Time for take-off: How to save on your travels

Travel is on everyone’s bucket list now that we’re allowed to jet set again. This year I think almost every second person I know travelled both internationally and domestically for leisure. However, thanks to lockdowns, shutdowns, and the price of fuel, travel may not be as affordable as what it used to be a few years ago.

Domestically the prices of plane tickets have jumped to almost double. The according to an article on the AFR, the  ACCC “found that, in November, the cheapest economy return fares on in excess of 10 routes were more than double what they were back in 2019, before the pandemic.” 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom with prices set to  settle next year according to Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner, who stated “capacity is starting to return and by early 2023, fares are coming down for long haul to Europe and the United States.”

That’s good news for those with the travel bug! But although prices will fall how far will they fall? Don’t forget the price of fuel is still relatively high.  Saving money on travel is easily done with a few tips and tricks that will help you save as much as you can, so you can have some extra holiday money when you arrive at your destination.

Bundle your flights and accommodation

Travel agents are a godsend for a reason. By bundling your flights, accommodation, or cruise bookings you can get cheaper deals because operators have pre-purchased wholesale airfares at scale, with the price locked in months in advance.

Accommodation double check

Make sure that when you’re booking through accommodation sites like booking.com, Hotels.com, and the like that you also check the price of the hotel on their website. Whilst these websites offer the convenience of having a few hotels available on one screen to compare, they can be pricier on occasion than booking through the hotel itself. So always check the hotel’s website and see if they have a better deal. If not, then you’ve saved on peace of mind by making sure you got the best available price for your stay.

On another note, if you’re in a place for a long period of time (a few days or more) and you want to save more money, get a room with a kitchenette so this way you can have food on hand and not always eat out.

Use cashback sites to save

Using cashback sites like ShopBack, Cashrewards and Cheddar allow you to save even further. For instance, you can save on plane tickets, accommodation, travel accessories, and tours by simply becoming a member, searching for what you want, and clicking through to the website via one of the cashback sites.  

Hint: compare cashback sites before purchase as cashback can vary greatly from site to site.

Departure and return flexibility

I’m sure we all know this, however, just a reminder as most of us have not travelled for a few years. Have some flexibility with your departure and return dates as prices change depending on the day of the week you choose to fly. It goes without saying that if you travel and want to ensure you get cheaper fares don’t travel during school holidays or special holidays like Easter or Christmas- unless you absolutely have to!

Use public transport as much as possible

If you don’t want to waste money renting a car or catching a taxi, public transport is your cheaper alternative. Do your research and see if there is a public transport service that will get you from A to B. Most big cities have convenient public transport systems, however, if you haven’t been to the destination before always do your research and see if there are alternate ways to travel other than a hire car or taxi.

Find free tours

Tour groups are an awesome way to get around to see a city and fully understand it. Free tour groups like Free Tours By Foot are a great way to meet locals and because they are run by locals you’ll be able to pick their brains about hot spots that are off the tourist map.  However, while these tours are free, the courtesy is to tip the tour guide.

Make the most out of rewards programs

Just like cashback websites, these travel rewards programs can and will save you money. If you’re flying join the airline’s rewards program, most of the time if you’re flying internationally, it will also have affiliates with a local carrier and some retailers, so you can accumulate points domestically. Use accumulated points towards flights and accommodation.

Saving money will always involve research and time, but the payoff will see extra dollars in your pocket. Most importantly, when it comes to flights don’t forget to shop around and compare flight prices with various carriers.

Happy travels!

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