It’s not always easy to find the discounts to save money on travel when you want to travel the world. One problem is that the time you may have to travel may not line up with the low season (which is when you find the discounts for travel. Every year there are more than a few middle class American families that put off traveling because they’re either too busy, they’re too tired or they just don’t have enough money to go anywhere that sounds interesting.
I think we can all relate to that because in truth, traveling can be incredibly expensive. However, if you take the time to discover the many discounts that are readily available through the internet, newspapers, and even the yellow pages, then it’s much more likely that you and your family will be able to take amazing vacations that will recharge your battered soul, stimulate the kids minds, and create memories to last a lifetime.
Airfare is usually one of the most expensive and unavoidable necessities of travel. To get discounts on your next ticket here are a few easy tips. First of all, leave or return in the middle of the week—Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday—and don’t book a return for less than one week if you want reduced fares. Be sure to look at the nearby alternate airports for your departure or arrival dates to see if they offer cheaper prices. Don’t count on it happening, but if your plans are flex, there is always a chance you will get bumped for a cash reward or free ticket, but as airline service has gotten worse, this sort of perk is far more rare.
There are a wide variety of reverse bidding sites these days and don’t forget to see what you can do with your airline miles.
Once you’ve got the airfare sorted, it’s time for another expense. Ground transportation. Travel by bus, train or automobile and you have to pay but there are still ways to do it cheaper. One increasingly popular choice is to rent an RV and combine ground transport and hotel (since you sleep in the RV). This is not only economical, but fun too. As always, search for deals online and don’t be afraid to look at non-traditional sites like couchsurfing or AirBnB for ideas about how to get from point A to point B for less.
Assuming that you didn’t rent the RV, you still need a place to stay. Check out sites like AirBnB or RoomoRama to find local apartment and house rentals. Extended stays at mid range hotels at weekly rates are usually an affordable option. Here’s one you may not have considered…some universities offer discount lodging in their dormitories during the times when there are no classes!
An increasingly popular (and so not as inexpensive (or free) as they once were) option is to stay in monasteries or retreats. Another option that is increasingly NOT free is camping or staying in your RV, since you have to pay hook-up fees, site fees, or if you don’t – you run the risk of being asked to move by the police or bothered by hooligans. You can also find Canvas promotional codes for camping adventures.
One last way to get great travel discounts is to use those annoying coupon books that kids seem to sell from door to door each year. Believe it or not, those books are worth their weight in gold if you use all the coupons. 2 for 1 dining in nice restaurants, free nights at upscale resorts, 1/2 price admission to attractions. It all adds up and if you can find one for a city you are going to visit, it can be a god-send.
Finally, here is a no brainer that most people don’t think of. Ask for a discount when you are booking. Just ask. “Do you offer discounts for [Seniors, Military, Students, Indigent Alcoholics, Ugly Americans, Long Stays, Eunichs, etc] ? Even if they don’t, ask for a discount or an upgrade, or for something to make you happy to give them your money.
Believe it or not, all of this works.