Everyone gets bit by the travel bug once in a while. The world has so many great things to see and so many opportunities to create so many memories, it’s hard not to want to explore and see everything that the world has to offer.
Even as a college student, I am always looking up unique spots to drive to. I’m always itching to take a road trip to adventure somewhere new. I am also studying abroad in the spring of next year (if all goes as planned) and have been doing a ton of research on ways to save money when it comes to traveling.
One of the most expensive parts of traveling is the process of actually getting to where you want to be. We have all had to deal with the overwhelming, tiresome, time-consuming process of trying to find the cheapest flights/means of transportation possible. Whether it’s a flight or a car ride, traveling costs both time and money. I don’t travel very much via flight but I have seen a few different websites with tools for finding cheap flights. One of which being, Google Flights. Google Flights is a search tool that pulls up flights from every airline after you type in the important details of your trip such as where you’ll be going and when you’ll be going. Another awesome tip for finding cheap flights is to always search for them on private browsing mode. Believe it or not, the prices of flights increase when they are repeatedly searched in the same browser. Using a private browser is simple, in Google Chrome or Safari, hit Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. If you are using a different web browser such as Mozilla or Internet Explorer (lol talk about a throwback), hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. Doing this will allow you to complete a “private” search and erase all of the old cookies from your last search.
Another awesome way to save money on flights is to sign up for certain reward credit card programs. A bunch of different companies take part in these credit card reward programs- basically, for every dollar, you spend you receive a set amount of points, these points can be used towards the prices of flights. In the long run, you could be getting a free flight somewhere!
Figuring out where to sleep is also a hefty expense when it comes to traveling. Hostels are probably your best bet if you want to stay somewhere for cheap. Hostels are like giant dorm rooms that sometimes even up to 10+ people per room. Hostels range in budget and can sometimes even be as cheap as $10 USD. Hostels are a great opportunity to meet new people and stay in city centers without having to pay the pretty penny that other hotels charge.
Air BNB is a website that recently became popular this past year. Air BNB is a website where people come together to rent out their houses, and spare bedrooms to fellow travelers. The website even has a review section so that you can get a feel of where you’ll be staying. This option allows you to stay in a comfortable location without the hotel price tag! Weekly and monthly rates on Air BNB are quite competitive against what locals pay in terms of rent, and are almost always much cheaper than hotels.
Signing up for rewards programs can also help to save a chunk of change when it comes to staying in hotels. A lot of booking sites and even hotel agencies offer these rewards programs, where you basically earn money for every dollar you spend. This is similar to those airline programs that I touched upon before. Booking.com is just one of the many websites that has a rewards program.
One of the great things about being a college student is all of the perks that come along with it. A lot of companies have college student rates because they understand how poor we are. One specific website to check out is StudentUniverse. This website has some discounted flights and some tips and tricks on saving money when it comes to traveling via public transportation. Make sure to ask about student discounts wherever you go, because for the most part a ton of companies have programs for you! Sometimes receiving these discounts is as simple as showing a form of your college ID, but other times it can be much more elaborate where you need to show your full-time class schedule. Always have both of these on hand when asking for student discounts because you never know what will be needed.
Other great resources for coupons when traveling are Groupon and RetailMeNot. Always check these websites before booking vacations because more so than not, they have special deals and discounts. Sometimes they even have full travel packages at a discounted price. A friend of mine once booked a cruise for nearly half the regular price because of a deal she found on Groupon!
So there you have it, a bunch of ways to save some cash when it comes to traveling. Seeing the world doesn’t always have to cost you your life savings! As long as you take the time to do your research and use rewards programs and coupons to your benefit, you’ll be very pleased with the amount of money that you’ll save in the long run. What are your money saving tips for traveling?