Published on October 23rd, 2017 | by Guest Contributor
Eight Money-saving Travel Hacks for Your Next Vacation.
Most of us save up for months in order to pay for our vacations. We’re happy to do it, because travelling allows us to experience new destinations and cultures first hand and broadens our perspectives. Still, it can get to be expensive. Service charges, convenience fees, and other costs can all add up, if you aren’t careful.
Here are a few practical tips for avoiding some of the unnecessary expenses and saving a bit of money on your next adventure.
Loyalty Pays Off.
Travel rewards credit cards allow you to earn free points that can be redeemed for flights, hotels or even cash. Some travel cards also include discounts on travel services or even travel insurance packages which can save you money. If you are a CAA Member you already get great savings on hotels and more. We’ve partnered with top hotels and resorts around the world to secure great rates and perks for our Members. Whether you are looking for one night, one week or longer, let us help you get the best hotel rates. Contact us today at 1 855 747 2969 or book online.
Pay in Cash.
Using your credit or debit cards in other countries or currencies can come with steep service charges – and make it difficult to keep track of your spending. The easiest way to budget for your trip – and avoid extra charges – is to determine how much cash you want to spend while travelling and take out that amount in local money all at once. You may not want to carry all of your travelling cash with you because of the risk of loss or theft. Keep your money in the hotel safe, and just carry your daily allowance with you when you head out.
To help get you ready for your trip, we’ve equipped ten of our CAA Stores with foreign currency ATMs. That’s right! Now you can purchase foreign currency hassle-free in-store with no service fees. Stop by your local CAA Store to buy US Dollars, British Pounds, Mexican Pesos and Euros on the spot to avoid bank lineups and save money. And if you don’t have time to visit one of our stores, you can also buy foreign currency online and have it delivered straight to your door. Click here to get started.
Airlines charge a fee for every bag you check, and that fee can increase rapidly when your luggage exceeds the allotted weight limit. You can save that fee altogether when you avoid checking a bag at all. Travelling with just a carry-on also eliminates the risk of the airline losing your luggage, which can be not only a huge hassle, but a costly expense as well. But before you pack, make sure to check your airlines carry-on policy.
Replacing clothes and shoes, toiletries, accessories or electronics while abroad can be very expensive. It might not always be possible to avoid checking a bag, but it’s usually a good idea to travel as lightly as you can get away with, and keep as much of your stuff with you as possible.
Enable Cookies on Your Browser When Researching Destinations and Prices.
Many people use private or incognito browsing mode – or frequently clear their cookies -when looking for travel deals online. The theory is that preventing their browsing habits from being tracked will stop service providers from assessing their level of interest and inflating their prices accordingly.
In fact, the opposite is often true. The competition for customers is so fierce that service providers will often retarget interested visitors with ads and offers allowing them to be the first to find out about new deals and discounts for destinations that they have previously shown an interest in online.
Dynamic pricing on websites can also work to your advantage. If you’ve refused to book a trip at one rate – on your next visit the website can try to entice you to complete the transaction by offering you a lower one.
Venture off the Tourism Track.
When you’re travelling, try to avoid bars and restaurants that are closest to the main tourism attractions or resorts. Because they aren’t concerned about return visitors and their clientele is usually unfamiliar with the local costs, places that cater specifically to travellers often have lower quality and higher prices than restaurants favoured by locals.
To get a more authentic taste of the local cuisine, and avoid some of the high prices of tourist traps, consider taking a guided tour or an organized excursion. Local guides can help you steer clear of potentially dangerous areas at the same time as recommending some of the best regional flavours to sample.
CAA Members Get FREE Passport Photos.
Before heading out the county, you need to make sure your passport is up-to-date and that includes your photo. Getting your passport photo sometimes can be a hassle and even thought it costs less than $20, you can still have a few bucks before your trip if you are a CAA Member. CAA Plus, Corporate and Premier Members now enjoy FREE Canadian passport photos at any of our 34 CAA Store locations. Find a local CAA Store near you.
Take Advantage of the Free Breakfast.
Many hotels offer free coffee and breakfast for guests ever morning. Sometimes this is a full breakfast buffet with a wide variety of options from bacon and eggs to yogurt and cereals. Other times it is a ‘continental breakfast’ which is usually a selection of baked goods. In either case, you can make the most of this perk by not only enjoying the free breakfast but also grabbing a croissant, muffin, or some fruit for snacking later.
You can also save money by buying food in the local markets or grocery stores. Not all of your meals have to be in restaurants while travelling. Paying for three meals a day can get expensive fast. Consider making your own lunches and snacks and then just enjoying dinners out.
Avoid Phone Fees.
One of the biggest travel expenses that used to catch people off guard was the cost of keeping in touch with home. Long distance phone calls, especially from other countries, came at exorbitant per-minute costs. Nowadays, you can talk to people all over the world for free. Just use your hotel’s Wi-Fi – or find a restaurant or coffeeshop that offers it – and use FaceTime, Skype, or other messaging app to talk to your friends and family at no charge. Need more tips on how to not run up your phone bill while on vacation? We’ve got four ways to avoid paying crazy data charges when you travel.
The best way you can save on your next trip, is being a CAA Member. Our Members get exclusive deals and perks when booking travel. We book it all! From hotels, cruises, sun vacations, flights and so much more. Book online or call a CAA Travel Consultant today at 1‑855‑660‑2295 to start planning your next trip.
© 2017 CAA South Central Ontario
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