Cost conscious travel planning

So I thought it’s about time I dedicate a blog to travel planning with cost consciousness in mind. About to set of on my second trip to the USA – this time for a significantly longer period of time – there are a couple of tips and tricks one can use to help keep the costs down.

Flights
Keep and eye on cheap fares. One can save hundreds of dollars buying fares when they’re on sale. Also I find that often with the international flights it’s cheaper buying them months in advance. For my upcoming trip and my trip to SE Asia last year I saved hundreds of dollars having my flights booked approx 6 months in advance.

For point to point tickets use an aggregator site to get a high level overview of the cheapest flights and times, then go to the individual airline sites to confirm the price and book. Booking direct via the airline, you often can avoid any extra charges the aggregator may apply. If time isn’t a factor, sometimes choosing that flight 1 hour earlier (or later) can make a difference, particularly if your trip consists of lots of point to point flights as it all adds up.

Accommodation
This is always a killer in travel costs, as it puts quite a bump into the budget. There’s obviously a wide range in price, quality and style of accommodation so one needs to make a decision on what they are happy with, what they are willing to pay and go out and do some hunting. Research will help in getting your best value for money here. There’s often lots of discounts from codes to early reservation discounts. Also don’t discount cheaper alternatives, sometimes they are just as awesome as the more expensive choice but perfectly fine. Make sure to do you research though, as sometimes things are cheap for a reason.

Discounts
Use them when and where you can. There are stacks of websites on the net offering deals and codes for all kinds of things from Broadway shows, hotel bookings to dining. It does require you to check the sites periodically, but this is a easy way to save heaps of money.

It might sound all a bit extreme, but the savings you make do add up to be quite a bit. Especially when travelling through places such as the USA and Europe. Of course one could do all the above even cheaper by backpacking but sometimes you want to just mix things up and have a bit of everything. In which case eventually add up.

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