11 Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money, Time, Luggage Space, And More

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

(Photo by STIL on Unsplash)
Ever since I could even think about exploring the world and traveling to foreign places, I promised myself I was going to do so.

But of course, as things often do, priorities take over and the destinations on my bucket list took the backseat to my responsibilities.

For me, trying to get a degree while interning every semester/summer and working part-time jobs took priority over traveling. It's tough (and pricey) to take off from school, work, or whatever else to travel for an extended period of time, isn't it?!

And oftentimes, even if you don't have school or work and you can take the time off, that doesn't mean anyone else can, and if you don't want to go alone then that's yet another obstacle.

But, I'm done making excuses on why I shouldn't travel and am giving myself all the reasons I should. So, since it's that time of year when travel is at its peak. I've gathered some of the best travel tips and tricks to help you (and myself) get ready to jet-set and go.

1. Choose the right destination.

While you can go almost anywhere with almost anyone, there are specific trips that are best for those specific someones in your life. Here are some suggestions for places to go with the different people in your life — and even where to go by yourself.

○ Flying solo?

According to Travel + Leisure, some of the best places for women to travel solo include: Iceland; London, England; Washington, D.C.; Norway's Fjords; Okinawa, Japan; Stockholm, Sweden; Melbourne, Australia; Copenhagen, Denmark; and more.

○ Traveling with friends?

Whether you're in college, recently graduated, or just looking for a fun trip with your girlfriends, the College Times listed 18 perfect places to travel with your best pals and they're definitely all on my list. Some include: Toronto, Ontario, Canada; St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tuscany, Italy; Bermuda; The Bahamas; Nashville, Tennessee; Cinque Terre, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; and more.


○ Exploring with a lover?

Condé Nast Traveler concluded that the 16 most romantic places to stay in the world are located in the following places, check the original article for the exact hotel locations: Venice, Italy; Maui, Hawaii; Barnard, Vermont; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Paris, France; Ladera, St. Lucia; Riviera Maya, Mexico; Newport, Rhode Island; An Lam Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam; and more.


○ Sightseeing with family?

The best family destinations around the world, according to National Geographic are: Amalfi Coast, Italy; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; The Great Wall, China; Hong Kong; Iceland's Ring Road; Machu Picchu, Perú; and more.

2. Search for flights in private mode.

Once you choose your destination, the next step is, of course, to book the flights and place you will stay. But, before searching for any of it, make sure your Internet browser is in private or incognito mode.

To do so, go to "File" > "New Incognito Window" (in Chrome) or "File" > "New Private Window" (in Safari or Firefox). This will prevent airline or other travel sites from using your search history to determine where you have traveled and what you have previously paid, which could potentially help save you money depending on when you are searching.


3. Subscribe to receive airline emails.

If you have a preferred airline, make sure you are subscribed to its email list. Whether it be Delta, Jet Blue, American Airlines, or another, most have email lists where you can receive fare alerts, special deals, and flash sales to make sure you're getting the absolute best deal.


4. Search "airline name + promo code" on the Internet or look on the airline’s Facebook page for discount codes.

Whether or not you are subscribed to an email list, always be sure to do a simple Google search to see if you can save even more. Search "*insert airline name* promo code" to see if there are any discount codes that will work to give you an even better deal. Not seeing any through your search? Try checking out the airline's Facebook page for discount codes or try out my favorite site (for all kinds of discount codes), RetailMeNot.


5. Rent a house/condo.

If you're traveling for more than a few nights, it's important to make sure you're not only saving on your flight but also saving on other accommodations. Unless you have credit card points or a timeshare, oftentimes hotels are not the best bang for your buck. Searching for options on sites like Airbnb or VRBO and paying a flat weekly price can often save you a lot of money.


6. Save on car rentals through your memberships.

Should you choose to rent a car — whether it's for a road trip where you don't need a flight or for transportation around your destination — there are ways to save if you search. Check to see if any of your memberships will help save you money. Those like Costco (Costco Travel is also great for vacation packages, cruise deals, and amusement/theme park discounts) and AAA often offer great prices on rental cars.


7. Traveling with one partner? Reserve the aisle and window seats.

If you're traveling with one other person, try reserving the aisle and window seat. Most people don't want the middle seat, so you are more likely to get the whole row to yourself. Should the flight be fully booked and someone does end up sitting next to you, I'm 99.9% sure they'll be happy to switch with you for the window or aisle seat so you're next to your travel buddy.


8. Roll your clothes when packing.

Pack like a pro and roll your clothing instead of folding it all in order to save space. Also try: putting your socks inside your shoes and putting the heaviest items at the bottom toward the wheels to make it easier to roll.


9. Save Google Maps for offline viewing.

Especially if you are traveling abroad where you won't have access to cellphone service (cheaply) and often times wifi, it's important to make sure you have your destination's maps saved on your phone for offline access. To learn how to do so, click here.

10. Pre-order meals at the airport with the Grab app.

Download the Grab app, which is available at 40 different airports in the United States, to have food ready and delivered to you at your terminal and/or on the way to your gate.


11. Take advantage of airport wifi.

Now, this is an absolute lifesaver. Anil Polat of foXnoMad blog created this "always-up-to-date list of airport wireless passwords around the world."