7 money saving travel tips

Having a holiday and some relaxation time away from work does not have to cost a fortune. Having recently 7 ways to save money on travelreturned from our trip to Hawaii it inspired me to share some of my money saving travel tips.

Be flexible

It can really pay to have a bit of flexibility in terms of the dates that you travel. Even the time of day that you fly can have a significant difference in the price that you pay for flights.

You can often get some great deals in the shoulder or low season. I managed to score 40% off our accommodation in Hawaii by booking online during a Click Frenzy special.

Some other sites that I have used in the past are Groupon, as they often have package deals that are great value.

I also like to compare the cost of hotels at booking.com since they have a massive range featured on their site. And they have a best price guarantee and no cancellation fees so they have become my go to website to book through.

Try AirBnB

My husband’s parents recently came to visit us. We live in only a two bedroom place so with the kids there is no room for visitors to stay with us.

The previous time they stayed they rented out a hotel room which cost a few hundred dollars a night. This time they decided to stay at an AirBnB place which was a third of the price of a hotel.

Plus it had the added bonus of being in the suburb we live in rather than a 20 minute drive away.

Save on food

One of the major expenses that can quickly sneak up on you when you are on holiday is the cost of eating out every day.

If you were to eat out as a family of four for three meals a day the cost can often be well over a hundred dollars a day.

A good option can be to rent a place that has a full kitchen so that you can buy groceries and prepare the bulk of meals in your room.

On our recent trip to Hawaii we wanted to ensure we ate at least one meal a day in the hotel. Because it did not have a functioning kitchen we needed to think outside the box.

We decided breakfast was the easiest meal to eat in our room so purchased a $9 toaster from Walmart and bought some bread and yogurt to eat each morning.

This worked out far more cost effective than if we had gone out to eat breakfast each day.

Use free WiFi

A lot of hotels and cafes these days offer free WiFi. So to save on the cost of paying for overseas data roaming I just keep my phone in aeroplane mode the whole time.

So I can still access the internet via the WiFi and can also make phone calls to people I might need to stay in touch with, either via calling within Facebook Messenger or using the Viber App.

Hire a car for next to nothing

Having worked in the car rental industry before I had to include this one. Often car rental companies will find that they have an influx of vehicles in one location but they need them somewhere else.

So to save them the cost of needing to put the car on the back of a truck they instead offer a vehicle as a relocation special.7 money saving travel tips

Often these can be priced as either free or a couple of dollars a day. You can find these deals just by doing a simple google search for relocation rentals.

In general, the catch is you will need to go against the flow of the normal way people would see an area.

For example, this is really popular in a self drive country like New Zealand. Most people start in Auckland and drive to Wellington to catch the ferry across to the South Island. So the cheap car rental is usually from Wellington instead. So it can mean you need to plan your trip accordingly.

Travel hack free travel with your credit card

I would not recommend this to people that do not have a good handle on their finances and have credit card debt.

But if you feel like you have a fairly decent handle on your money, using a credit card to earn points can be a great strategy.

We use our credit card to pay for most things. As a result I am able to travel to the ProBlogger conference that is coming up next month in Brisbane for free.

I had enough points to pay for the flights and accommodation whilst I am away.

It pays to shop around for the card that will offer you the best rewards for your circumstances, as some of the annual fees can make any savings not as worthwhile.

Explore more of your local area

You don’t need to go far to feel like you have had a break. We are lucky enough here in Australia to have so many beautiful places to explore.

So you could consider a weekend away just an hour or two from home where you can take your own car to save on the cost of an airfare. Find a nice little AirBnB place and enjoy a few days break.

What are some ways you have saved money when you travel?

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  1. Being flexible has saved me a lot of money on both flights and accomodations. I also make sure to get a hotel or Airbnb next to a grocery store, so that I can stay stocked up on food.

  2. I’ve just written a post on how we saved money in New Zealand. Food is something we are working on getting better at, I think your idea of purchasing a cheap toaster is brilliant! What did you do with it afterwards?

    I also like the tip about driving rental cars back to their destinations. We will have to keep that in mind when we head back to NZ again.

    1. To be honest with the amount of stuff we had to pack for two little kids we totally forgot about the toaster when we were leaving and it just ended up staying on the counter in the hotel. Not sure what the maid would have done with it.

      New Zealand is amazing. We went there for our honeymoon and did some self drive off the South Island. They always have cheap or free relocation car hire deals there. Even super cheap camper van rentals too and they often throw in a free tank of fuel!

  3. Your tips on saving on food are great! I feel like that is where I spend the most when we travel and that money could be better spent somewhere else!

    1. So true. I would rather spend the money on experiences with the kids like going to the Aquarium or Zoo and creating memories. Instead of bacon and eggs which will be forgotten with a few minutes.

  4. Great post Cat. With regards to the rewards credit card, you need to make sure the monetary value of the rewards you redeem annually exceeds the annual fee. I suggest people review that as their card anniversary date approaches so that they can make an informed decision on whether it is worth their while to cop the annual fee again. Research conducted by several comparison sites as well as Choice has shown it is NOT worth it for most people if the annual fee exceeds $150.

    Finally, I wrote a post with some tips on how to secure the best deal on airfare that may be of interest:

    1. Yep very good point! I am extremely lucky that I have kept a card from when I worked at the bank so I on an insanely low interest rate and the annual fee gets waived as a legagct staff discount. This year I have booked 3 flights and a 3 night hotel stay all just on points, but I think I am the exemption rather than the rule.

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