Before You Book | Tips to Help Save Money on Travel
Contributed by: @OlayideM
As we embrace a New Year, many of us have added ‘Travelling’ to the list of things we wish to do this year and underneath that you have also written ‘Save money’. Here are a few of my personal tips on how you can book your dream trip(s) without breaking the bank.
1. TRAVEL AGENCIES
If you are planning a trip that you want to take within six months to a year, try booking with a reputable travel agency. Travel agents offer payments plans, which allow you to pay for your trip in instalments (some agencies require that you have your trip paid in full six weeks prior to your departure date). If your trip is expensive [to for pay all at once] or a large group of you are travelling together, this option will work well for especially as it helps you budget.
2. STUDENT & YOUNG PEOPLE RATES
With stores littered worldwide and an extremely detailed website, Student Travel Agency (STA) is ideal for students (as the name suggests), but not limited to students. Their BlueTicket fares offer students/young people up to age 26 cheap flights and they also offer amazing adventure packages. Even though I’m past the cheap-ticket-benefit-age-bracket, I still check prices on STA and compare them to what the airlines may be charging (I also book using STA). Of course there are times where an airline may be offering cheaper rates, but there is no harm in contacting STA staff to ‘discuss’ what ‘alternative’ options may be available to you. *wink*
WAIT! If you are unsure about the deal or want more information, email, call or visit them at one of their stores, and note that you are not obliged to book anything if you are sent a quote for your trip.
3. CLEAR YOUR COOKIES!
In this online age, we fail to realise how much FREE information we give away to developers and corporations all in the name of marketing. Did you know that some of the information we unknowingly give also constitutes to the price increase in airfare prices? Ever notice that you can search a trip a 12pm and it is £300 and at 12:05pm it is £375? Well that is because of the information being used/sent from your Cookies**. To make the most of a good deal, clear your cookies (I also clear my history). I tend to do this every few minutes when searching for the best deals.
WAIT! This has worked for me as I have seen prices decrease (on some occasions) but this should not be your only ‘go-to’ option when searching for good deals.
4. BOOK YOUR TICKETS DURING A SALE!
January Sales AND Black Friday to Cyber Monday Sales!
The savings you can make during these times are unreal!!
5. SAVING MONEY DOES NOT END ONCE YOUR FLIGHT IS BOOKED
Invest in a Travel Cash Card.
Part of your prep for your trip needs to include a realistic spending budget – have a budget but include a little extra for the just-in-case-moments. Travel Cash Cards are an ideal way to manage your finances while on holiday. There are a variety of cards to pick from with different prices. I personally choose to use a multi-currency cash card, as opposed to changing all my money into cash for a few reasons:
- Whatever I have left on the card is still available for me to spend anywhere in the world.
- Safe and secure to use, as you would a standard debit or credit card.
- Conversion rates change in real time and the charges are low.
- Some cards allow you to gain interest/cash back on purchases.
- “There’s an app for that.” – Check your money on the go and top up your card.
Find out more about multi currency cash cards here:
STA also have their own Student ID Travel Cash Card which you can purchase from their website.
Now with your Travel Cash Card in hand and an awesome view of the city skyline from your cosy hotel room you can rest easy and make the most of this trip and hopefully these tips will help you when you are planning your next holiday.
**My technological abilities fail me, hence why I’m unable to fully explain how this phenomenon works. Click here for a better explanation.