Capital One Smart Money
I’ve loved writing for Capital One‘s Smart Money series this year. This has included:
- Looking at Travel as an Investment
- How to Save for Travel (on Capital One’s blog)
- When to Skimp on Travel and When to Splurge
- The Ultimate Pre-Travel Checklist
In those posts I talk about every financial element of our travels, from why we value travel in the first place to how we pay for our travels to what we think is worth spending extra on and what’s not. And I talk through our decision-making process when it comes to insurance, credit cards and ATM cards.
Most of those items fit into the pre-booking sphere – the things to think about in the planning stages of your vacation. But what about booking travel? For my final Smart Money post, I write about how we book travel for less, and throw in a couple of traveling tips as well. I’ll post the beginning here, and then link to the full post on Capital One’s site. Enjoy! And please let me know below what other tips you have. I HATE spending more than I have to on anything travel-related!
Ten Ways to Travel for Less
When I backpacked around Europe in the early 1990s, I had a very limited budget. A $10/night hostel was always preferable to a $15/night hostel. And I never spent more than I had to on food. Fast forward to the present. I no longer stay in hostels, and I have much better dining habits, but I still hate to pay a penny (or Euro) more than I need to for anything travel-related. Here are the ten things I do when traveling, and planning travel, to reduce our costs as much as possible.
Start Planning Early
I plan out our travel at least 10 months in advance and immediately start tracking the price of flights. There are numerous websites that can send you fare alerts, and that will analyze whether it’s a good time to buy. Take advantage of them!
Travel When Others Aren’t
This applies to both months/seasons and days of the week. Once you know where you want to go, figure out when the shoulder season is – that period when the weather’s good but there are fewer visitors. You’ll save money on flights, hotels and activities, and you’ll have a better, less crowded experience. For example, if you want to go to Greece, look at traveling in May or October instead of the peak summer months.
And look at all of your options around your desired travel dates. If you’re planning spring break and the Saturday to Saturday flights are expensive, if you’re a little flexible try looking at Friday to Friday instead. You could save hundreds of dollars. Flying on major holidays, instead of the one or two days before, works well too.
For the next eight tips, click through to the full post HERE.