Tips for planning & booking a budget trip

Hi everyone,
instead of just talking about all the great places to go, I decided to talk about something different this week: About how to save while planning and booking a trip. So here come the tricks that I found work for me. Let me know what yours are and stay tuned for the next post about how to save money at your vacation destination.
Save on the transportation:

 

  1. Skiplagged, Skyscanner, and Kayak are the websites I like to use to compare airfares. Skiplagged is actually my favorite because you can see the fares for a couple more days than your chosen date, so you can see which dates would be cheaper. Once you’ve identified the cheapest airline, double check the price of the ticket without going through one of these sites. Sometimes that is even cheaper
  2. Book on your tickets on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, most likely it will be cheaper than on the weekend.
  3. Before booking your tickets, delete your browser history. Apparently, there are algorithms that increase prices when they notice you are looking for certain tickets
  4. Collecting miles and using them on flights and upgrades really pays off. I am still taking my first steps in that business. However, the Points Guy is a true expert in that matter. Check out his website for tips on how to effectively make use of airline miles.
  5. Consider booking round trips even if you won’t need them. I know, I know, it hurts me too. But one-way tickets are just ridiculously expensive.
  6. Enough about flights, consider other modes of transportation. In Europe, it can be super-affordable to take the train. Check out the inter-rail options, a ticket valid for several weeks that can take you all over Europe. Other train tickets are the cheapest if you buy them exactly three months in advance.
  7. In other countries (the US comes to my mind here), road trips might actually be a fun and cheap alternative. Think about it. The one-way rule applies to a lot of rental cars, too, by the way.

Save on the lodging:

  1. Airbnb is my favorite. This website helps you find privately rented spaces of all sizes and offers lodging for literally every taste. Of course, the breakfast is not included, but isn’t it way more fun to stay in a mansion, a tree house or a house boat instead?
  2. Couch surfing can be completely free. However, I feel like fewer and fewer people are using it, so it would be wise to start contacting potential hosts early. Additionally, not everyone on this website will act in your best interest, so please keep your eyes open.
  3. I know the level of comfort of some hostels is not for everyone, but plenty of hostels also offer private rooms that can be actually quite luxurious. I can’t hurt to check them out, right? For European hostels, you might need a membership, but they are really cheap and will pay off after a few days stay.
  4. Staying with locals is probably the most fun. Airbnb and Couchsurfing definitely fall into that category, but staying with friends can even be more fun. I like to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances from all over the world and every then and now take a trip to their hometown. I offer my place in return of course.

Planning & Budgeting

  1. Setting an actual budget can help planning your trip and making sure you can actually afford all your dreams. For that purpose, I was recently shown the  nifty, free online tools over at Personal Capital. They can help you set a budget and find new ways to save some extra bucks for your next trip. Go check it out! If you’re traveling in a group, it is important to openly talk about this budget, so everyone is on the same page.
  2. Doing your research will always pay off. Find out about hidden extra costs, book events in advance, or organize an airport shuttle. All those things can be done in advance and make your trip more relaxed and probably cheaper.
  3. Book as early as possible to get the extra cheap early bird prices or
  4. Try a last minute/ surprise trip: For the more adventurous amongst you, this could be an option. Some airlines like Eurowings offer blind booking. The fewer restrictions you make during the booking process, the cheaper your trip will be.

 

For more financial travel hacks, have a look at this awesome infographic made by the awesome peeps fromPersonal Capital.

Travel Hacks (1)

 

What are your favorite travel hacks for saving money?

Yours,
Juliet

PS: This post is not sponsored and all opinions expressed above are my own 🙂

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