Nine Money-Saving Secrets Travel Companies Don’t Want You to Know

There are certain money saving secrets travel companies may not want you to know. You can save serious cash with a few easy to remember secret tactics. Use these tips singly or in combination to save money on travel!

Travel can easily turn into a very expensive hobby, but, as the saying goes, it’s one of the only things we can spend money on that can actually make us richer. With the eye-opening experiences that travel can give us, it’s more than worth spending every penny you can afford on traveling to new and exciting territory! However, being aware of a few money saving secrets will help you to have an even better time and make the most of your budget.

Read on for a few secrets that the travel companies don’t want you to know:

Travel When It’s Cheapest

Prices for flights varies depending on anything, from the month to the day, and even the time. Comparing different flights early on will help you to determine when is best for you to travel. Sometimes, booking last minute allows you to save money, but it’s risky as it can also make the travel more expensive. Traveling Wednesday – Wednesday will more than likely be much cheaper than traveling Friday – Friday.

Book With An Online Travel Agency

Rather than going to a travel agency to book in person, try booking with a reliable online travel agency instead. Using a site like Priceline could help you to save some of the costs that in person travel agencies add on, but you’ll want to shop around before you settle. Do your research by reading impartial reviews. Priceline flights can save you lots of money but you may need to be flexible on when you book and when you travel.

Tip: Know the risks of using a third party for booking flights and accommodations: assess your own risk tolerance should you have to negotiate refunds or compensation for problems that might arise. It may be more difficult to troubleshoot issues as opposed to booking direct with providers.

Fly Indirect

You could potentially fly with a stop over if you want to save as much as possible on your flights. They aren’t the most convenient, but you could save a bundle. Look into multi-city flights. They could complicate your itinerary, but if you’re flexible, you can save!

secret ways save money on travel

Image Credit Pixabay

Mix And Match Flights

Mixing and matching your airlines might seem like a hassle, but it could mean saving a huge packet on your trip overall. There’s no rule that says you have to go with the same airline there and back, so check out different flights using a comparison tool and see how you can fly the cheapest way. All you have to do is make sure you have enough time to catch any connecting flights!

Don’t Be Surprised By Unexpected Baggage Fees

Wear Extra Items

Excess baggage charges can be a nightmare, but you could simply wear any extra items instead of trying to shove them into your case or carry on. A good hand luggage bag will allow you to fit lots in without much effort at all, and you could even purchase a luggage jacket, which is a garment fitted with multiple pockets specifically designed for carry-on items.

Weigh Your Luggage Before You Leave

If you don’t weigh your luggage before you leave home, you’re leaving that extra charge to chance. You should be vigilant with your packing, and take away any unnecessary items if you go over the weight. Make sure you are aware of the weights allowed by individual airlines, especially if you’re doing a split journey.

save money on travel

Image Credit Pixabay

Try A Home Exchange or House Sitting

If you feel comfortable swapping homes with another couple or family, this could be a great way to save on accommodation! We’ve used house sitting as a practical way to balance full time travel expenses for over three years.

Download Useful Apps

There are some incredible travel apps out there to help you navigate your way around strange territory. You can use them to translate or simply find a place to eat. Airlines have apps that will warn you of changes to your flight status or departure gates. Hotel apps are great for booking last minute accommodations for great savings!

Know What to Look for When Exchanging Your Money

Look for the best exchange rate before you get your vacation money – this usually isn’t the airport. Having to draw money out as you travel may cost you more in the long run, which isn’t good if you’re traveling for a longer period of time. You want to squeeze as much as you can out of your budget! We’ve found that using ATMs rather than carrying cash or wasting time looking for exchange services is generally best practice. Do business with a bank which reimburses you foreign transaction and ATM fees, and you’re set!

If you’ve ever been caught in a situation where unexpected expenses popped up, you know that even just one of our ideas could save you quite a bit of money on travel. When using money saving tips, travel can be a little less stressful with room for enjoyment in the budget.

Pinnable Images:

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Tips for Trip Success

Book Your Flight
Find an inexpensive flight by using Kayak, a favorite of ours because it regularly returns less expensive flight options from a variety of airlines.

Book Your Hotel or Special Accommodation
We are big fans of We like their review system and photos. If we want to see more reviews and additional booking options, we go to Expedia.

You Need Travel Insurance!
Good travel insurance means having total peace of mind. Travel insurance protects you when your medical insurance often will not and better than what you get from your credit card. It will provide comprehensive coverage should you need medical treatment or return to the United States, compensation for trip interruption, baggage loss, and other situations.Find the Perfect Insurance Plan for Your Tripimage 9133145 14418597

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Wednesday 30th of December 2020

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Lynell Tanzosch

Sunday 13th of December 2020

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Suzanne Fluhr

Friday 15th of December 2017

We've finally reached a point in our lives when we have more money than time, so we try to book through airline sites since they're then more helpful. We also prefer nonstop flights when possible to decrease the potential for problems. Our experience now is that almost every airport had ATMs and we use a home bank that doesn't charge a conversion fee and reimburses the cost of using an "out of network" atm. More and more places allow you to pay for things with a credit card. Again, make sure the credit card doesn't charge conversion or transaction fees for foreign charges. I've also read that when the local merchant asks whether you want the charge to go through as dollars or as the local currency, you get a better exchange rate if you choose the local currency. Do you agree with that advice?

Betsy Wuebker

Friday 15th of December 2017

Hi Suzanne -

Yes, I've heard conflicting advice about local currency vs USD. I choose local because, like you, I use cards which already don't charge international transaction fees and conversion fees. It seems to me the less transactional involvement the financial institution has, the less opportunity to pass costs in the form of fees on to me. And I rarely carry lots of cash, although I've had to change my ways in certain countries because credit cards aren't accepted. This was frustrating to me in countries like Bosnia where virtually nobody took credit cards (even at hotels). The reason is there is double dipping by the banks which results in twice as many service fees for the merchant. Once I learned that, I felt less frustrated and more empathetic.

I have mixed feelings about booking air and accommodations direct vs using an aggregator or third party. Sometimes the inexpensive inventory is with the aggregator and sometimes it's with the hotel or airline. I tend to compulsively check between the competing resources, switch to incognito windows, etc. We've been burned a couple of times by the lure of cheap airfare with regional carriers (one in particular in Asia where we needed to submit a claim with our travel insurance for reimbursement) being shown by an aggregator. Penny wise, pound foolish.