The top reason why people kick travel to the curb and think it’s not possible for them, is and always will be MONEY.
Traveling ain’t free…
BUT lucky for you, there are ways to make it considerably less expensive and can wind up saving you hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars.
There’s 3 travel hacks I’ve come to learn since traveling over the past year and a bit, and these simple hacks can wind up making a huge difference in the amount you spend…
Here’s my three favourite hacks to make traveling not-so heavy on the bank:
TRAVEL HACK #1: House Sitting Or House Swapping
I absolutely love the idea of house sitting or house swapping. Accommodation is a huge expense when traveling… So imagine if you didn’t have to have this expense at all!? This would reduce your travel costs dramatically.
People all over the world are looking for house sitters while they take a holiday. Some house sits might just be a week or two, others could be several months. Some just require you to feed their pets or they simply just want someone for security purposes.
If you’re a home owner yourself and want to take a holiday or travel for a period of time, look into house swapping. That way, you get a piece of mind that someone is looking after your place, and that you have somewhere to stay for free throughout your travels. Win-win in my opinion!
Here’s a few handy sites to get you started:
www.hecktictravels.com: A traveling couple’s blog who specialise in house sitting. Their site has tons of resources for house sitting and tips for those wanting to get into it.
(All good sites for finding a house sitting gig or a home swap)
Note: House sitting/swapping is perfect for those who like to stay in a certain destination for a longer period. You really get to live how the locals live and if you score a gig which includes a car, even better!
TRAVEL HACK #2: Go Where The Deals Are!
Sign up to the email lists of airlines, travel agents, and booking sites.
They’re always releasing deals to new destinations.
If you’re like me and not so fussy about where you go, just as long as it’s somewhere new that will give you an awesome experience… Then this is the way to go.
For example, as a New Zealander I’m always checking out Air New Zealand’s deals and just the other day they released flights to Vietnam for $590NZD…. That’s not too shabby if you ask me!
There are tons of flight deals out there, you just need to know when and where they are. So it’s handy to get email alerts when they’re released.
Another great site for finding deals is www.google.com/flights
Google flights gives you tons of options of where to go, all with the prices showing. All you need to do is type in the departure city and then see where a good deal can take you!
In fact, just checking it out now, there’s an LAX to Rome roundtrip from $649… Or some crazy domestic prices if you’re not looking to go too far away.
TRAVEL HACK #3: Loyalty
Choose an Alliance and stick with it!
Especially if you expect to be traveling often.
We made the mistake of just flying with whoever when we started out, and we missed out on many opportunities to build our points within one airline or alliance. Now, we choose to stick with certain partner airlines within a chosen Alliance and are building up our points faster than ever.
Also check out other ways you can build your points with them, other than by just flying. For example, I have a ‘Fly Buys Airpoints’ card (specific to New Zealand). The card clocks up points for me when I spend at certain stores. If I’m gonna be spending anyway, I may as well get some airports while I’m at it.
There’s credit cards which have awesome programs to build your points too. Just do the research and see which works best for you.
Note: One thing to think about is where you’ll be flying out of the most, or who you would rather fly with when choosing which alliance to go with.
Personally, I chose to go with Star Alliance as I’m always doing long haul flights to and from New Zealand where I fly with Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand is an airline within Star Alliance so that’s predominantly my reason for choosing them. Then whenever I fly with another airline anywhere else in the world, I just make sure they are part of Star Alliance and I can have the flight points transferred to my Air New Zealand membership!
So, what’s the big deal about building up your airports?
When you hit certain levels you get some pretty sweet perks
- Lounge Access
- Priority Boarding
- Flight Class Upgrades … Just to name a few.
You can also use your airports to contribute to the cost of the flight… Which helps make traveling more affordable for you.
Try these out and see how you go!
If you have any travel hacks of your own, feel free to share them in the comments.