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The holidays are approaching, which means that travel – if it is in your plans – could be costly.So there you have it.However, there’s no reason to spend more money than necessary.
We’ve compiled a list of 18 of the best tools for saving money on hotels, airfare, car rentals, meals, and more.Even if you plan to spend the holidays at home, there are ways to save money while visiting local attractions and showing your guests a good time.
Continue reading to learn how to plan a vacation that will leave you feeling rejuvenated rather than stressed about the cost.
Credit cards with travel rewards
Use a travel rewards credit card to pay for your trip, whether you’re booking lodging, renting a car, or buying a suitcase, and make sure to pay off the balance each month to get the most bang for your buck.The Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture are two of our favorite cards.Both allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for hotel stays, flights, and travel upgrades without tying you to a single hotel or airline.
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You’ll need a place to stay for any vacation that isn’t a day trip.
Traditional hotel chains with reliable amenities are the most comfortable for many people.If that’s the case, here’s how to get more bang for your buck.
- If you travel frequently and prefer specific hotels, your best bet may be to join a hotel loyalty program like Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors, which allow you to accumulate points for free nights while staying with brands you enjoy.
- Hotels are available.If you’re looking for a cheap hotel, this site is a good option because it allows you to search both chain and independent properties and compare prices.Using the HotelsFor every 10 nights booked through Hotels.com Rewards, users receive a free night.com
Consider booking a home or part of a home through one of these popular home-sharing sites if you’re looking for something unique – and potentially cheaper.
- Airbnb is a website that connects travelers with property owners who are renting out single rooms or their entire house, and it is possibly the most well-known name in vacation rentals.Treehouses, houseboats, and other unique options are available in addition to traditional homes.Airbnb Plus properties have undergone an in-person inspection and have been found to meet a set of minimum requirements.
- Stay at a friend’s housecom, which works in a similar way to Airbnb Homestaycom offers both short- and long-term accommodations at properties all over the world.Whether you’re looking for a vacation rental or a place to stay while working or studying abroad, Homestay is sure to have something that appeals to you.com
- Before booking a vacation rental, take a look at Vrbo (short for Vacation Rentals by Owner), a website that has been around since the 1990s.Condos, cabins, and beach houses, as well as other types of homes, can be found here.When traveling with family and friends, use Vrbo’s Trip Boards feature to quickly find a rental.
It’s been said that half the fun is getting there.Whether or not you believe you will undoubtedly spend time and money traveling to your vacation destination
If you’re going to fly, use one of these tools to find the best deal.
- CheapOair is the place to go if you’re looking for some of the cheapest plane tickets available online.The site’s user-friendly interface makes it simple to calculate total travel time and determine whether it would be cheaper to fly on a different date or fly from a different nearby airport.CheapOair’s Price Match Promise states that if you find the same itinerary for less elsewhere within 24 hours of booking, the difference will be refunded.
- Orbitz Use Orbitz to compare prices from a variety of airlines quickly.You can also bundle and compare prices for multiple travel services on the site.You can, for example, look for flights only or flights plus hotels and/or car rentals.Orbucks are earned by visiting the Orbitz Rewards website and can be redeemed for hotel stays and other benefits.
- Priceline now offers Express Deals in addition to its Name Your Own Price feature.This feature promises substantial savings in exchange for the fact that you won’t know which airline you’ll be flying until after you’ve booked.
- TripAdvisor’s BookingBuddy allows you to conduct a single search to compare prices across multiple travel sites.You can also look for flight and hotel packages, which can save you up to 30%.Not ready to book yet? Enter your email address to be notified when a better fare becomes available.
Whatever site you use, make sure to look at nearby airports as well as other departure and return dates to find the best flight deals.
Here are two services to consider if you plan to drive to your vacation destination.
- Turo Forget everything you thought you knew about car rentals.Turo takes a unique approach to everything.It connects travelers with people who want to rent their cars.While you’ll find your standard SUVs, minivans, and sedans on the site, there are also a number of more exotic options.Rental cars are available for a daily fee that includes a set number of miles as well as insurance coverage.Turo helps you find a convenient location to pick up the car from the owner.
- RVshare works in the same way that Turo does, but with RVs instead of cars.It’s the world’s largest RV rental marketplace, with listings ranging from pop-up campers to fully equipped motorhomes.The rates are set by the owners, and RVshare provides insurance and round-the-clock roadside assistance.
Things to do
You’ll need activities to fill your time on both staycations and trips further afield.The following resources can help you save money on local attractions.
- Groupon and LivingSocial made their names a decade ago by offering limited-time deals at astronomically low prices.Today, the businesses are still a great way to save money on everything from amusement parks to museums.Because Groupon acquired LivingSocial a few years ago, the deals on both sites are similar.However, it is still worthwhile to pay them both a visit to see what they have to offer.
- If you’re visiting one of the 14 cities in North America served by CityPASS, don’t miss out on this chance to save money.The options will vary by city, but the concept remains the same.You can visit multiple city attractions, such as museums, aquariums, and zoos, for a single price.It’s a simple way to save up to 50% off retail prices.
- Cafeteriacom This website connects you to tens of thousands of restaurants across the country that offer deeply discounted gift certificates.For example, you might be able to get a $25 gift certificate for only $10.Many of these deals have minimum purchase requirements, such as spending $15 to use a $10 certificate, but they still represent substantial overall savings.
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If you don’t feel like planning a vacation yourself, consider hiring a company to put everything together for you and sell it to you for one low price.This is our go-to company for low-cost vacation packages.
- You can shop at ShermansTravel based on the best deals, destinations, or interests.They also offer special cruise packages for families and those seeking luxury.ShermansTravel has options for all budgets and travel styles, whether you want to go to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean or spend a week exploring Vietnam.Best of all, they handle all of the logistics, so all you have to do is pack your belongings.Check out ShermansTravel for some of the most recent deals on cruises, flights, and more.
Is your favorite travel tool on the list? Let us know how you save money on vacation in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
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