How to Save $1,000 on Your Trip:
You probably feel eager for your next holiday, as you should. After all, there’s a whole world out there to explore! In order to get the most out of the experience, you need to make sure you have enough money.
Don’t worry about that! We’re going to show you a couple of practical ways to trim some of your trip expenses, but also how to incorporate cost-cutting savings strategies that will keep the money in your pocket throughout the entire journey!
After talking with one or two travel experts, we were surprised how easily you can save as much as $1000 on the next trip! So here’s what you need to remember:
When you decide on the date for your next ideal trip, try to keep an open mind and stay as flexible as possible. This way, your travel plans will result in significant savings. You should start by picking up a destination in its “off-peak season”, otherwise you’ll end up paying way more on the hotel room, airfare, dining, and even entertainment, as Andrea Woroch, a consumer finance expert, explained.
Even more, a shoulder season might yield significant savings, and off-peak seasons will always come with better values, fewer crowds, and a light vacation vibe. Let’s say you’re interested in visiting Newport, R.I., in the middle of the summer.
The best option for you would be to book a trip after Labor Day. The weather will be just as beautiful, hotels and other lodging options will significantly lower their prices, and restaurants will be less crowded. Or, if you want to take a long New England weekend, the best way to save money is to take excursions like boat tours, which are less expensive.
On a trip of three to four nights, you’ll save $1000 on a breeze. Being flexible with the timing and destination is a great start, but you can also stretch your vacation budget by simply picking a place with many free attractions.
“Look for destinations where you can do many free things. For example, the beach has 24/7 hours of entertainment, while the mountains offer other soul-fulfilling activities, such as hiking, fishing, star gazing, campfires, and so on. All of these will relax you for less money.” Woroch added.
Get a new rewards credit card
Why don’t you search for a new credit card that has a lucrative sign-up bonus? It will instantly award your rewards with free cash back, airline miles, and even travel points. All of these because you spent a certain amount of money on your card in the first few months after opening your account?
Sign me up! As Woroch said, “You will easily qualify for the bonus, as long as you use the card towards monthly bills that need to be paid anyway, and towards some of your vacation bookings. It doesn’t sound that much, but when you’ll be able to pay for your hotel with that money, or you’ll get enough miles to cover roundtrip airfare, it won’t be that little, either.”
However, you need to make sure that you carefully read the credit card issuer’s terms and conditions, in order to meet all the requirements. If it says you need to spend $5,000 in the first three months after opening your account, make sure you reach that threshold.
Another important thing to remember is that you have to be able to pay your balance in full and right on time. Otherwise, any rewards will automatically be offset. If you’re prone to overspending or don’t have a steady cash flow, opening a brand-new credit card isn’t the best idea. However, not all credit cards need thousands in spending, so take a look at these:
- Capital One Venture One Rewards – If you spend $500 in the first 3 months, you’ll get a bonus of 20,000 miles. You can easily use them for a flight or even a car rental.
- The Disney Premier Visa Card – If you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months, they will give you a $300 bonus.
- The Chase Freedom Card – When you spend the first $500 within the first three months, you’ll get a $200 cash bonus. You might need those to pay for one or two meals on your trip!
Realize there’s more value from your credit cards
Sara Rathner, a travel expert at NerdWallet, gave this great tip: depending on the credit card you have, there are other perks that will help you save on travel costs, such as TSA PreCheck, airport lounge access, or even fees for checked bags.
Plus, if you haven’t traveled a lot in the past two years, you probably have a ton of points and miles already stashed away! NerdWallet’s 2021 Travel Rewards survey discovered that U.S. citizens with travel rewards credit cards have 64,800 rewards points and miles saved up. As Rathner explained, “at the average value of one cent each, we’re talking about $650 worth of points.
Consider cash back programs – and stack deals
Have you ever heard about cash-back programs? For example, you can use Rakuten on your travel-related expenses, and you are eligible of earning as much as 10% cash back or more on bookings, experiences, and many other things, but also 5% cash back on dining at hundreds of restaurants in America.
“You can also collect deals, in order to maximize your savings by earning cash back on top of sales” Rakuten’s shopping and retail expert, Kristen Gall, explained. Cash back services will allow you to earn cash back, alongside other travel promotions.
I’m talking here about hotel deals, flights, and even rental cars. Anyway, Gall gave us the ULTIMATE trick: when booking a travel deal, you start by using a cashback program on top of all the promo codes and digital coupons, and THEN you pay with a rewards credit card to earn even MORE points and rewards for what you’ve just purchased. The majority of travel sites and retailers work with cash-back programs such as Rakuten.
Plan a varied travel itinerary
Scott Keyes, the founder of the cult-following travel hack website Scott’s Cheap Flights, described what’s the best method to save $1,000 on your next trip. “You need to take advantage of what I call “The Greek Island Trick.”
For example, you’re planning to travel to Santorini. But when you’re searching for flights to Santorini, you see they’re over $1,500. So instead of paying that money, why don’t you keep an eye on flights from your city to nearby Athens?
Those flights are usually below $500 roundtrip from all over America. “Once you’re in Athens, a flight or a ferry to Santorini will only cost you $50. You simply split the trip from a single itinerary into two, and you’ve got yourself $1,000 to spend on whatever you want!”
Choose a basecamp city
Family travel expert Sierra Redmond spilled her biggest tip for saving money while traveling, and it’s what she calls a “basecamp city”. “So a basecamp city is a big city with great flight deals or hub airlines, and it is also very accessible by car to the next dreamy destinations.
Some examples might be Las Vegas, which gives easy access to Los Angeles, Utah National Parks, or New York City giving very accessible alternatives to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and so on.”
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