Whether at home or abroad, taking a well-deserved vacation can be the perfect relief, and a great opportunity to connect with family and friends without the stressors of everyday life. Unfortunately, travel can be expensive, with 47% of millennials reporting that they’ve foregone travel due to prohibitive costs. In 2019, millennials spent an average of USD$4,000 on travel, with Gen-X slightly outspending them at an average of USD$5,400.
With the travel industry expected to gradually return to normal operations as the world recovers from Covid-19, many Americans will be looking to plan vacations in the near future. A great vacation doesn’t have to break the bank; if you’re a budget-conscious traveler, take note of these tips to ensure that you get the best deals on your next trip.
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Simply following a wide range of travel suppliers online can give you an advantage by being the first to know about any promotions or flash sales. Major airlines regularly promote deals to their followers on social media giants like Twitter and Facebook, and there are also dedicated social media travel accounts, which keep their followers up to date on deals from multiple travel companies.
In addition to following travel-related accounts, consider using social media to help plan your next vacation. One in five travelers have used social media for vacation inspiration. From seeing where friends and family took their previous vacations, to reviewing ‘frugal travel’ hashtags, you could discover locations and tips that you may not have otherwise considered.
When interacting with travel brands online, be sure to check that the account is verified before entering any promotions or giveaways, as scammers have been known to create fake pages in order to get personal details.
Look for coupons and promotions
Using coupons is one of the best ways to save money on travel, as they generally include a concrete price reduction, or great deals such as an extra night at a hotel or upgrades on your flight. Dedicated coupon sites such as Coupon Dad can provide you with special deals on everything from flights, to hotels, to car rentals—everything you need for a dream vacation. Make sure that you check receipts from major big box stores as well; you might be surprised at how useful the coupons on the back can be.
Using a reputable coupon site can even help you to get discounts on any new clothes or equipment you might want to take on holiday; by using these deals wherever possible, you can make your travel budget stretch further.
Use smart search tactics
When looking for airfares, consider using dedicated comparison sites, which present a selection of available flights for your destination and highlight the cheapest or best-value options. Once you know which airline has the best deal, consider booking direct through that provider instead of the comparison site, to avoid third party fees.
Some consumers believe that airlines and travel providers increase their prices based on the location or search history of the consumers. While there is no evidence that airlines do this, a 2016 study found that fare prices did differ when the same flight search was conducted on two computers—one with a scrubbed browser, and one without. There was no clear reason for the price difference, but the study highlighted that using a couple of different browsers when searching for flights may potentially help to get you a lower price.
You can even use your smart devices to make smarter, shrewd choices. Your Google home device can send you automatic price alerts for destinations you’d like to travel to, allowing you to make more informed decisions about when to book.
In a recent survey, over 60% of travelers said that they would consider a vacation destination based on a cheap flight or hotel deal in the area. Keeping an eye on travel deals for places that you might not have had on your original wish list could give you some unexpected travel experiences that you wouldn’t have received otherwise.
The time and day of the flights you choose can also impact your travel budget. In a report by Expedia, it was found that people who fly on a Thursday and return on a Monday can save up to 20% more than people who fly on a Friday and return on Sunday.
Planning a vacation can be very exciting, and it’s easy to let impulsive decisions take the lead when booking flights and hotels. Remember that you work hard for your money, and you owe it to yourself to see how far your dollar can really stretch.
Before you get your credit card out, work through these tips and determine how best you could save money, or even extend your trip by using the many great travel deals available.