Now that you know all about travel blogs, networks and how to book your trips at a discount, here are some more tips on how to make the most of your money when planning your dream holiday.
1. Look for Contests, Giveaways and Travel miles
Hotels, airlines, travel agencies, even non-travel websites and radio stations host contests every once in awhile to win a free trip.
You could be the lucky winner, but you won’t know if you don’t enter. Give it a try, you never know if Lady Luck is on your side that day.
Check your credit cards also, to see if you can switch from points to travel miles, or if you can purchase discounted tickets if you buy through their travel agency.
2. Travel Light but Stylish
One of the most expensive (and evil) things in travel nowadays are luggage fees that can rack up to amounts in the hundreds. Ridiculous!
• Plan your outfits! Take into consideration how long you’ll be staying, if you have the option of washing a few articles of clothing, and what types of outfits you need.
• If you’re going to be doing a lot of sightseeing you really don’t need 10 pairs of heels. You just need a really good pair of sneakers, sandals for the pool, and force yourself to take a max of two pairs of heels.
• What time of year you’re going and where will determine for the most part the clothing you’re taking. Is it going to be hot? 2 pairs of shorts, 4 tanks, a swimsuit, and a hat, should hold you over for day wear. It doesn’t sound like much, but you can spot clean each of those items in the sink in your room, and they take up next to no space in your suitcase allowing for the possibility of carry on - luggage fee evaded.
• Need something sassy for a night out on the town? Pack a light wrap dress and wedge sandals.
• Pack what you need, not what you think you may need.
Last but not least, don’t forget TSA regulations on liquids, this includes your deodorant and lipgloss. 3 oz bottles, no bigger or they get trashed, and all of it has to fit in a 1 qt sized bag. Decide whether or not there are some items you can just buy at a convenience store.
3. Save on transportation
There’s no need to spend a lot of money taking cabs to every place, especially if you are traveling to big cities with good public transportation networks.
Take advantage of your smartphone, your GPS and your online map services to find the best routes on buses and trains. Do your research and find out if you can buy daily or weekly passes that allow you to go everywhere paying a flat rate. That way, if you end up taking the wrong bus, you won’t have to pay more.
If the public transport is not good at your destination, do your math. Is it cheaper to rent a car or a driver?, are parking fees expensive?, or, should you pay for guided tours? Again, rely on blogs and forums to take those decisions, every destination is different and someone else online probably knows the answers.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in L.A. and a language tutor helping students learn Russian and Spanish in preparation for their study abroad programs.
Here is Part 1 and Part 3 of this series.