15 Ways Smart Travelers Save Money

Money-saving tips to fund your next trip.

1. Know the weight of your carry-on before leaving

It is good to know how heavy your carry-on is, especially when you are flying low-cost airlines. According to Viktoria Altman of gottraveltipster.com, a total weight limit is imposed on carry-on items by many cheaper airlines. You should check these limitations before packing, especially if you are flying cheaper airlines. If the total weight of the carry-on is above the limit, buy additional bag allowance online 24 hours before your flight. You will pay triple if you pay the added bag allowance at the gate.

2. Look into perks offered by co-branded credit cards

Altman said smart travelers often get free checked in baggage. You can take advantage of perks offered by co-branded credit cards if you are a frequent traveler. Many of these credit cards offer early check-in, free checked bag, and other benefits. Look for a credit card offering many perks for frequent travelers.

3. Always have snacks ready for the kids

Kelli Bhattacharjee of freebiefindingmom.com recommends passing up on the airplane menu unless your snack bag is empty or your child is having a meltdown.

4. Book early

Hopper resident travel expert Liana Corwin says among the worst travel mistakes you can make is to book at the very last minute. Domestic tickets can be around $139 more expensive if you buy them at the very last minute. For international trips, it can put you back by around $529.

But, Corwin adds you can reduce financial penalties when you change the dates of the flight if you cannot avoid last-minute bookings. Research results from Hopper show that the cheapest day to fly is on Tuesdays. You can save more if your return flight is booked on Fridays.

5. Choose your flight preferences at the gate

Avoid pre-paying to pick your seat. You can ask the check-in counter agent to put you in a seat you prefer. According to Altman, these agents can do this for you and will normally accommodate these requests if you are polite.

6. Avoid taking unnecessary cab rides

Check with your hotel if complimentary ground transportation is available before leaving for the airport. Shuttle services are often offered by hotels. These shuttle services run between the hotel and some of the major airports. Some of them also run between the hotel and the downtown area of the city.

7. Pre-schedule rides if you have an early morning flight

Consider booking a ride on the Scheduled Rides feature of Uber if you are taking a red-eye flight for your business trip. This will give you a lower fare way ahead of time. Senior communications associate Lexi Levin of Urban says the feature locks in a lower fare and allows you to skip airport parking fees or car rentals. There are a number of hacks you can use when you are booking a ride on Uber.

8. Use your credit card to pay insurance if you are renting a car

Offers.com savings expert Sarah Hollenbeck says insurance coverage fees for car rentals can go up as twice the rental cost. But, many credit cards offer car rental protection. You should also decline additional insurance coverage at car rental counters. Use your credit card in paying to avoid any fees.

You should also be aware of the protection limits offered by your credit card company. DealNews consumer analyst Julie Ramhold says that luxury cars are not covered by a number of credit card companies. She added that you may have to buy additional insurance if you are driving a car in that class. You should also be aware of where you are driving. Fender benders will cost more in no-fault states or in states with many uninsured drivers than states with these issues.

9. Be aware of the Wi-Fi policy of your hotel

Last Minute Travel president and travel industry expert Isar Meitis says you should check if free Wi-Fi is available at your hotel. If it is not offered, you may want to add hotspot capabilities on your phone rather than pay to use the internet of the hotel.

10. Get a travel protection supplement if you travel in remote areas on your own

Rebecca Singelenberg , a frequent traveler, says many platinum card plans or travel insurance policies bring travelers to the nearest medically-acceptable facility when a local doctor considers a transfer necessary in medical emergencies. Due to this, a medical transfer may cost a fortune. Fees can range between $30,000 and $150,000. It can even go up if you stay in an international hospital for over a day. Travelers planning a trip to remote areas should take into account getting a protection supplement so they are sent home when they are transferred to a hospital. One of the recommendations of Singelenberg is Medjet. Medjet is a service arranging air medical transfers to the hospital of choice of their members regardless if it is considered necessary or not. Memberships for the service cost at least $99. There are a number of emergency phrases you should know about before you go on a trip.

11. Be careful with items offered in the hotel room

SherSheGoes, a frequent traveler blog, advises to ensure the water bottle on top of the table beside the bed is complimentary before you open it. Keep away from the mini bar since they are normally overpriced. A restocking fee may also be charged by the hotel if you eat one of the travel-size Snickers inside.

12. Eat breakfast outside, but eat dinner inside

An American Hotel & Lodging Association study shows that complimentary breakfast is offered by around 62 percent of hotels. But, if your hotel does not offer complimentary breakfast, you can take it somewhere else. Early morning menus typically have hidden higher prices, so you can eat breakfast somewhere else, according to the SherSheGoes blog. The blog says hotels know you do not want to go out to have your coffee in the morning. On the other hand, hotels offer great dinner deals due to the number of restaurants offering dinner. To get your business, hotels have to be competitive in price and quality. If your hotel offers complimentary breakfast, you may also want to eat dinner at the hotel as well.

13. Be aware of corkage fees if you bring your own beverage

Julie Ramhold says cruises sometimes allow passengers to bring their own alcoholic drinks on board. But, you will have to pay a corkage fee if you bring your own wine into the dining room. The fee can range from $15 up to $25 for every bottle. So, it is advisable to pop the cork and enjoy the drink at the stateroom before or after dinner. You may also look for other things available on cruises that are not normally advertised.

14. Use the local currency when paying for things in the county you are visiting

International transaction fees are charged by most credit cards. But, you can reduce these fees if you will run the card in the local currency when you buy something. Mokshta Chauhan , a travel blogger and hotelier says, if you are traveling in Europe, you can ask the hotel to charge you in Euro if your card currency is in US dollars. The international transaction fee your bank charges will be reduced if you pay using the local currency.

Travelzoo senior editor Gabe Saglie says you can use the same rule when you take out cash when you are in another country. You can head to a local bank or ATM when you need cash instead of conversion centers located at the airport since the latter normally have large fees. The charges at a bank or ATM will not be as high and the conversion will be more precise.

15. At the end of the trip, contest hidden gratuity fees

Cruzely.com founder Tanner Callais says gratuities are automatically charged by cruise lines. These fees can go as high as $13 to $15 per person every day. While this may appear mandatory, many travelers are unaware that you can have the gratuity amount adjusted at the end of the trip. You can visit guest services to make the adjustment. If the service was poor at the cruise, you will not have to pay the whole amount if it was not earned.

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