With the rising costs of, well, everything, traveling in 2022 may seem unfeasible. But with the right money-saving tips and tricks, you might be able to pencil in the vacation you so desperately need — whether that’s a family beach getaway, a camping weekend, a foreign trip, or a luxury all-inclusive.
While you might be used to being spontaneous about your adventures, it can really help your bank account if you do a little bit of planning before booking your next trip. You don’t want to spend your entire vacation worrying about your budget — and whether or not you’ve already blown it all. Here are five tips to help you save some of your hard-earned cash on your next vacation, from the moment you think about traveling to the moment you return home after your trip.
1. Be flexible
As much as you may have your heart set on a specific time frame, a particular hotel, and a clear-cut itinerary, it definitely pays to open yourself up to other options. Being flexible with your travel dates opens you up to better offers for flights and hotels. Rather than your typical Saturday to Saturday routine, try leaving on a Tuesday. Rather than staying six days, stay seven and get a discounted rate. That flexibility is a recipe for savings. Flexibility goes a long way, not only with the dates of travel, but with everything from location, transportation, housing options, and everything in between.
2. Sign up for an airfare deal alert service
Before booking your flight on a whim, sign up for a travel deal alert service like Dollar Flight Club Premium Plus (on sale for $99, which is 94% off). Dollar Flight Club alerts you to the best deals from your home airports, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars on your next vacation.
With a Premium Plus membership, you can enjoy lifetime access to all of the best domestic deals, weekend getaways, and mistake fares from your home airports, plus perks and discounts (up to 50%) from its partners (like Babbel, Scribd, Lonely Planet, and more), access to a wide variety of other travel tips, and instant alerts. It covers Business, Premium Economy, and Economy Class. Plus, for a limited time, a lifetime subscription is on sale for only $99 — a major discount from its usual cost of $1,690.
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Dollar Flight Club Premium Plus+ Lifetime Subscription
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3. Pack light
We know it’s tempting to bring your entire closet on vacation. After all, you never know what you might want to wear on your trip. But it’ll benefit you more to pack light. That way you can avoid checked bag fees, which can be pretty steep sometimes (up to $73 for your first checked bag). It’ll also save you time waiting around at baggage claim, squeezing into an elevator with a ton of luggage, and just by helping you get around easier. With less luggage, you’ll be more inclined to walk or navigate public transportation rather than paying for an Uber.
Not to mention, if you pack light, you won’t be tempted to buy tons of souvenirs. Where would you fit them on the way home?
4. Live like a local.
Sometimes tourist destinations are fun and worth the money. Other times, they’re simply a trap that’ll cost you. Instead of hitting every bar or restaurant the concierge suggests, ask some locals where they like to eat. Get immersed in the culture! Check out the places they like to spend time, travel how they travel, shop for food where they shop for food, etc. They’ll likely point you to places that aren’t full of other tourists, places that don’t have inflated prices for out-of-towners, and offer a more authentic and memorable experience in the area.
5. Utilize a travel credit card.
Travel credit cards are well worth it for frequent travelers. The best hotel credit cards, airline credit cards, or just general travel credit cards can help you enjoy free night stays at hotels, free flights, free dinners, and more. These cards reward you with points, miles, or even cash back for booking a flight, staying at specific hotels, or just spending money on everyday things. In other words, you’ll basically earn money by spending money and can redeem those rewards for your next trip. Just be sure if you’re traveling internationally that you always use a card that has no foreign transaction fees and be cognizant of currency conversions.
Prices subject to change.