How To: Make Traveling Easier

By: Abigail LoManto

Spring Break and Summer are just around the corner,so what are you doing? If you’re like me, you’re not trying to spend that time on your couch watching Netflix. However, travelling can be crazy expensive, and my wallet would rather I stay at home and watch Netflix. Nevertheless, I’ve scored some pretty good deals while travelling in the past. I’ve compiled a list of things I’ve learned from myself, friends, and family on how to save money on things like flights, accommodation, and entertainment when travelling.

 

Transportation:

 

When buying plane tickets, use comparison websites such as Skyscanner and StudentUniverse.

The absolute best website for finding flights, in my opinion, is Skyscanner. It is so easy to use and genuinely has amazing deals. You can search your departure location, destination, and dates you want to travel, and the site searches all the major competitors websites for the best deals. You even have the option to click “Cheapest Month”, and the website searches for the absolute cheapest ticket this year. If you are flexible on travel dates, this is perfect. You also have the option to search “Anywhere” as your destination, and the website finds the cheapest destinations from your departure location.

StudentUniverse is another great comparison website which finds equally good deals on flights. It caters specifically to college students, and negotiates student discounts with certain airlines. Definitely check out both websites if you are looking to fly somewhere!

 

Search for flights on a Tuesday.

On Tuesdays, flights appear to be listed cheaper than on any other day of the week. I have no idea why, but this has actually worked for me and people I know. Flights aren’t always cheaper, but it’s worth a look. It’s also a good idea to clear your cookies on your browser. Cookies store your past searches, and it is likely that you will not see new deals.

 

See if it’s cheaper to book two one-way tickets instead of a round trip flight.

Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy two tickets instead of one round trip ticket. Similarly, if you are flying to a far destination such as Rome. Try flying to somewhere in the middle such as London and then purchase a separate ticket from London to Rome. Sometimes the price comes out cheaper than buying a single round trip ticket with a layover. Basically, you just need to be willing to scour the internet for a deal.

Photo by Ariana Prestes on Unsplash
Fly with low-cost airlines such as Spirit Airlines or WowAir.

If you’re a light-packer and don’t mind only taking a carry-on or even just a personal item, then these airlines are perfect for you. They offer low-priced tickets because they do not offer some amenities usually offered on flights such as a carry-on, a checked bag, a meal, or entertainment with the standard economy price.

 

Take a roadtrip.

If you are travelling within the 50 states, why not make a roadtrip of it? Grab a couple of friends, and it will be way more fun than flying, and it the cost of gas will most likely be less than the plane ticket.

 

Accommodation

 

Stay at an Airbnb or Hostel instead of a hotel.
 

If you are travelling with a group of people, then an Airbnb is a great way to save money. Even if you all split the cost of a hotel room, there most likely will not be enough beds for everyone. However, Airbnb offers the option of staying in an entire house for a comparable prace to a hotel room, and there most likely will be multiple beds and couches for you all to get that perfect night’s rest you need to combat that jetlag!

Many people like myself are skeptical about staying at a hostel because you generally are sleeping in a room with multiple strangers. Although, a couple friends have told me that a hostel is actually a great and safe option for travelling on a budget. Of course, take proper safety precautions and read reviews.

 

Entertainment

 

Always ask if there is a student discount.

When visiting major tourist locations such as museums, ask if there is a student discount. It never hurts to ask!

 

Don’t eat out for every meal during your trip.

Obviously it’s important to experience the local culture of wherever it is you are going and to treat yourself to nice meals, but for one or two meals during your trip, try going to the local grocery store and picking up a few things. There could be pre-cooked meals or, if your accommodation has a kitchen, you can buy food to cook! I’ve done this a few times before, and it’s actually really interesting to see what different places sell in their supermarkets, and it can also be a way to relax.

 

Other:

 

If going abroad, buy a SIM card from that country instead of paying fees to your carrier.

Some cell phone carriers such as AT&T charge international fees at about $10 a day with minimal messaging and data access. When in another country you are probably going to need to access maps, to look at online reviews, and to call emergency numbers. To avoid accumulating a massive cell phone bill, you can usually purchase a cheap SIM card for about $10-20 in the foreign country you are visiting. You can use the SIM card to call anywhere in that country, and then you can put back your old SIM card when you return. This is a good idea if you are planning on staying in a foreign country for an extended period of time.

 

 

Go where the exchange rate is more affordable.

When travelling to a foreign country with a different currency, you can easily lose money as a result of the exchange rate. At the moment, the U.S. dollar will have a greater purchasing power in countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Colombia.

 

If you’re trying to make your travel dreams a reality this year, consider these tips and tricks!