Monday, March 25, 2013

10 Ways to Cut Travel Costs

Here are a few tips to help you save when booking your next vacation.

1. Save when the flight is oversold
If you have a flexible travel itinerary this could save you (make you, depending on how you look at it) money. Airlines always overbook flights because there is a good chance someone is going to miss their flight. But in the event that everyone is present and ready to board the airline is going to offer some sweet credits and vouchers for someone that is willing to take a later flight. They could even put you first class on a later flight...SWEET!

2. Talk to the airline
Talking to airlines has gotten me nowhere in the past. The only time I can see this helping you out is if you have multiple destinations and those can get tricky to book online. Plus if you book over the phone there is usually a nice $25 fee associated with it. 

3. Book airfare and hotels
When we have done our trips to Hawaii we have booked air, hotel and car together in a package and it has saved us money no doubt! When looking at just hotel and car you'll pay that same amount if you also book air. Talk to your travel agent before booking a trip.

4. Fly out of a smaller airport
Eh, I have tried this before when I was studying abroad and in the end I don’t think it really saved us money. We flew out of the smaller airport in Oslo and flew into the smaller airport in London and we had to take a train to London and a little longer bus ride to the airport in Oslo. With the cost of the flight and the extra costs from the train and bus I think it would have been a wash. So this one greatly depends on your starting and stopping locations.

5. Choose the days you fly wisely
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are going to be the best days to fly when it comes to saving you money. Since we don’t have kids yet we tend to fly in and out in the middle of the week because that is when there is less travel. On the weekends you get the families leaving for vacations and business people flying back home and then on Mondays you get the business people flying to their work destinations.

6. Time matters
Those 6am flights and the red eyes are going to save you some money and if your down for catching some z's on the plane why not book?!?

7. Book well in advance
We seem to book our trips about 7 - 8 months in advance. And I'll be honest, if the airline allowed me to book over a year in advance I probably would! Since we do book so far in advance we always get travelers insurance to protect us if something happens (illness, natural disaster, family emergency, etc.)

8. Coupon Codes
I personally have never used a coupon code for an airline but I do watch out for sales! I get emails from United, Southwest and American. 

9. Airport Parking
Luckily for us we are able to get uncovered long term parking for about $4 a day and all we have to do is hop on one of their buses and have them drive us to the terminal doors. If this is something that you are thinking about doing make sure you give yourself plenty of time to catch the bus and let it pick up a few more travelers and get to the terminal.

10. Special fares
I remember looking online when I was in college for student airfare and for some reason or another i never booked anything with them. Probably didn't go to the airport I needed or the times weren't right for my schedule. 

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