For most of us, when planning a trip we want to ensure that we are getting the best deal, and getting to our destination in the cheapest, quickest, and most comfortable way possible. While there are tons of comparison sites out there to save us money, and smart apps to help us save time, there are still some common mistakes we make on our travels that take up precious time and money. Here are the top five innocent mistakes that many travelers don’t even realize they are making.
Setting Dates before Buying Tickets
In order to get the best deal and the shortest flight, it is important to be flexible about dates. Sometimes moving your trip a day or two in either direction can save you up to 50% on tickets or allow you to get a direct flight rather than one with three connections. Yes, sometimes you don’t have this freedom when you need to fly in for a wedding, a business meeting, or important conference, but if you have the choice, try to be flexible. Maintain flexibility with dates until you have checked out airfare, hotel prices, and other large travel expenses.
Combo Deals that Don’t Add up to Savings
There are many travel combination deals that include airfare, hotel, vehicle, and other perks. While you may be tempted to purchase one of these, ensure you are indeed paying less than if you purchased these separately. Similarly, there are many package deals for sights and events that are only a deal if you plan to attend every attraction in the package. If you plan to go the “package” route, be sure to compare prices to make sure you are getting the best deal—these aren’t always the lowest prices available.
Forgetting about Organizational Discounts
If you are a member of AAA, AARP, or even a professional organization or trade union, you may get steep discounts with some travel companies. Investigating these can save you a lot of money and also save time in hunting for the best deals. Do some digging to find out if any of your organizations offer discounts on flights, hotels, or attractions in certain cities. It might influence the airlines, hotel chains, or activities that you choose.
Insisting on a Rental Car
It is important to remember that automobiles are not the best choice in every area. In fact, there are many cities and even countries where public transportation is faster, and parking is an expensive nightmare. In these cases, a car is an unnecessary expense that adds to your transit time. The app MetrO will help you navigate public transportation in more than 400 cities worldwide.
Buying Instead of Packing
Nothing is worse than spending the first day of your trip hunting down shampoo or some other needed item that was forgotten at home. In addition, many basic items and toiletries we take for granted are very expensive in other places. TripList is a free packing app that will help you to make sure no items are left at home.
You deserve to get the most travel for your time and money. Avoiding these five costly mistakes will make travel more fun and more affordable. Take a little extra time to ensure that you really are getting the best deal, and you’ll have no buyer’s remorse, and can avoid wasting any extra time when you should be relaxing.