Save Money When You Book Travel Comments22 Comments

This is a guest post from Jon Lal, founder of coupons & cash back website BeFrugal.com and couponing & savings expert.

BeFrugal.com offers travel coupons as well as cash back for online shopping at 3,000+ online stores with a current average rate of 7%.

Whether you are hitting the road for work or pleasure, there are many costs associated with travel. Use these tips to save when making your reservation:

  • Take advantage of free membership loyalty programs so you can accumulate points for perks over time. If there is no cost to join, there is no reason not to be a member.
  • If you are a senior citizen you can often get a discount. It never hurts to ask! The term “senior” is sometimes defined as young as 50+ since each travel merchant has a different definition of “senior,” you may be eligible for a discount and not even know it.
  • Always book online. Not only do some airlines charge fees if you call to book by phone, you can also use online coupons and earn cash back (a portion of your spending that is awarded to you, like when you use a cash back rewards credit card).
  • Check for a promo code to get a discount on your travel needs. Find the best coupon code to save the most by checking a comprehensive savings website. Scan through all the offers for whichever travel provider you are purchasing from and select the best offer for what you are buying. Consider a percentage off and set dollar amount off offers and use the one that what will save you the most money. You can use a calculator to compare offers before making your purchase to make an informed decision. A good savings website will provide coupons for free as well as clearly indicate the expiration date and additional details such as restrictions.
  • Earn cash back for free by clicking through a cash back shopping website to the travel company like an airline or hotel you are booking with. The cash back site will deposit a portion of your transaction into a free account. This is a free and fast way to save when buying travel online. You can often combine a discount from a promo code and earn cash back on the same transaction.
  • Pay with a rewards credit card so you also earn points or more cash back from your credit card. By using this payment method, you can earn cash back from two different sources. Personal finance tip: be sure to pay off your credit card balance each month to avoid paying interest.

How do you save money when booking travel? Did you score any really good deals on booking travel recently? What was the trick?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider or you are welcome to leave a comment below.
By : Adam | 3 Jul 2012
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22 thoughts on “Save Money When You Book Travel

  1. Edward Antrobus

    I remember seeing a piece on the news a while back about using the Bing search engine to check for flight prices. Bing will tell you which way the price of the ticket is trending, letting you know if you should pull the trigger now or wait a few days.
    Also, three months out seems to be the sweet spot. Apparently, airlines start out charging the full price for the ticket, then start lowering it about 6 months before the flight. Around 3 months it usually bottoms out and then starts rising again.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Interesting tip Edward. Most people wouldn’t expect a search engine like Bing to be such a hot spot to check ticket prices. Watching those trends would probably save you a lot of money if you can pull the trigger at the right point. The problem is that once people decide to buy a ticket somewhere they get so excited that they want to book it right away rather than waiting for the right price.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      That’s surprising. I’d think that wouldn’t really be common knowledge. Booking at the right time would be pretty important if the prices jump around a lot.

      Reply
  2. Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents

    I’m constantly trying to find the best price. Research, research, research definitely helps! Thankfully I don’t really ever have to ever buy airline tickets due to the survivor’s benefits I get, but when/if I do, I try to use points.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      That would be pretty sweet to never have to pay for flights, but a very unfortunate reason to get that benefit. No wonder you’re always going on trips.

      Reply
  3. Jason @ WorkSaveLive

    We don’t look for a ton of deals and bargains when vacationing. Frankly I just haven’t seen the great savings when compared to the amount of time it takes to find the deals.

    We traditionally rent a home via VRBO which absolutely saves money compared to hotel costs (not to mention you get to pick the place you stay and can get a 10x’s nicer place compared to what you’d get at a hotel).

    We typically drive so we don’t need rental cars or plane tickets, and when we go out to eat I use Yelp to figure out the places we need to try out while we’re there (instead of finding “deals” and basing our decisions on coupons or bargains).

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yeah the online research is really mostly for airline tickets and hotels. The idea of renting a home for cheaper than a hotel does sound pretty awesome. If you are using that service and usually driving, it does make sense that you plan the rest more on what you actually want to do. A vacation shouldn’t be too focused on saving money. It should be a time to let loose and enjoy yourselves.

      Reply
  4. Michelle

    I haven’t traveled in a while, but I’d like to try Priceline next time we fly. My girlfriends just used them and you get to pick your price–how cool is that?! We also have a rewards card and are insane about researching the best deals.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Using a site like priceline is a great idea. I didn’t know you could name your price though. I wonder how that works. Do they just throw you in with the cargo if you name too low a price?

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I’ve never heard of Hipmunk, but I’ll have to remember to check it out next time I’m flying somewhere. It’s always good to have more than 1 website to compare flight prices.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I’ve never used Ebates either, but I don’t really do much shopping online these days. I do book travel online though. So I should see if they have any good travel discounts.

      Reply
  5. Anne @ Unique Gifter

    I’ve used a cash-back site that’s through an alumni card, plus we recently got upgraded banking (free because of the cash we keep lying around) and can earn about 4.5% back on the CC for travel related spending.
    I’m also well versed in traveling like a hobo, but that doesn’t seem to really be the point of this article. ;-)

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Wow 4.5% off on travel purchases is a good deal. When I get traveling more I’m going to have to upgrade from my basic cash back credit card.

      Reply
  6. Jordann

    My fiancée loves finding the best deals for travelling, he researches our dream vacations and amuses himself by finding the best deals…I, on the other hand, find it very frustrating.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      As long as one of you likes doing that works. It just sucks when you both can’t be bothered. Hopefully he isn’t tempting you too much with your hardcore debt payoff commitment lately.

      Reply
  7. Debt Recovery Services

    Shopping online to book/ buy any type of ticket for travel or accommodation is the best action to take as there are a lot of chances to save money, which may not be possible in a travel agency on the high street. Such as coupon deals, as you mentioned, or the chance to compare prices at a large number of agencies for the cheapest rate, in a matter of minutes.

    Thanks Jeremy!

    Michael

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      There are definitely a lot of advantages to booking travel online instead of at a travel agency. Overall there is just a lot less pressure it can be easier to find a good deal, especially when the travel agency isn’t taking a commission.

      Reply

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