12 Cheapest Ways to Travel in 2023 News2america

Traveling can be expensive, and even when you rely on widely known savings tactics – such as traveling in off-peak seasons or staying at a hostel or a rental with a kitchen – the costs inevitably add up. If you’re looking for ways to save on your next trip, add these unconventional tips provided by travel industry experts to your hat of travel tricks.

Get a set of packing cubes

Traveling with just a carry-on bag is a cost-effective option since it’s typically free on most major airlines, but it’s often easier said than done. That’s why packing cubes are a good investment. They don’t cost much – you can get a quality set like this one by Bagail for less than $25 – and they inevitably allow you to save space and fit more in your carry-on (or checked luggage).

Choose the flight, then the destination

Consider alternate airports

While flying from the airport closest to home is always the most convenient option, Keyes also suggests comparing fares from other airports, even those that are a few hours away. You may find prices are hundreds of dollars less to get to the same location, making the combined cost of gas, parking and driving time an excellent investment.

If you can drive a few hours to a larger airport with more flight options in general, that may be even better. Not only do you have the potential to save money, but you’re more likely to find a direct flight or a route with fewer layovers.

Set up airfare alerts

If you’re eager to travel far and want to save big on airfare, keep an eye out for short-term airfare offers on websites like Hopper and Trip.com. These sites offer deals that usually last a short time, meaning you have to strike while the iron is hot. “I do this every time I book a flight and I usually save at least 10%, but sometimes up to 75%,” says Josh Band of A Backpacker’s World. “I once got a flight that should have been $200-plus for just over $50 by setting up an alert.”

Go to Europe for Thanksgiving

Many Americans opt to head to Grandma’s house or another domestic destination for turkey dinner. However, not as many escape to the Caribbean and Mexico, and even less go to Europe – which means you’re more likely to find flight deals to Paris, London and other European vacations you’ve been wanting to cross off your bucket list.

Travel midweek

There’s no set day of the week to book the cheapest airfare, but there are less expensive days to travel, says Keyes. He recommends flying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays since most business travelers fly on Sundays and Mondays (and consequently drive up the cost of airfare on those days).

Consider a ‘bleisure’ trip

If you have an upcoming business trip in a unique or new-to-you destination, consider tacking on a few personal days to the journey. This way, you can enjoy a mini-vacation sans airfare (assuming your company will cover that portion).

Buy travel insurance

It may sound counterintuitive, but purchasing travel insurance can save your bank account (and your sanity) in the event that you or a family member falls ill or has another emergency that forces you to change your vacation plans before or during the trip. A basic and cheap travel insurance policy will suffice, though there are coverage options for a wide variety of needs – including cancel for any reason travel insurance (which is exactly what it sounds like).

Housesit for free accommodations

Did you know you can enjoy free accommodations in exchange for housesitting? Sites like House Sitters America and Mind My House offer housesitting opportunities for a small annual fee (less than $50). Many of the homeowners have pets who need TLC while they’re gone, too, making this a fun and budget-friendly alternative to traditional rentals like Airbnb. No matter where you travel, it doesn’t get much better than living like a local and playing with pups.

Similarly, you can try couch surfing, which allows you to stay with a local for free. Services like the site Couchsurfing charge a negligible monthly or annual fee to sign up and get verified for safety purposes, while others such as BeWelcome are free. These services also provide exclusive meetups with other travelers.

Sign up for a family loyalty program

Did you know there are loyalty programs that allow family members or groups to pool rewards or freely transfer rewards to others?

“This can be a great option for infrequent travelers who may not rack up enough points or miles for a free flight or hotel room individually – but can reach those rewards when combined,” says Nick Ewen, director of content for The Points Guy. “In some cases, it’s a single, pooled account that automatically combines points (like JetBlue). In other cases, you can simply transfer points from one account to another (like Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, or Marriott Bonvoy).” He recommends reading the full terms and conditions of these programs, as some impose time limits, maximum transfer amounts and other restrictions.

Use travel rewards on experiences

Book a refundable car rental

While some companies offer discounts for prepaid car rentals, many travelers say they’ve had better luck with booking refundable car rentals, allowing them to secure a reasonable rate while keeping a watchful eye for price drops. If a better price pops up, simply cancel your original reservation and book at the lower rate. Frequent traveler Pamela Howard, who writes about her experiences on Our Adventure Is Everywhere, says she’s consistently able to save anywhere from $25 to $100 using this tactic on Costco Travel car rentals. “It’s simple and that little bit of time rechecking rates pays substantially in savings.”

Ewen says you can do the same when you book a flight or hotel using points since many loyalty programs have flexible cancellation policies. “If you lock in a flight at 35,000 miles and see that your same ticket is 30,000 miles just a week later, you should be able to rebook and get those 5,000 miles back into your account,” he explains.

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