Tips for Cutting Travel Costs

by Crooked Trails co-founder, Chris Mackay

I read The WEEK, my favorite magazine, every week cover to cover. A recent issue had a piece on travel tips and I clipped it and put it next to my computer. Then I realized, hey! I need to share my travel tips with those I know who love to travel as well. So here are my tips on how to cut travel costs from my own experiences:

Buy on a Tuesday
When airlines decide to mark down flights they generally do it on a Monday and then the other airlines rush to match it the next day. So start looking around on Monday but make your purchase mid-week.

Ask for a refund
Sometimes it’s possible to get a partial refund from some airlines if a fare drops after you purchase a ticket. Sign up at Yapta.com to track flight prices and get refunds after you buy.

Don’t pay to check a bag
Some credit cards, such as American Express’ Delta SkyMiles, offer you no fee bag checking if you pay with their credit card.

It does pay to shop around
I am so often surprised at the radically different prices airlines charge for flights. On a recent search for my flight to Nepal for our service program in October, I found flights ranging from $1,600 – $5,000.

Sign up for flight price alerts
Many of the travel sites like Expedia and Kayak offer this service: you sign up to get flight price alerts and insert the price you are interested in. This service sends you weekly updates on the price of the ticket you are looking for so you don’t have to continually check. Also go to One Travel.com and get on their e-news. They have a travel deals blog where you can catch some great deals.

A note on the refund suggestion above: I have not tried it yet but am going to see if it works, and will let you know. Many times I have to purchase a ticket and can’t wait for the price to come down or not. So looking back to see if it did come down, and the pursuing a refund may proof to be worth the time, it may not. I will keep you posted.

Off and travelling,

Chris Mackay

Piggy bank photo credit: o5com via Creative Commons

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