You know a few tried-and-true hacks for scoring a deal.
You’ve signed up for fare alerts. You leverage loyalty points. You know how to dodge steep foreign transaction fees. But you don’t want to focus all your energy and efforts on browsing the internet on a fruitless search for rock-bottom prices. To help you avoid overspending on flight tickets, hotel rooms and hidden travel fees, here are little-known tips to trim costs with minimal hassle – even when planning the trip of a lifetime. If you’re scouting out routes served by more than one carrier, consider buying two tickets as separate one-way fares. “Airlines tend to price domestic tickets as one-way fare, and oftentimes one direction can be cheaper than the other.” Like, Kayak offers hacker fares, or round-trip routes that “are actually two tickets on two different airlines.”
“Airlines will drop prices when they have empty seats. But that’s only going to happen when other people don’t want to fly.” If you’re looking to optimize loyalty points, you can also snag excellent values by flying “when no one else want to fly.” “Airlines are in the business of selling seats.” That’s why they make award seats available at low price points, but typically “only once their algorithms tell them they’re not going to sell the seat.” When traveling abroad, make sure to book your accommodations, flights and activities with a card that will deliver a high payoff based on your spending habits. “Paying with a credit card will lock in the day’s lowest exchange rate, helping you avoid the fees that come from exchanging cash.”
Even better, choose a card that waives fees, which can range from 1 to 3 percent. You’ll also want to be wary of dynamic currency conversions when making purchases (or your home currency), which can tack on 3 or more percent to a total transaction cost. To score a deal on international airfares, fly from a city offering multiple routes to Europe, “including some on discount airlines, like Wow Air or Norwegian.” If a low-cost carrier offers enticing fares on a route that interests you, in some instances, major airlines will drop their average ticket costs to stay competitive and attract price-sensitive flyers. “Perhaps United, American, Lufthansa or KLM won’t match the discounters, but they’ll probably get close.” “Even if you live somewhere like Colorado Springs, consider going to Denver to pick up a flight to Europe.”
And there are 50 other tricks to save out there…enjoy the hunt 🙂
Article credit: U.S. News & World Report – Travel
Photo credit: Getty