Travel is the one of the most exciting things you'll ever do - but if you don't know what you're doing, it can almost bankrupt you!
Here's 14 simple tips to save you both money and time:
Try a number of different dates. Remember, cheaper flights are usually midweek.
Overnight flights save a night's accommodation. But beware, if you're on a short tip, you could ruin your first couple of days from jet lag!
Booking a return flight is almost always cheaper than one way tickets.
Once you've found a fare you like - either book it direct or head to your travel agent and see if they will beat the price. (including any booking fees!)
Next, grab travel insurance. If your holiday is 6 months away, it will cost you the same booking right away or last minute. The advantage of nabbing insurance right away is that you're covered for the next 6 months in the event you have an accident or a family member gets ill. Don't leave this 'till the last minute.
Check if your credit card automatically offers travel insurance. Many do, if you put at least half the cost of the trip on the card. That's easy to do when booking airfares!
Save money by checking visa and immunisation requirements early. Last minute visa and immunisation fees can be expensive.
Then head to AirBnB and bed & breakfast sites to see if there are other options that might suit you better. Airbnb is a game changer and will put many hotels out of business. If you're visiting a off-peak, contact the Airbnb host before booking and ask if they'll consider a discount. We do this, and it works 80% of the time.
Now check out some accommodation deal sites like travelzoo.com and luxury escapes - They can have incredible deals. In New Zealand we have sites like graboneescapes.co.nz and groupon.co.nz which often have great accommodation deals for selected dates.
If your flight lands late at night, pre-organise a pickup from the airport to your accomodation. It will save a lot of hassle, worry and time if it’s a foreign and non-English speaking country!
If you’re looking at hiring a car, do a bit of research! Many smaller companies are cheaper and if you're spending a long time somewhere, they will likely offer you a cheaper deal.
When hiring a car, a lot of people pay extra to have "full insurance" added. That means you pay nothing if you have an accident, but it can double the price of your rental. However you may not realise that most comprehensive travel insurance policies actually cover your rental excess (the bit you pay if you have an accident). So it's a waste of money paying to insure yourself twice! Check the fine print of your travel insurance policy for more details.