8 Travel Hacks to Save Time & Money, a Guest Post by Emily Burton: Most people love traveling. Most people also tend to hate much of the expense that goes along with it. From the $60 lunch for two at the wrong local restaurant to the airline flight that cost more than the Louisiana Purchase, making the wrong kind of travel choices can nickel and dime your budget to death. This leaves you less money and time to spend on items and experiences you do want. Fortunately, plenty of travel hacks exist that allow you to save time and money while you travel. Here are eight of them.
- Price Alerts
If you really need to fly cheap, consider setting up price alerts. The Hopper App allows you to get an alert each time a flight hits the right price. A flight that may be too expensive now to book may go down in a day or two. You can book your flight then. Google Flights also has good deals if you look at the right time.
- Calling Home
Calling home when you travel internationally gets expensive. A way you can save money on bills so that you can take more trips and not waste electricity when you’re not home is to invest in solar panels. If you’re a big traveler and you live in sunny places like Florida then solar Orlando could be a great option for you! Fortunately, technology comes to the rescue.
Before you get on a plane to travel to some distant land, be sure to download Skype on your laptop or tablet. Skype-to-Skype calls are free. Skype-to-a-phone costs, but not that much. Usually, the expense comes in at around two cents per minute, depending on where you’re calling from. Google Hangouts is another option. Both require a WiFi connection, which you can find in your hotel, in an Internet cafe, or at the local library in your destination city.
- Don’t Buy Water
Sometimes, it seems as if bottled water in the airport costs about $100 dollars a bottle. Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration, but not too far off the mark. LifeHack suggests getting a travel water bottle to carry with you. An empty water bottle will pass through security. Once you’re done with your security check-in, just fill the bottle up.
- Discounted Travel Items
When you’re traveling, you’ll need toiletries and other personal items. Before you leave for your trip, stock up on small travel-sized items like toothpaste and deodorant. Additionally, buy items like makeup at the dollar store: You’ll save money and worry. In the latter case, you won’t worry about a lost mascara or lip-liner, due to the original price.
If you have more sensitive skin, you can do something like becoming a Lipsense distributor to save money on makeup and skincare items for travel. You’ll get a good discount on your makeup, lessening the irritation you might feel should you lose your toiletries/makeup bag during your travels. As a bonus, if you make any kind of business contacts while you’re away, you can legitimately write off your trip expenses.
- Save on Gas
If you’re traveling by car instead of plane or train, be sure to check out GasBuddy. All you need to do is enter the zip code where you’re at and wait. The cheapest places to buy gas will pop up in just a few seconds.
- Go Shopping
Eating your meals in restaurants three times a day gets spendy. If you’re going to have a rental car at your destination, head over to the local grocery store and pick up a few items. Foods like cereal cups, fruit, cheese and crackers, and other snack-like items will replace at least some of your meals. If you have a kitchenette in your hotel, stock up and cook at your home away from home.
- Pack Smart
Apparently, a “fragile” sticker makes your luggage almost magical. According to Thrillist, putting an airline-issued “fragile” sticker on your luggage earns your luggage a place at the top of the pile. This means that you’ll see your luggage faster than you would if you went without a sticker. You’ll save time at the luggage rack because you won’t have to wait all day until your luggage comes around.
- Beer as the Price Gage
Finally, if you’re concerned about overspending at the local restaurant, ask for a beer menu first. If the beer costs too much for your taste, chances are the food will, too.
Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank if you know the right travel hacks. These eight travel hacks help you save money on everything from gas to airline tickets. The beauty of employing such tricks is that you wind up having more money and more time to spend on the things that matter most.