Have you packed your bags yet? With 2019 well underway, studies show that the average Millennial is likely to embark upon five trips this year and might even go on at least one of those trips thanks to the help of a travel agent.
In light of these travel trends, we’ve decided to share a few useful tips for saving cash while you’re off searching for the perfect backdrop for your vacation Insta Story.
1. Low-cost destinations
We have that friend (or those friends) who spent months planning what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. Time off was requested, and airfare and accommodation were paid for months in advance and that friend (or those friends) boarded the flight with a detailed itinerary chock full of excursions and sights to see.
Unfortunately, after the trip, you didn’t see many photos and only ended up hearing stories about how awfully expensive your friend’s destination was. While many people are quite conscious regarding the prices of airfare and accommodation, too many travellers fail to account for potential on-the-ground costs until arriving at their destination.
To keep your wallet from bleeding too much cash while on the road, consider planning trips to low-cost destinations. For example, you really want to visit Florida and are planning on spending five days in Miami. But, do you really want to visit Miami? Are you looking for beaches, nightlife, and warm weather? If so, why not consider visiting Tampa, a few hundred miles north of Miami on Florida’s Gulf Coast? Consumer and restaurant prices are 11 and 13 per cent lower, respectively, than in Miami and visitors to the Tampa area can enjoy the sands of Clearwater Beach during the day and dance the night away in Ybor City or Soho at a place like MacDinton’s.
Planning on travelling internationally? Why not hold off on the Paris trip and opt for Prague instead? Consumer and restaurant prices in Paris are 75 and 121 per cent, respectively, higher than those of Prague. (Those are not typos.) Interested? United Airlines is launching a seasonal direct flight to Prague from Newark on June 6, 2019, and American Airlines and Delta Air Lines already have seasonal offerings from Philadelphia and New York, respectively. (Prague is also easily accessible via connections in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, and Paris.)
2. Avoid tourist traps
Perhaps this article’s most cliché advice, but still relevant nonetheless. If you’re going to New York, why spend all your time shuttling between Midtown, Meatpacking, FiDi, and the westernmost neighbourhoods of Brooklyn? Instead of hanging out at unnecessarily expensive restaurants along and around Fifth Avenue, why not try out local favourite The Halal Guys? And in lieu of spending an entire day (or afternoon) at Central Park, why not head up to Washington Heights and visit The Cloisters?
3. Use those perks
Everyone knows that active and retired military personnel, as well as many government employees, are able to take advantage of a host of discounts throughout the country. You too might be able to benefit from similar discounts and competitive pricing on car rentals and at certain stores and restaurants. How? If you work for a medium-sized or large organization, it might be worth checking in with your human resources or benefits department. Thousands of companies across the country have negotiated special rates at hotels, car rental agencies, attractions and elsewhere. And while some of these perks may be restricted to company travel, others can be used by employees at any time, so it never hurts to ask!
Also, before you shoot that e-mail off to H.R., don’t forget to take a peek inside your purse or wallet. Why? Are your credit and debit cards working for you? Money magazine recently ran a feature on some of the M.V.P.s of the points game. More and more people are strategically opening credit cards and using the associated benefits and rewards to get discounts or upgrades on travel and accommodation expenses. It’s never too late to start turning routine expenses on groceries and gas into a Caribbean cruise or staycation!
4. “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
Okay, you might not be a fan of that Premier League side or of its melancholy anthem, but, if you’re pinching pennies, think twice next time before travelling alone. Travelling with others can lead to substantial cost savings, especially on accommodation and ground transportation at your destination.
5. Timing is everything
The Wall Street Journal reported a few years back that Sunday and Wednesday are far better days of the week to buy air tickets than is Friday. Similarly, the ideal time to purchase tickets for your next Eurotrip is just under six months before departure.
Having mentioned Europe, do you really want to visit Europe in the summer along with every other tourist from the world over? Consider planning your trips around low seasons. In Europe (notwithstanding Alpine ski resorts), you’ll save time at many attractions during the winter months (time = money). Similarly, prices can be 50 per cent lower at hotels and resorts in the Caribbean during that region’s off-season, which runs between April and December.