How to Travel Smarter and Cheaper
The best part of travel is the trip itself; the worst can be how much it costs you. Nobody wants to spend more money than they have to so here are a few tips to help you save.
Credit Card Payments
Let’s start with how you pay. Since you have to spend some money anyway, you might as well pay with the right credit card. As well as the points you can rack up with your regular card provider, which you might be able to use for travel rewards, there are also branded cards which give additional points. If you have a Disney credit card, then you might gain enough for an extra night’s stay or early admission to one of the attractions. The more rewards you can get for a single spend, the more cost effective your vacation will be. One warning, though, read the fine print when you sign up for a card – you don’t want to have to pay annual fees if you can avoid it.
Reward and Points Schemes
Your credit card is only one way to earn rewards but practically every travel industry service provider has a reward scheme, covering everything from airport parking to hotel bookings – and everything in between. While these started as loyalty programs, the best approach is to sign up for all of them – why limit yourself to one discount? When you join a frequent flier or hotel points program, you gain points for making the purchase you’re making anyway and you can get upgrades and other rewards after you have racked up a few points. A free night in a hotel room or VIP treatment at your airport parking provider give you more for your money.
The final component for a smarter, cheaper trip is monitoring the rewards available and the deals on offer by comparison shopping. It’s always worth checking to see how you get the best overall deal – don’t be swayed by the headline figures. You can save hundreds of dollars by doing a little research and seeing which add-ons are included in a scheme you’re already part of. What tips would you add for getting more for your money when you travel?
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