By Alex Kallimanis: Traveling is fun, enlightening and inspiring. But for many, it can be a little uncomfortable at times, especially for people traveling on a budget. These are some of my top travel tips for getting the most for your money.
1) Consider choosing seats in the back of the plane as you’re far more likely to get a whole row to yourself. Sure, it takes a little longer to get off the plane, but it’s so much more comfortable to fly this way on a budget. Just don’t pick the very last row, as you won’t be able to recline your seat. Here are more tips for choosing the best seats in economy.
2) Utilize credit cards with bonus point offers to get free flights to amazing destinations around the world. If you cancel within the year, you typically don’t have to pay the annual fee either. Some cards, like the Chase Saphire Reserve includes a priority pass, offering complimentary airport lounge access. So depending on budget and preferences, cards like this could be worth holding on to.
3) Travel off-season when possible. It’s so much cheaper, and doesn’t require as careful of planning well in advance. Popular destinations like Venice and Santorini are totally mobbed in the summer. Traveling in the offseason also means it’s easier to get photos with nobody else in them at famous sites!
4) Lock in a good hotel as early as you can, but choose rooms with free cancellation. That way if you have to cancel your trip or find something better later, you can make changes without paying a penalty. We typically use booking.com because the price you see includes taxes and they usually offer the best prices.
5) Always sign up for frequent flier miles and points programs, and grow your points as you travel. If you’re on a budget, don’t stay loyal to one single airline or hotel. But if you have a larger budget, upgrades can make loyalty worthwhile.
6) Always look at reviews for hotels and restaurants, but be wary of fake reviews. If there a lot of glowing reviews by people that have only left one review, they are probably fake. On the flip side, some reviewers are overly critical, so weed out ridiculous reviews. Sometimes it’s best to just look at the negative reviews to see if there is a systemic problem with an establishment – like bad food in restaurants or bed buds in hotels. Consider emailing a travel writer you trust for specific recommendations.
7) Stay in independent hotels for a more personal experience and deeper cultural immersion. We love to support well run family hotels around the world. Airbnb often provides similar opportunities. If you’ve never used Airbnb, sign up here for free and receive $40 off your first stay over $75.
8) While you can often get free flights by utilizing credit card points and airline frequent flier miles, sometimes you have to pay out of pocket. When you do, it’s best to check multiple sources. Google flights is one of our favorite resources to begin our search because it’s so easy to use. Check out this article I wrote on how to buy cheap plane tickets.
Here are a few more articles that you might find useful:
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