We’ve all come to the realization that vacations and trips cost money, but we continue to take them because they’re worth it! In fact, we wish we could travel even more than we already do, which is why it’s fine to be as cost-conscious as possible while planning your travels.
Being cost-conscious could mean anything from choosing the cheapest stateroom on a cruise, to cutting the planned tour in favor of exploring on your own. Either way, you’re a budget traveler, and we can appreciate that. To assist you with your frugal ways, we’ve compiled our top travel hacks on how to save money when planning a trip, including a few tips regarding travel insurance and how to stay on budget while also protecting your investment.
Book your travel accommodations using the prepaid rate and then protect your payment with a travel protection plan. Many hotels offer the lowest possible rate through their loyalty member programs, and once you are a member, you will gain access to the prepaid rates. However, the prepaid rates generally have strict non-cancellation policies.
By booking the prepaid rate and purchasing a travel protection plan with trip cancellation coverage, you are not only protecting your prepaid hotel expenses, but other non-refundable, prepaid expenses such as lost flight costs or guided tours. Most importantly, you’re putting the money you saved on the hotel room to good use.
A 2018 airline study completed by CheapAir.com reports that the best time to buy a domestic U.S. flight is around 70 days prior to your departure.1 For international flights, it depends on your location. For example, a trip from the U.S. to Europe is expected to hit peak pricing around 160 days prior to departure.
There’s always the chance that you score a great flight several months in advance of your departure date, but the further out you plan, the more you’re exposing yourself to unexpected events. Try using those flight ticket savings by purchasing a travel protection plan, so if you’re planning to travel during hurricane season, you’re covered well in advance of any storms forming.
Have you ever wanted to travel overseas for a football game? Or maybe you’re going to be traveling to a Rolling Stones concert. Tickets to these hot events sell out quickly and often go on sale well in advance of the event dates. By purchasing a travel protection plan, if you cannot attend the concert due to a covered reason, you may be reimbursed for your non-refundable event tickets.
Only buy the accommodations and coverage you need. Consider the activities or expenditures that are going to “make or break” your trip and stick with the essentials. If you can cruise without the excursions, then maybe you can upgrade your estate room. If you haven’t invested too much money into your trip, then a travel protection plan may not be worth it. By being focused with your trip and coverage needs, you can avoid overpaying.
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