If you are planning on getting away this winter to visit family in the warmer northern hemisphere, then make sure you are travelling, or rather spending, as efficiently as possible. If you would like make your budget stretch as far as possible, here are some essential travel hacks to help you do exactly that.
There will probably be a few of these hacks that you're already using during your trips. However, never assume you know them all, because you may just find a couple of additional ones here that could help you save even more. Otherwise, if you think I've missed off any good methods below, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section. At the end of the day, the power of collectively sharing ideas is what drives money-saving sites like Buckscoop.
If you can travel during your sleeping hours then this is one of the best utilisations of time. Booking overnight flights or sleeper cars on overnight trains are a great way to accomplish travel and money saving at the same time. This type of travel is more suited to multi-city tours and is a very effective way to avoid forking out on expensive hotels.
Avoid Flight Procrastination
The basic rule for booking flights is look to book as soon as you know the rough dates you intend to travel. Find a price that looks almost too good to be true and book it. Worry about the rest of the trip later, because ultimately those flight prices are only going up. Airlines have clever technology that can track how many times your device views flight prices and they will increase the price of tickets to coax you into buying. A great article to help you with finding the cheapest prices can be found here.
The next time you stop off to buy your favourite perfume or makeup, it’s always worth asking if they have any free samples that you can try. These freebies usually come in travel sizes that are ideal for hand luggage. This way you can avoid lugging around your large bulky set.
To get you started, have a look at the variety of offers on the Buckscoop freebies page (e.g. toothpaste and Another example could be to wait for the next offer on free protein bars which you could then take with you to help avoid eating expensive airport food.
This topic has been covered in a number of my articles on Buckscoop, but roaming charges suck because they cost so much. Avoid extortionate charges on your phone bill by simply not turning on roaming. If you need to make a phone call, find a café, hotel or other store/building with Wi-Fi and make a call over WhatsApp. If you need to use your maps, visit Google Maps on your smartphone prior to your trip and save an area so you have access to your chosen location in detail offline. Only in an emergency should you pay your telco an exuberant amount for the privilege of calling or accessing your data allowance.
If you still have your student card with you, take it and see what discounts you can get. Other countries might not recognise the fact that you are not a student anymore, especially if your card doesn’t have an expiry date on it. You never know which attractions or restaurants you might be able to receive a discount on by using it.
Avoid Odours and Laundry Fees
If you receive a bar of soap at one of the hotels during your trip, simply chuck it into the dirty laundry section of your suitcase to eliminate odours. The same results can also be achieved with a dryer sheet, both methods being able to save you from unnecessarily overpaying on laundry fees during your hotel stays by having to wash smelly clothes even though they're clean.
Whenever you plan on spending the day out and about sightseeing, it’s a great idea to pop into the local supermarket first to stock up on water and a few healthy snacks. As picturesque as the tourist attractions you're visiting may be, there is nothing pretty about getting stung by a tourist trap restaurant for a small bottle of water or fizzy drink.
Refund your VAT
If you are buying abroad it can be a great money saving activity to reclaim your VAT when departing from the airport. Countries like the United Arab Emirates and the European Union offer this service where you can receive up to 27% off the price of your goods. To get his money back, make sure you keep your receipts and apply for tax refunds at the airport. Ensure you arrive at the airport with as much time as possible to complete the process.