I think it is a given that at twenty four, I wouldn’t have been able to have visited thirty countries without being a little savvy with how I spend my money travelling. If you’re not a picky traveller, these travel hacks will work wonders on saving your bank account before you go abroad. Whether you are used to living a lavish lifestyle abroad or don’t mind where you stay – the below tips will ensure you get the best deals no matter what.
So, what are they?
Flight Comparison Websites
I honestly pity anyone who doesn’t rely exclusively on Skyscanner, Kayak or another similar alternative. This is the ONLY WAY to get the best deals! They have this incredibly useful function as well for those of us who don’t really mind where we head off to, and want the cheapest price while we are at it. Both have helpful functions – so it’s always a good idea to use both if you are looking for the best deal.
Skyscanner lets you choose the option of searching cheapest flights from your current location to ‘Everywhere’ and you can either chose specific dates that suit you, a month that suits you, or let them show you the cheapest month to fly to that destination.
Kayak lets you specify just that little bit further. It allows you to choose ‘Anywhere’ as your destination, but instead of choosing either a specific date or month, it lets you pick exact dates, flexible dates and even flexible weekends which is super helpful for someone like me who works full time and can only go away on weekends to avoid using up all my annual leave.
There are a number of different website that give you great deals, if you just look out for them. One of my favourites is on Hotels.com who run a reward scheme. So how do you benefit? All you have to do is book ten nights through their website and you will get a night free. It doesn’t sound like much – but if you are booking nights for work, or spending more than a few nights away from somewhere they add up really quickly. In the last year or two, my boyfriend and I have gotten three free nights stay because of this. Once again, it doesn’t sound like much, but three nights free is better than none – right?
Air B’n’B also have a deal where they offer you credit off the next place you stay when a friend uses your link and books with it. This is fool proof if you have a friend, or significant other that you can do this with. If you are both staying together in more than one place, get money off your stays by giving your credit to one another. As far as I know, you can give your link for credit to anyone who wants to book (I see a lot of Travel Bloggers tweeting and posting theirs time and time again) so you can even benefit by doing this with a few of your friends if you travel often enough.
Booking.com definitely have given me some of the cheapest prices around – but they get even better once you have booked with them on a few occasions. They have a Genius Rewards scheme that you ‘unlock’ when you become a frequent traveller. I didn’t think I got these for ages and I felt so hard done by – but turns out that they show you these discounts quite subtly (or so I felt). Regular prices show in red, while your special ‘genius’ prices show in green.
Sorry if this was an obvious one, but common sense goes a LONG way in saving you some money – and sometimes, time. I always check the distance from my hotel/hostel/air bnb from where I am landing to try and figure out the fastest, most cost effective way of getting from A to B. Copenhagen and Oslo are two examples where the train is less than €10 and gets you to the city from the airport in far less time than it would if you were to take a taxi. Don’t always assume that a taxi is your best option!
Similarly to this, don’t get caught buying all of your travel goods in the airport! I always pick up my travel adapters in Dealz along with any other smaller items I need. For the price of a cheap Ryanair flight, you could end up spending the equivalent in Boots in the airport on little bits and bobs for a short weekend away. It pays (literally) to just be a bit more prepared.
So, these are the little things that I do in order to get the best deals before go – my travel hacks if you will! There are plenty of things that I do while I am abroad to save money also but these are all the steps that I take before leaving to ensure I don’t break the bank before I step foot on the plane. There are other hacks such as using credit cards to earn points but from what I have seen, these don’t exist in Ireland as of yet. Aer Lingus are the only Irish airline at the moment who offer a reward scheme called ‘AerClub‘ but sadly, the best deal regardless of this for me is always with Ryanair or another low cost airline so I have yet to reap the rewards from that one (pun intended!).
Have you any travel hacks for finding the best deals?