The best way to travel is by plane. But did you know that it can be expensive?
Airport parking, luggage fees and ticket prices are all just a few of the ways airlines make money off travelers. And this summer, they’re making more than ever before! Airlines have raised their fares on domestic flights by 14% and international flights by 16%.
You might think this means the cost of flying has gone up, but in reality airlines are actually making MORE MONEY because consumers are paying higher rates for low quality service.
That’s right- even though you’re paying more to fly with them, airlines are still raking in profits from increased customer spending on food and drinks inside airports and onboard planes. Keep reading for some tips about how to avoid getting taken for a ride this summer and how to travel for cheap!
1. Use an airfare search engine: Airfare search engines are the best way to find deals on flights. They scour the web for the lowest fares so you don’t have to. Just enter your flight details and they’ll do the rest!
2. Compare prices: Once you find a few good deals on flights, it’s time to compare prices. Don’t just look at the ticket price, also consider things like baggage fees and other hidden costs that could make one deal more expensive than another.
3. Join an airline loyalty program: If you fly often, it might be worth it to join an airline loyalty program. These programs offer perks like free checked bags and priority boarding, which can save you time and money. Plus, you’ll earn points that you can use towards future travel.
4. Use a credit card with travel rewards: Another way to save on flights is to use a credit card with travel rewards. Many cards offer bonuses like free air miles or cash back when you spend money on travel-related expenses like airfare, hotels and rental cars. Just make sure you pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
5. Look for sales and promotions: Airlines often offer sales and promotions on flights, so it pays to be on the lookout! You can sign up for newsletters or subscribe to airfare alerts to get notified when a good deal pops up.
6. Fly during off-peak times: If you can, try to fly during off-peak times. Airlines typically charge more for flights during busy periods like the summer and holidays.
7. Book a connecting flight: If you don’t mind making a few stops, booking a connecting flight can be a great way to save money. Often, airlines offer discounted rates on connecting flights.
8. Pack light: One way to avoid paying baggage fees is to pack light! Most airlines charge between $25 and $50 for each bag that’s checked in so try to limit yourself to one or two suitcases per person.
9. Bring your own food and drinks: Another way to avoid fees is to bring your own food and drinks onboard. You’re allowed to bring a small cooler with snacks and beverages through airport security, so take advantage of this!
10. Use a travel rewards credit card: If you really want to rack up the points, use a travel rewards credit card for all your expenses while you’re away. This includes things like hotels, meals and souvenirs. Just make sure you pay off your balance in full when you get home so you don’t get stuck with interest charges.
11. Redeem points for free travel: Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for free travel. This includes things like airfare, hotel stays and car rentals.
12. Take advantage of student discounts: If you’re a student, be sure to take advantage of student discounts. Many airlines and travel companies offer discounts for students, so ask around before you book.
13. Book a trip through a travel agent: Sometimes it can be cheaper to book a trip through a travel agent instead of directly through the airline. Travel agents often have access to exclusive deals and promotions that you can’t find anywhere else.
14. Join a group or forum: If you’re not sure where to start, join a group or forum online that’s dedicated to cheap travel. There are tons of websites and forums out there that are packed full of tips and advice from seasoned travelers.
15. Travel during the off-season: If you don’t mind traveling during less popular times, traveling during the off-season can be a great way to save money. Airfares and hotel rates are often much cheaper than they are during peak season.
16. Book a stay in a hostel: Staying in a hostel can be a great way to save money on accommodations. Hostels usually offer shared rooms and bathrooms, which can help you slash your travel costs.
17. Couchsurf: If you don’t mind staying with locals, couchsurfing can be a great way to find cheap accommodations. Couchsurfing is a website that connects travelers with locals who are willing to host them for free.
18. House-sit for someone: If you’re looking for a longer-term solution, consider house-sitting for someone. This involves staying in someone’s home while they’re away and taking care of things like watering the plants and collecting the mail. In exchange, you get free lodging!
19. Work as a volunteer: There are many organizations out there that offer volunteer opportunities abroad. This can be a great way to see the world on a budget while also doing some good.
20. Teach English abroad: If you’re a native English speaker, teaching English abroad can be a great way to make money while traveling. There are many schools and programs that offer paid teaching positions, so do your research and see what’s available.
21. Take public transportation: Taking public transportation is a great way to save money on travel costs. Often, public transportation is much cheaper than renting a car or taking taxis.
22. Use ride-sharing services: Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are another great way to save money on transportation costs. These services are often much cheaper than taxis and they’re a great way to meet people from all over the world.
23. Walk as much as possible: Not only is walking a great way to get some exercise, but it’s also a great way to save money on transportation costs. If you’re able, walk to as many places as you can.
24. Rent a bicycle: Another great way to get around and save money is by renting a bicycle. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling in a place with good weather and plenty of bike paths.
25. Take a bus: Taking the bus is often much cheaper than flying, so if you’re able to travel by bus, do it! There are many long-distance bus companies that offer discount fares, so be sure to shop around.
26. Go camping: Camping is a great way to save money on accommodations while traveling. Not only is camping cheap, but it’s also a great way to get up close and personal with nature.
27. Stay in a monastery or convent: If you’re looking for an unconventional place to stay, consider staying in a monastery or convent. These places often offer affordable rates and unique experiences.
28. Travel with friends: Traveling with friends can be a great way to save money on accommodations and transportation. Split the costs of renting a car or taking taxis, and you’ll save big bucks.
29. Hitchhike: Although hitchhiking may not be for everyone, it can be a great way to travel cheaply. If you’re willing to take the risk, hitchhiking can be an affordable way to get around.
30. Use travel websites: There are many travel websites out there that offer great deals on airfare, hotels, and car rentals. Be sure to compare prices before you book anything and you’ll be able to save a lot of money.
There are many ways to save money on travel costs, and we’ve listed 30 of the best here. Whether you’re looking for a cheap way to fly, find a place to stay, or get around town, there’s likely a tip in this list that will help you out. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next trip!