So you’re planning a vacation to get away for awhile from the daily stress of work and life. You’re looking for rest and relaxation, somewhere quiet and calm and beautiful. You’re planning to see new places and meet new faces. Ah, to travel: it is certainly one of the great pastimes of the world. It can also make our lives more meaningful and open our eyes to what lies beyond what we’re used to seeing every single day.
However, travel does not come cheap, especially if you plan to cross countries and continents. If you’re a frugal explorer, you’re going to have to make some important considerations (like using coupon codes) before you book a flight, a hotel stay, a tour, a cruise – so that you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about how much you’re spending for it. Here are some great tips for all those who want to know the keys to cheap travel:
Plan – and plan early. This means looking up the cheapest deals and most valuable promotions before the demand for them goes sky high. While it sometimes works to wait and look for last-minute deals, the general rule is still that the early bird catches the worm. So plan and book in advance: that way, you’re positioning yourself to get more flexible schedules and money-saving travel deals. It is, of course, best to make your bookings during off-peak seasons.
Max your miles. Be smart and savvy with the rewards programs that airlines implement. Know the value of the miles you can redeem, do the necessary math, and seek special deals that will allow you to spend for each mile. Loyalty programs are there for a reason – and it’s up to you how to figure out how to use them and save even more money as a frequent flier. Also, find out what you can do with membership cards, such as when you are a member of industry organizations or the army or – gasp! – if you are a senior citizen.
Travel light. This can never be emphasized enough. It might seem like a small thing, but playing the role of the light traveler can save you from lots of inconvenience. You see, moving around with excess baggage can be costly. So pack only what’s necessary and avoid additional charges from the airlines when checking in.
Bid. Yes, I mean online auctions. Although it takes some effort, bidding for travel has its rewards and money-saving benefits. Web-based auction sites like eBay, for example, offer a bunch of cheap vacation packages, airfares, hotel accommodations, and cruises. But be warned: always read the fine print and look out for taxes and service charges before bidding on an auction item.
Take advantage of coupon codes. The Internet has a wealth of information not only on where the cheapest flights are and which hotels are offering discounts; it is also a source for online travel coupons and coupon codes which you can look into to make your journeys all over the world even more worthwhile and financially rewarding.