to set aside a considerable amount for rent.
Avoid expensive restaurants
We all like to relax on vacation and at least for a moment forget about everyday life and obligations. However, if you want to save, it would be good to avoid luxury restaurants and cafes, because the prices are far more than realistic.
Save Money On Your Next Trip
Whether you’re headed out of town for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, these tips will help you save some serious cash to help you have more flexibility for your next big adventure.