Whether you’re looking forward to a weekend getaway at a place close to home or an extended vacation in a foreign country, there are several ways you can save money and still enjoy the luxuries of travel.Â GoBankingRates.com compiled the following cost-saving vacation tips from experts.
1. Skip hotels for short-term vacation rentals. La Carmina, a top travel blogger and TV host, has found a happy medium between pricey hotels and crowded hostels. “Consider short-term apartment rentals,â€ she told us. “I’ve been able to rent spacious apartments in central locations for the price of a hostel stay.â€
2. Shop “mistake fares.â€ La Carmina had another great tip on how to save money for vacation: Use an airline’s mistake to your advantage. “Look out for mistake fares, which is when airlines accidentally list their ticket prices for far lower than normal,â€ she said. “These can result in amazing deals, but you have to act fast.Â I booked my dad a round-trip Vancouver to Hong Kong flight for $640.â€
Not sure where to find these great deals? “You can keep track of these mistake fares on Twitter, Facebook groups, and forums dedicated to ‘travel hacking,’â€ La Carmina said.
3. Have flexible travel dates and locations. Johnny Jet, the popular blogger and travel expert,Â plans his travel around which days and airports are offering the best prices. “My best tip is to be flexible,â€ he told us. “Not only with dates (fly Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday) but times and airports. This is the best way to save on travel.â€
4. Book 57 days before a domestic flight, and 171 days for international. Kwin Mosby, managing producer on theÂ Travel Channel, shared some inside information with GOBankingRates on when ticket prices are at their cheapest. In addition to telling us Tuesdays or Sundays are the best days to book flights, he also said, “Remember, ticket prices are usually at their lowest 57 days before departure for domestic flights, and 171 days before departure for international trips.â€
5. Purchase a Brazil Air Pass. Mosby also offered a great tip on how to visit Brazil on a budget. “See more of Brazil for cheaper by purchasing the Brazil Air Pass, offered by GOL and TAM Airlines,â€ he told us. “It allows fliers to book four flights for about $500 (taxes and fees not included).â€
6. Stay in your connecting city. Kristin Wong, personal finance writer and founder of Brokepedia, had a fairly controversial piece of budget travel advice for how to save money on vacation: “Sometimes it’s cheaper to book a flight where your destination city is actually the flight’s connecting city,â€ she said. “So if you’re flying to Phoenix from New York, you might actually find aÂ cheaper flight from New York to LA with a stop in Phoenix.â€
If you aren’t sure how to book this type of flight, Wong added, “There’s a site called Skiplagged that finds these flights for you. It’s not an illegal practice, but the airlines hate it. In fact, a couple of them are suing Skiplagged, but the site is still up and running.â€
Wong had one more very helpful piece of advice for travelers using this strategy: “Travel light. You don’t want to check a bag that goes to the destination city when you’re getting off at the stopover.â€
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