Saving money when planning a trip—the dos, the don’ts.
Imagine coming home refreshed from a wonderful vacation, made even more satisfying because you saved 20%-30% on its cost. That can happen. With a little planning, a trip can become notably cheaper.
When you travel can make a difference. Book a trip during the off-season or the “shoulder seasons” adjoining it. Hotels and air carriers hike their prices in peak season, so avoid that time.
The same goes for how you travel. You can often realize some savings by booking your lodging and airfare separately. The truth is, all-inclusive trips and package deals are not necessarily cheaper. Think about sharing a condo or home with friends or relatives, which can bring lodging costs way down.1
Understand that the next-best way to get your destination may be hundreds of dollars cheaper than the best way, at very little inconvenience to you. When flying, limit yourself to a carry-on if you can. Today, many airlines charge a fee for each checked bag.1
What you do in preparation for your trip may also lessen its cost. If traveling to a foreign country, consult a foreign exchange specialist; a bank may cost you more to convert currency. Stock up on clothes, sunscreen, toiletries, and other essentials in advance of the trip. Get a rewards credit card that you can use consistently several months before your trip, to amass points for airfare or hotels.2