When it comes to traveling, there are just so many things to consider. Booking flights, finding accommodations, choosing travel insurance, and figuring out how to pay for it can be exhausting. That's why we made a list of hacks that'll help in everything from finding lower prices to choosing accessories that'll make it all more comfortable. We know trips can be expensive, but everyone can do it with these tips and tricks.
Overnight Flights and Buses Are An Easy Way to Save Money
One of the most impactful and practical ways to actually save money on vacation is to capitalize on the god-given gifts that are overnight flights and overnight buses (especially overnight buses). Not only are they a great, cheap way of getting around, but they also save you money that you'd be spending for that night's accommodations. Did anybody say two birds with one stone? Yeah, we did: this is totally killing two birds with one stone.
Overnight flights, too, while not as potent as overnight buses in terms of their money-saving potential, are a great way to get around frugally.
Browsing Incognito Will Get You Cheaper Plane Tickets
Oh, look, a use for the incognito function available on most web browsers that won't make you feel guilty or ashamed of anything. Apparently, airline websites use your browser history and cookies in order to evaluate how badly you want to go to a certain destination while also comparing their prices to the prices you've already encountered and raising them, making sure that they aren't "underselling" their own flights.
That's where the incognito function comes in: this will help get all those pesky airlines off your back so that you can view their neutral, unadjusted prices for all their flights.
Get a Credit Card With 0 Foreign Transaction Fees
If there's one thing that definitely comes as a nasty surprise to some unattentive travelers, it's all the foreign transaction fees their bank charged their card while they were busy having the time of their lives on vacation. Thankfully, some banks issue special kinds of credit cards that have absolutely no foreign transaction fees. Yeah, you heard that right: zero transaction fees. Don't worry; you can thank us later.
Truth be told, there's just no reason not to get yourself a credit card with zero foreign transaction fees. Like, what good do all those foreign transaction fees do you?
Three Words: Free City Tours
Free city tours have been getting a bad rep in recent years. Many people just don't vibe with the organized and "touristy" nature of these tours, but, with all due respect, these tours were made explicitly for tourists, and as such, they're great for getting to know the main attractions of the city. They're surprisingly efficient and informative, and you get to talk extensively with a local guide who knows all about the place.
There are, however, six more words we would have to add to our original three: don't forget to leave a tip! Seriously, those guides work hard for their money, so why not?
Private Hostel Rooms Are Basically Cheap Hotel Rooms
A lot of people fall out of love with hostels. That's understandable. Hostels are usually a way for fun-loving, youthful people to hang around with like-minded tourists and locals at a certain destination. That being said, hostels aren't just for party lovers. Even mature and older tourists can utilize hostels for a private room that's often cheaper than most hotels. Sure, the quality of the room will generally be inferior to that of a hotel, but it's a trade worth bearing in mind.
Besides, hostels are a great way to shake things up a bit if you're feeling a bit lonely on your vacation, no matter how old you are. Definitely worth checking out.
City Travel Cards Are A Steal!
Don't be that person who pays for every single disparate train ride. Don't be that person who pays full price for museum tickets. Just, in general, don't be that person who didn't opt for a travel card or travel-card-like solution. Many cities have very tourist-friendly bundles specifically designed for tourists looking to travel and see a lot in a short amount of time. You should definitely do yourself a favor and check those out.
And if you're having trouble finding those deals, which may just happen given that you're going to travel to a foreign country you know nothing about, you can always scour the web for advice.
A Handy Trick: Budget Where It's Expensive; Splurge Where It's Cheap
The world is immeasurably big and, as such, things tend to change from one country to another. One of the things that changes the most is the cost of living between countries, which expert travelers keep in mind throughout their travels. A five-star hotel in India may cost you less than a cheap motel in France. Knowing the cost of living in different countries should help guide your budget and lifestyle during your stay.
So a general rule of thumb would be to really treat yourself to a luxury vacation where things are cheap and stick to a tighter budget at the more expensive destinations.
Staying at One Location for a While? Airbnb Has A 1-Month Discount
Not many people know about this, but Airbnb has a totally different policy regarding long-term pricing. Maybe not a lot of people know about this because not a lot of people can afford the luxury of staying in one place for an entire month, but hey, that's just life, we guess. Nevertheless, if you do find yourself staying at one destination, you should check out the one-month Airbnb discount.
So this is definitely a sign to book that one-month-long vacation you've dreamed about your entire life. You know what we're talking about.
Don't Eat Out Every Meal - Buy Supermarket Food
Yeah, we know; it's a bit of a bummer. There's nothing quite as fun as going out to eat while you're on vacation and just having every chore in life, such as cooking, be taken care of by someone else. That's what people go on vacations for. But cooking abroad has its own special charm to it as well! It can be a really fun way to shake up your vacation.
Besides, have you ever been to a foreign supermarket? Those things are amazing. There are so many unfamiliar delicacies waiting for you to try every single one.
Always Check the Lesser Known Airports for Lower-Priced Flights
So while it's true that the most popular airports often have the best deals, given that they're made specifically for the masses and that they are the most commercially profitable, it's also true that flights to these airports are in very high demand. That being said, you may want to try checking out smaller, more off-the-beaten-path airports. These have lower demand and might have better deals depending on the season.
Landing just an hour or two away from your destination and taking a train ride in order to save yourself a few hundred dollars on flight tickets really isn't a bad deal.
Get More for Your Money With Pub Crawls
If you are interested in the local nightlife scene while traveling, then you should definitely check out organized pub crawls. Most hostels organize these kinds of events because they attract so many people, so going to a nearby hostel is a good way to find a group of like-minded travelers wanting to enjoy the night. So get ready to meet new friends and get more for your money by joining a local crawl.
Or you could forget about the pub crawl and just find yourself a single spot to immerse yourself in and take in the city's vibe. That, too, is a great way to experience the local nightlife.
Tweeting a Travel Complaint Might Be the Fastest Way to Get Compensated
It says a lot about our society nowadays that tweeting about a problem may just solve it quicker and more efficiently than actually going through the official process of submitting a complaint. What it says, we're not quite sure; but it says something. So take this tip to heart: next time you run into an issue with your airline, try tweeting about it instead of just frantically looking for someone to complain to.
Social media is an excellent way to spread news quickly, and many big brands, such as airlines, have employees actively monitoring anything regarding the brand. Just don't forget to use hashtags to get their attention!
Find ATMs Without Fees (yes, They Exist)
Okay, so you've probably heard about the modern torture devise that banks came up with a long time ago: we are talking about ATM fees, of course. We won't go into how angry those ATM fees make us (how dare they charge us for using our hard-earned money?!). But we will say that many banks boast an ATM-fee-less policy, meaning that you can go ahead and take out as much cash as you like at no cost.
This definitely comes in handy while traveling, given that you never know if the place you're visiting is a cash-oriented society that doesn't often accept credit cards as a valid form of payment.
Book Flights Separately for Multi-Destination Trips
If you've ever tried tackling the tall task that is organizing a multi-city trip consisting of several different destinations in several distant countries, all of which are of flying distance from each other, then you know just how expensive those "multi-destination" deals can be. Instead of going for those pre-organized packages, you may want to try your hand at booking several different flights from different airlines. That tends to be cheaper.
Not only will you end up saving yourself a few hundred bucks or so, but you'll also feel as though you've earned it by scrolling through countless flights and airlines.
Rolled Clothes Will Save You Money on Extra Luggage
If you ever felt like breaking your suitcase out of anger and frustration - all because you needed to cram a few extra socks into your already over-packed bag - you should try rolling up your clothes. You'd be surprised just how much of a difference this small change makes. The only problem is that this may or may not wrinkle up some of your favorite shirts. But we think saving money on extra luggage makes up for that.
And if you disagree, just wait until you have to pay 50 bucks for checking in another suitcase.
Use the "Flexible Dates" Setting to Find Cheaper Ticket Options
If you can make time to travel, you should try being flexible about the specific dates of your vacation. A margin of just two or three days may be able to save you hundreds of dollars, which is a sweet deal if you ask us. There's absolutely no reason not to be flexible with your dates if you can do it without ruining your travel plans.
If you're already asking for time off work, why not wait to see which dates are the cheapest before making that request?
Hear Us Out: Long Layovers Mean Less Money and More Adventure
Some people absolutely detest long layovers. They hate the idea of waiting hours upon hours between flights just to get to their final destination. But it is of our humble opinion that there's a much better way of viewing long layovers; why not use all that time to explore a nearby city and fully experience everything that place has to offer? An extended layover can be a great way to explore a city you didn't expect to see in the first place.
That's precisely why we recommend booking an extra-long layover on purpose. It's just a great way to add an unexpected destination to your itinerary, making your vacation that much more unique.
Use Local Airlines for Lower-Priced Mid-Vacation Flights
The thing about airlines is that there is a countless amount of them. Seriously, there is a huge excess of airlines, both local and international, that none of us have even heard about. So when you're planning to travel locally throughout your vacation, try looking up the rates of local airlines. Often those prices are actually much lower than regular international rates and perhaps even lower than your usual budget airline.
Plus, flying with local airlines is the equivalent of supporting small businesses, right?
Forget Hotels: Stay at A Friend or Acquaintance's House
Okay, so this is definitely one of those things that's easier said than done, but if you do have the opportunity to do something like this, you should seize it. It may be worth trying to meet a friend online through forums or social media groups. Even if you only have one contact, that contact may just be able to lead you to other friendly people who'll be willing to let you crash at theirs.
Just be careful not to find yourself sleeping at some random, untrustworthy person's house. It's always better to spend a bit on a hotel than to put yourself in danger.
Use TVs to Charge Devices When There Aren't Enough Plugs
This piece of knowledge makes us feel powerful. It's as though someone out there, someone in the upper echelons of elite society, didn't want us to know about this. Well, how do you like that, ill-meaning stranger? Looks like we found out all about your special charging secret. Never again shall we cry in agony as we realize we forgot to bring a special outlet plug converter specifically made for one country.
Seriously, this may just save your phone's life at one point or another. It's an amazing little travel life hack that not a lot of people know about, which is a shame.
Save Money and Time by Bringing a Small Bottle of Washing Detergent
So not only can washing detergent get you out of a tough spot, it may just get a tough spot or persistent stain out of the one formal shirt you brought along for your business trip. The thing about traveling is that you truly never know what kind of wacky things you'll get up to, so it's best to be prepared for all kinds of situations. Therefore, bring washing detergent!
Besides, you can actually save time by washing your underwear and socks by hand instead of finding a place to do an entire batch of laundry. Sounds like a win-win situation.
Portable Charging Is A Gift From the Vacation Gods
So, picture this: you're roaming a foreign city, one that you don't know very well. You had a lot to drink last night, and you're feeling a bit disoriented and lost, and frankly, you're not sure what to do with yourself today, and you're not sure where your hotel is. Okay, no problem: Google Maps it is. Uh oh! You ran out of phone battery, and you hadn't even noticed!
What on Earth is one to do in this kind of situation? How about bringing a portable charger with you and sparing yourself this ultimately fruitless and kind of agonizing scenario in the first place?
Don't Take More Than a Backpack and a Carry-On
We're going to be brutally honest here for one second: nobody needs five pairs of jeans for a one-week trip. Seriously, there's just no point. Grab yourself a few clothes that mesh well with each other so that you can have varied outfits that look nice, buy yourself a few clothes at your destination if you're into that, and rest assured that you will be able to do laundry at your destination.
That's why we often say that a backpack and a carry-on suitcase will do pretty much anyone just good for a regular vacation. You're just going to have to trust us on this one.
Save Time and Stress by Downloading Your Personal Departure Board
Nothing is constant when it comes to flights; everything is in flux, and that includes incredibly relevant and crucial information such as your flight gate and the hour of your departure, amongst other things. So why not download your departure and arrival board? It'll save you that long walk from the airport bar to the huge screen displaying all the important information you need to know to get on your flight.
Besides, searching for your flight on your phone is so much easier than trying to get a look at a huge screen overloaded with information.
Overpriced Airport Water? Never Again
Does this situation seem familiar: you're going through the many hours of lines and airport bureaucracy that every single person has to go through when they travel, and you start feeling a little thirsty. What the heck, you say. If you're on vacation, you may as well buy a bottle of water. So you spend about a million bucks on an airport water bottle, drink half of it, and then the airport security people tell you that you have to throw it away.
Well, here's an ingenious solution: bring an empty bottle of water with you. Then, when you're done with all those lines, just go and fill it up at a nearby cooler.
Stuff Those Shoes for Another Space and Money-Saving Hack
If you ever find yourself in dire need of extra luggage space, then this right here may just be the trick for you: try stuffing your shoes, which admittedly take quite a large amount of space in your suitcase, with all kinds of things. We're talking socks, underwear, watches, accessories, and small gadgets; heck, you may even be able to fit a shirt in there if you have a small torso or big feet.
Speaking of shirts, why not warp your shoes with one of them? That's definitely another way to save on some of that precious suitcase space. Just remember to leave some room for all the nice things you'll buy on your trip!
Bad Jet Lag? Physical Exercise Will Help
Well, this one definitely took us by surprise when we found out about it, but it's true nonetheless, even if it does kind of go against common-sense intuition. Next time you find yourself traveling between time zones and having a hard time fighting off that pesky jet lag, try going for a run. Yeah, we know; who wants to go on a run while they have jet lag? But seriously, it does help!
Strictly speaking, you can do other things, too. It isn't just running that helps with jet lag; it's all kinds of intense physical activity that allows the body to get used to its new environment.
Master the Art of Free WiFi
In this day and age, the importance of Wi-Fi cannot be understated. It's imperative that you have a connection to the internet that won't take away from your mobile data plan. So don't forget to capitalize on that Wi-Fi at every given chance. Download everything you need on Wi-Fi, and then use your cellular plan sparingly. There's no shame in being a Wi-Fi demon. Yup, absolutely no shame at all.
And if you do ever find yourself in need of Wi-Fi, but the connection is locked behind a passcode, try searching the web of FourSpace for that specific Wi-Fi password.
Think Carefully About Your Credit Budget
Not many people will appreciate what we have to say here, but we'll go ahead and say it anyway. That's just how we are: bold and brash. Your credit card limit will definitely make or break your vacation. There is absolutely nothing worse than running out of credit mid-vacation and having to come up with creative ways to pay for every little thing. Seriously, been there, done that, wasn't fun.
All this to say: you should definitely think about your credit card limit when you go traveling. And then, when you're done thinking about it, you should probably think again.
Mark Your Baggage as Fragile To Get People to Actually Care
We're not going to blame all the people working at the airports for handling our luggage as if they were all NBA superstars in the final quarter of the Playoffs. We know that they have to handle countless numbers of suitcases each and every day. Yet, if you've ever worried for the safety of your belongings, you could just slap on a "FRAGILE" sticker onto the body of your suitcase.
This is definitely one of those tips that should be used only when you truly need it, though. If this gets overused, they'll just start ignoring the fragile stickers, making this effectively pointless.
Leave That Bulky Sweater at Home or Wear It on the Flight
It's an unfortunate fact of traveling, but a man who travels is a man bound to his suitcase. Your suitcase is the thing calling the shots as to what you will and won't wear on your vacation, and let's just say that your suitcase isn't going to appreciate that bulky sweater taking up half of the space. Sadly, some of our favorite items of clothing are unpackable, but that's just life.
On the other hand, think of all that extra room you're saving by not packing your favorite bulky sweater. That's just the law of equivalent exchange for you: you win some, you lose some.
Pro Tip: Pack Only Half Your Toiletries
Nobody needs that many soaps on vacation. Not to mention too, if you're going to a hotel, or even a hostel or an Airbnb, you'll probably stumble across a few pieces of soap and shampoos and other complimentary items of toiletry. So take this as a word of advice: you may just want to ease up on all those different kinds of Head and Shoulder conditioners. You'll do fine without them.
The thing is, all that space you save on your toiletries can be used to bring other, more important items. It's all a matter of space management, like most things in life.
Let the Wise People of Social Media Influence Your Itinerary
Look, you may not be that lets influencers have an active role in your decisions, but they're called influencers for a reason. Besides, you can always use social media to get raw footage of your destinations before you actually go there. Think of it this way: a lot of people do a lot of groundwork before going on a vacation: they gather recommendations, compare destinations and prices, and make a decision.
Then, they post their decisions. That basically means that you can acquire a list of places curated by people who thought their destination was worth sharing. Social media is like a never-ending list of recommendations.
Perfume Bottles Are So Unreasonably Big
One thing about most of us is that we like to smell good. There's just no way of denying that; who doesn't like smelling their best? This is even truer when you're abroad. It just feels great to know that you're roaming the streets of some foreign city, knowing that you smell like a bunch of roses. The only problem with doing that is that perfume bottles are abnormally huge.
Thankfully, there's an easy way to combat the comically large size of perfume bottles - you could always just pour the actual perfume into a much smaller spray bottle. Voila.
Sending Yourself A Passport Scan Will Make Your Life So Much Easier
Passports are one of those critical documents you never want to lose or have stolen from you, especially if you're in the midst of a vacation in a foreign country. Getting a temporary passport is a lengthy process that will probably require you to prove your identity to your country's embassy, so why not take a few preventive measures that may just make your life that much easier if things go south.
After all, life is unpredictable, and you never know what kind of weird situations you may get into and what kind of crucial documents you may end up losing.