The Budget Traveler: Travel Tricks on the Internet

To Save Money On Your Next VacationThe following post was written by Jeffery Hernandez. Coming from a Humble Background, Jeffery completed his Master’s in Business Administration and now works as an Independent Financial Advisor. He loves playing chess, reading novels and spending time with his wife and kids.  Follow him on Twitter @_JeffHernandez0

Getting out and hitting the open road is a common American fantasy, maybe the most common one there is. But how many of us are actually taking the time to get out there and experience the wonderful diversity of the world. The truth is probably fewer than we’d like to admit.

Of course traveling isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. It requires some expendable income and a flexible work schedule that just isn’t attainable for a lot of people.

I’ve always wanted to do some more traveling myself, but paying for rent, groceries, and car payments always gets in the way. I couldn’t help but wonder, are we really unable to afford travel, or are we just not looking in the right places for ways to do it inexpensively?

I did a little investigating around the web and found some tools that make traveling accessible to the masses. Thankfully, the Internet provides prospective travelers a great source for new tools that can help to make traveling an affordable and feasible reality. Let’s take a look at what I found to make seeing the world a little bit easier on the wallet.

Sharing Economy Apps

As the tech industry continues to dominate economic headlines with an ever increasing number of smartphone apps to save the world, it can be hard to parse out the quality ones from the not-so-impressive (We’re looking at you, Yo).

However, startup companies like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnb are making traveling more affordable and accessible to a lower tier of the economic bracket. Although these rapidly growing companies are seeing their fair share of critics, they can save users a fortune when compared to the traditional stalwarts they seek to replace.

Take AirBnb for example, those looking for a cheap place to stay in a new city can temporarily rent out a regular person’s apartment, often for significant lower prices than those charged by hotels. While hostels are always an option for travelers on a budget, AirBnB gives its users the opportunity to rent an apartment without dealing with raucous bunkmates who want to party until the wee hours of the morning.

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, getting around a new city gets a lot easier when you can inexpensively use apps like Lyft and Uber. Typically cheaper than taking cabs or renting a car for the weekend, these peer to peer car sharing services make getting around a breeze.

It’s particularly helpful in that you don’t need to carry any payment with you as the apps save your credit card information for streamlined transactions. Say goodbye to fumbling around looking for exact change.

Priceline Coupon Code Opportunities

While the sharing economy can save you money at your destination, sites like Priceline can make getting there less expensive as well. With savings opportunities like the “name your own price” option, or bidding on a specific room, Priceline gives users a number of innovative ways to save when booking flights, cruises, lodging, and more.

The site has gotten pretty well known since its 1998 online debut, but people might not know that there are additional savings available when they use online coupons and cashback offers. Sites like Ebates, KrazyCouponLady, and RetailMeNot all provide opportunities for users to scout deals on the already budget conscious pricing for Priceline.

An Ebates Priceline coupon code can go toward things like 25% off of hotels, or 60% off of last minute bookings, making them an invaluable tool for travelers to slash their budgets.

Travel Tricks and Calendar Coordination

An internet-native phenomenon, travel hacking is the practice of finding savings on trips, usually by gaming the system with credit card offers and taking uncommon flight paths to your destination.

Forbes recommends that travel hackers sign up for a credit card that partners with major airlines to rack up miles, in addition to signing up for a generic travel card, “Travel hackers also carry generic travel rewards card. These cards enable you to redeem points or miles to pay for travel. The key is to find cards that offer 2% or more on purchases when redeemed for travel.”

Saving tons of money on flights and getting free upgrades seems like worthwhile pursuits to me. In addition to getting the most out of your miles, being a little bit flexible with your departure dates can end up saving you hundreds of dollars.

For example, traveling on major holidays like Christmas tend to be significantly cheaper than flying on the surrounding days.

If you’re flexible on dates, you can also take advantage of the opportunity to turn layovers into a mini-trip in and of themselves. Why not push that second leg of the trip back for an afternoon and spend the day checking out a new city. You’ll get to take a quick tour and won’t even have to book a new hotel room.

Saving money on travel just takes a little legwork and Internet searching, but with these tools, almost everyone should be able to start seeing more of the world for a fraction of standard prices.

The following post was written by Jeffery Hernandez.

How to save money and travel on a budget

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