When you’re trying to reduce your debt, credit counsellors may advise that you stay close to home and avoid costly vacations. However, sometimes you just have to get away. When travelling, there are many things you can do to reduce the overall cost of your trip.
To help you stretch your travel dollars as far as possible, we have prepared a few tips to help you save money when travelling.
Check Travel Dates
If you don’t have to be somewhere for a particular date, the cost of flying on an off-peak day of the week can be dramatically cheaper than at other times. Most airlines or travel aggregating sites give you the option to select alternate dates that are close to your intended date of departure. A word of caution, though: if changing your travel dates means paying for food and hotel for extra days, your savings will be gobbled up pretty quickly.
Don’t Double Up Insurance
In the event of a medical emergency far from home, it’s hard to dispute the value of travel insurance. The importance of insuring a rental car can’t be overstated, either. However, buying either type of insurance at the point of sale can be pretty expensive.
If you booked your trip on a credit card, check to see if you have any coverage on your card for rental cars or travel emergencies. Some auto insurance policies also cover rental cars. If you travel often, it may be worth weighing any annual fees for a travel-friendly credit card against what you’re currently paying for travel and rental car insurance.
Live the Suite Life
There’s no doubt that the cost of a hotel suite is higher per night than the cost of a regular room. BUT! These upgraded rooms often come with upgraded amenities like fridges and microwaves. If you consider a conservative estimate for a meal away from home for a family of four is at least $50, the value of having breakfast and lunch in the hotel room quickly becomes apparent. At the very least, it’s worth the extra time and effort to see if these appliances are available in the place you choose to stay.
Research Your Destination
Some services and attractions are a lot less expensive when booked at least five days in advance. If you know you’re going to travel to another place near your destination by train or bus, see if cheaper pre-bookings are an option. If there’s a must-see attraction on your list, see if discounted tickets are available in advance.
Seeing the world and staying debt-free don’t have to be mutually exclusive, as long as you take the time to plan your trip carefully. Happy Travels!