It’s that time of the year again – the holiday (also known as) travel season!
As you prepare to book your flight tickets and accommodation and everything else associated with a vacation, here’s a list of travel hacks to save you time and money (and the accompanying stress and hassle).
While you may have come across some of these before, they nevertheless serve as a friendly reminder for an affordable and fuss-free trip beyond our shores.
1) Use Airfare Aggregators To Search For The Best Deals First
Booking your flight?
Airfare aggregators such as Expedia and Skyscanner allow you to view all possible routes and their prices on the same page for easy reference and comparison.
You probably already know this though, so what you should do next after selecting the best route and price on airfare aggregators is to visit the website of the airline you chose to check the price for the same route – sometimes you can get a better deal by purchasing your tickets directly from the airline’s website!
2) Find Out The Price For 1 Passenger First
Even if more than 1 are travelling together, it is possible you can get a better deal this way because of the airline’s tiered pricing system – i.e. if there is only 1 ticket left at the lowest fare and you want to book more than 1, naturally you will be shown the next price level for all the tickets you wish to book.
The trick to do this is to open 2 tabs simultaneously, with one searching for a single passenger ticket while the other searches for airfare for all passengers. If the former is cheaper than the per ticket price of the latter, book the single ticket first and then the rest.
This way, the lowered overall cost can be split and enjoyed among all the passengers.
3) Clear Your Cache Before You Book Your Flight
It is a widespread rumor that airlines track your activity when you are surfing online. This allegedly results in rising ticket rates every additional time you check them. Clear your cache and try again to book tickets at their cheaper rate.
Alternatively, enable private browsing when booking flights. This applies to booking anything else online as well.
4) Rent An Apartment Or Hostel As Your Choice Of Accommodation Instead Of A Hotel
Booking your accommodation?
With options ranging from a shared room to even the entire apartment, you are spoilt for choice on platforms such as Airbnb, as well as (if Airbnb is booked) HomeAway and VRBO.
If you prefer to meet fellow travellers, why not choose a hostel instead of a hotel?
You can get most of the facilities as in a hotel (albeit on a simpler fashion) and you can opt for a bed in a common dormitory or enjoy a private room with ensuite bathroom, both still very likely cheaper than a hotel.
You can easily search for hostels on HostelWorld and HostelBookers.
5) Book Online Early To Save On Guided Tours, Popular Attractions And Must-See Shows
When booking your tours…
Most of the time, you can find not only early-bird discounts for many tours, attractions and shows, but also special deals that are offered solely when you book them online.
Apart from the potential monetary savings, you will also save time and disappointment as opposed to spending precious minutes and hours in long queues only to find out that all over-the-counter tickets are sold out.
6) Pack Light (and smart) To Save On Check-In Baggage
It is very often not necessary to purchase check-in baggage, even for holidays lasting 1-2 weeks.
This takes a bit of smart packing to save space in your hand-carry, for instance rolling instead of folding your clothes, as well as a bit of effort to do the laundry when you are overseas so that you won’t have to bring too many outfits.
In addition, make a one-off purchase of a travel kit to store your liquids under the required 100ml, or to save even more money, use straws to contain them!