With the cost of living rising and the amount of debt the average person is in, it looks like most Americans are giving up on vacations. A lot of people are also choosing to forfeit their vacation days at work, and according to a study done by Investment Zen, 56% of Americans ended last year with unused vacation days which adds up to $66 billion in unused benefits.
Most Americans spend $1,700 - $2,000 on each vacation they take, with 44% of the cost going towards transportation.
Here 10 hacks that will allow you to travel more, for less this year:
Book around peak travel time. This is super basic but still important ans can save you a lot. Sometimes saving a few hundred bucks is worth not being in Mexico exactly during Spring break. Plan your trips around peak travel times and holidays to maximize your funds.
Book in advance. Most likely, booking in advance is where you're biggest discount may come from. While this isn't always the case, 9/10 when you book in advance, you're better off cost wise.
Browse incognito. Book using private browsing window, to avoid sites remembering you can keeping lowing prices from being shown. Yes, this happens. If a site knows which prices you've already seen, it can change what appears the next time you search. Also, using a VPN will work as well. It's not a guaranteed discount but if you can trick the site into thinking you're somewhere you're not, prices might be lower.
Use different airports. Did you know that it's cheaper to use different airports for for inbound and outbound flights? Well, it is. Switch it up a bit and shave a little off your transportation by heading out of your destination in a different airport than you came.
Travel light. You can save a good chunk of cash if you only bring a carry on, and can avoid extra costs on checking a luggage. Don't be fooled by cheap, basic economy flights that might require you to check even a carry on. Whether you're going on vacation or not, traveling light will always save you coins.
Stay open. Be open to new destinations, as popular destinations can cost more to fly into. This can mean two things: try flying into Ft. Lauderdale instead of Miami for example; or just skip the popular tourist destination all together and try another city in the area. Flying into and staying in a less popular destination can save you lots of money. This is a great option too if you end up close enough to travel locally to the more popular attraction.
Travel on a Tuesday. It's a known fact that there is less demand for flights on Tuesday, so when you book be sure you're flying on a that day. Even the slightest discount can make a difference if you're budgeting correctly.
Use travel cards. Sign up for travel credit cards and earn free flights by using your card at participating stores. You can also rack up miles by getting a credit card right with your favorite airline. There's a credit card out there for whatever you like to do, travel included. While signing up for too many credit cards isn't always the best thing to do, one card used for cheaper travel can't do too much damage.
Use AirBnB. Instead of staying in a hotel that might be $150/night at the cheapest, book your stay through Airbnb instead. This is especially great if you're traveling in a group where you can split the cost, making it even cheaper.
Cook your meals. Cooking the majority of your meals is going to come in handy when you aren't spending almost $100 per day just to eat. Of course you should still indulge on the food of the land but be smart about it, and don't eat until you're broke. Going to the local market and eating in can be just as fun and interesting as ordering at a restaurant. Besides, you'll miss a home-cooked meal, so your stomach and wallet will thank you.
What do you do to save money when traveling?