Traveling once or twice each year can put a severe dent in your savings if you are not careful, as the costs can be seriously high. When booking a flight, you usually have the base fare and think that’s where it ends. But the more experienced travelers amongst us can tell you -think again! The base fare comes with other costs that, when added up, can be no small amount. Ranging from baggage fees to taxes or even additional add-on charges, the price suddenly jumps and becomes much more than what you had planned to spend. However, there are specific ways to get around paying those huge sums, take the family on a fantastic vacation, and still have some money to treat yourself when you get back.
Here are a few tips to consider when planning your next trip:
Learn to Save on Time and Cost
Flights vary, and results from research have shown that the most “affordable” flight rates go off-peak or overnight. However, this may not be helpful if you decide to take this route then drive the rest of the journey to your destination. Have you considered the cost of the vehicle you are renting, the gas price, the insurance for travel, and the time it will take to reach where you are going?
Many people tend to take a “cheaper” flight which lands in a few hours from their vacation spot to save maybe a $100 or $200. But face it, the “saved” money will go back into rental and may even drive it up higher. Just keep that in mind if you are trying to save.
Take a Taxi or Shuttle
It is safer and much more economical to take a taxi or shuttle to the airport instead of driving and paying for parking. A lot of these parking lots charge up to $20 per day, and for protected parking, it can be much higher. Depending on the length of your vacation, it could easily end up costing more than it would to pay for a shuttle or taxi. Grab a calculator and see where your dollars are sliding and hiding.
Play Along with the Overbooking
When a flight is overbooked, and they have to remove you from the plane, they may reimburse you multiple times your original airfare. However, we all know the negatives associated with getting bumped from the flight, which includes running late for a meeting or sitting out at the airport for hours. But if you are a savvy traveler, you may know how to get the advantages from that little “mess”.
Ship Ahead of Time
If you ask us, it is cheaper to ship your luggage ahead of time and also more convenient. When you compare the cost to travel with your luggage on the airline in comparison to shipping it separately, you will realize you can save quite a bit this way. Also, you get to go with less luggage through the airport, which can save you valuable time.
Choose a “High-Travel” Airport
Small airports in “not-so-popular” areas can often end up costing you more than you may be saving on the cheaper flight to the out-of-the-way airport. Especially if you booked yourself a cheap, late-night flight, getting to wherever you will be staying in the middle of the night may cost quite a lot, so just make sure to check out the exact location of the airport and the travel options from there.
In short, airfares can be expensive, but you can find ways around the system to save a whole lot of dough, just use some common sense and some creative thinking.