5 Jun 2016

Top Ten Thrifty Travel Tips

Life Hacks

Welcome to Travel Month on The Daycation Diary! The Mr. and I have a very exciting holiday to California planned for the end of June that I will be sharing with you all but first I thought I'd divulge some tips and tricks that I turn to when planning a holiday. In this post we will cover some ideas of ways that you can get a little more bang for your buck.

1. Follow Online Travel Forums

These websites may not look pretty but they are a great source of information about secret sales that might be going on under your nose, coupon codes for a little more off the price of tickets and rooms or just general tips about places you might be visiting. We have found this one particularly helpful.

2. Make Friends With The Concierge

Contact your hotel's Concierge via email prior to checking in to start building your relationship with them. You could make an enquiry about activities in the area or your room reservation, when they send back an email always reply with sincere thanks and let them know how much you are looking forward to staying at their hotel. This approach for us has translated into room upgrades and ammenities like a bottle of wine awaiting our arrival. Now no promises that this will work every time but its a small amount of time to spend for what could bring big rewards.

3. Join The VIP Reward Program

Pretty much every hotel and airline have a free rewards program available. Always always join the program and have your membership number attached to your reservation prior to check in. To gain big rewards on these programs you practically have to live hotel to hotel BUT they usually all come with free WiFi at the very least which can be a massive saving on your total holiday cost.

4. Switch To A Frequent Flyer Rewards Credit Card

A frequent flyer or rewards program credit card can help turn your everyday purchases into free hotel stays, flight upgrades and other fun things for the avid traveller. Ensure you do thorough research about each card and payment terms before signing on the dotted line and have a strategy for yourself to stay on top of payments. There's no point in getting the card for the points if you end up paying extra in interest for outstanding balances, you could have just spent that money on your trip instead!

5. Research Transport Options

In some cases it costs the same or even less (than a taxi) to arrange for a chauffeured car to take you from A to B and you will have a much nicer experience in most cases with a private car.

6. Promo Codes

You can find promo codes/coupon codes for almost everything that can be purchased on the internet. A short time researching before you hit 'buy' could save you a pretty penny and leave more to spend on other adventures.

7. Pre-Purchase

Where possible pre-purchase your tickets for adventures online. This will save you time (no lining up to buy tickets at the gates), money (often there is a discount for pre-purchasing tickets or there will be a coupon code floating around as mentioned above) and sanity (no explanation required).

8. Ask For A Late Check Out

Call the front desk the night before you have to check out and politely request a complimentary late check out. Generally the only reason you won't be rewarded one is if the hotel is completely booked out the next day which isn't often likely. An extra sleep in or laze by the pool beats the hell out of wandering around an airport whilst you wait for your flight that is in 4 hours time.

9. Executive Lounge Upgrade

A ton of hotels offer a fee to upgrade to an executive suite which include access to the executive lounge. These lounges often come with the perks of free breakfast daily and a cocktail hour including free alcohol. Do some research into the specific lounge at your hotel to determine whether it is worth the extra cash as not all executive lounges are equal.

10. Book Hotels Direct

Almost all hotels will price match any third party booking website but you won't be restricted by the strict terms and conditions which often include no VIP membership affiliation and the benefits that come with that or booking changes. Even though initially it appears you will be saving money on the room cost you could end up spending more on other fees.

I hope some of my tips will help you save some cash or get a little extra for your buck the next time you book an adventure! Do you have any money saving travel tips? Leave them in the comments below.


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