Whether you’re traveling within the US or internationally, saving money is always a big issue for travelers. Nobody wants to spend thousands on a flight and be tight on their budget while they’re actually at their location. Or be stuck in a situation where you have to pay $40 to get to your hotel from the airport and have to skip your first plate of pasta in Italy.
Luckily, there’s a ton of websites, apps, and other tools you can use while you’re traveling so you can splurge on that spur-of-the-moment bungee jumping excursion in Costa Rica. Right now, we’re going to focus on apps and websites that can help us out on the move.
There’s a lot of sites out there similar to Skyscanner like Expedia, Priceline, Kayak, etc. But none of these sites have ever gotten me the deals that Skyscanner has. And unlike what their name eludes to this app/website also helps with hotels and car rentals. I’m not exactly sure how they do it but they find the absolute cheapest flights possible, I know from experience. I once got a round-trip, direct flight from Raleigh, NC to Washington, DC for just $35. I would go there every week with deals like that. I only use this website when looking for flights and it’s well worth it. I’ve traveled across country for less than $300, I’m telling you it’s a game changer. Sometimes you have to check back a few times before you find the best deal but it’s out there and Skyscanner will help you find it.
I’ve spent the last year traveling around the US living in other people’s houses with AirBnB and it has been amazing. If you’re staying long-term you get a discount so try to book for long periods of time if you’re going to be in the same city for awhile instead of jumping around to different ones. The biggest trick though, is to contact the owner and see if you can haggle them down a bit before you book. I had my price significantly reduced in New Orleans and Vermont just by reaching out to the owners first. Another perk is that the owners can help give you a better understanding of the city and be like your virtual tour guides if you’re interested. Doing a shared AirBnB is another option that I’ve had really good experiences with. I only do shared rentals when I’m staying short term, anything less than a week, but it’s a really good cost effective option. Honestly, the website is better than the app so if you’re going to try and book a place, definitely grab your laptop not your phone.
Uber has a convenient carpool option now. If you have 3 or less people getting in, you can choose ‘pool’ which is typically around $3 if you’re only traveling a few miles. It will pick up other people on your way though, so if you’re in a rush I don’t recommend it. I’ve been in it tons of times where nobody else has been picked up and I still get the discounted rate. However, I was in it once where we picked up and dropped off 3 people before I got to my destination so like I said, do not use when you’re in a rush.
Local Freebie Websites
If you do enough research you’ll come across a website that has free events in the city you’re going to. For instance in Wilmington, NC there’s whatsonwilmington.com where you can find mostly free events going on any day of the week. Most of the time there’s also coupons for restaurants and some paid events advertised so you get a mix of everything. Looking at these types of pages will not only get you a long list of free events, but give you a feel for the type of place you’re going to. You can see trends whether it’s mostly art exhibits, music venues, film showing, food events, etc. Take advantage of what each local spot has to offer… for free!
If you’re booking tickets online – whether it’s airplane, concert, beerfest, or anything else – buying new clothes for your trip, or looking for a new pair of comfortable tourist shoes then go to honey.com and add the app extension onto your browser. You know in the checkout area when you purchase online they have a box for coupon codes? Well this extension scans the internet for any relevant coupon codes that could get you a really good discount. They’ll share all the codes they find and you can use any that you think will apply. It’s an amazing money-saving service when you’re getting ready for your trip or booking online.
All of these websites/apps will help you save money. If you’re preparing for your trip, booking it, or during it there’s money saving opportunities out there. There’s no reason to spend a bunch of money when you don’t have to. Looking for even more tips on saving money while traveling? Keep an eye our for Part 2!
Do you have any websites or apps you use to save money while traveling?