A Cheapskate Guide to Travelling: Transportation
One of the most arduous tasks for any travel goer is the finances. With good reason, considering the fact that it dictates how far you can go, what services you can acquire, what food you are going to eat and what hotel or accommodation you will be spending your days at. Simply put, money is central on your way to satiate your wanderlust. This is why it is imperative that you keep yourself checked with regards to your finances whenever you do your travels.
But the method on how you save can come as a significant factor too. The most likely thing you would do to budget your finances is to stay at a cheaper hotel or buy cheaper food. There is nothing wrong with being a saver when you are travelling, but one thing you should still take note of is the effect of the things you avail to your overall travel experience. Will you enjoy the sights of the Swiss mountains if you are accommodated in an underground apartment? Will you truly enjoy the exotic food of India when you only chose to buy cheaper fast food at the malls? See, the evident thing here is that saving can come as a double-edged sword. That is why you need to save… Wisely. All you need to do is put a little creativity on it.
In my many years of travelling, I have found many ways to make my trips worthwhile while also being financially fit to do so. And so I compiled the things I know so you too, will share the splendour of the world, one saved penny at a time. Here is the Cheapskate Guide to Travelling.
In this specific chapter, you will know the ways to save creatively on one of the most significant factor on your budget- transportation.
ON AIR FLIGHTS
Travelling by air proves to be one that entices an exciting feeling for any person. If you have flown already, then you might have already experience the thrill and adventure of seeing the world from above, all of this in just one booked seat. You may have found the same serenity and intense feeling I have found that only air flights can bring about. But the harsh reality of travelling by air is that it is more expensive compared to land and sea transports.
- Be Aware of Promo Flights
It is almost vital for any saver-wannabe traveller to watch out for promotional flights or promo air fares. Be constantly informed on sweet travel deals in and outside of your country by keeping tabs on airline websites. Another better idea is to join a social media group (there are plenty of them) where these deals are posted and pinned. You might have just missed the best score of your life! If you do not like joining a social media group, then follow som travel suppliers in your country. Almost all of them are on Facebook and you can get a lot of heads-on information on discounts, campaigns and other promotions.
Moreover, many travel agencies today are into planning out itineraries for their customers. I am aware of it because I have worked in the travel industry for so many years. This is why I can tell you that there are sweet offers waiting for you, jam-packed with activities, inclusive of transportation, meals and more, all for less. Better start searching those sites! Why use a lot of your valuable time scouring the travel and tours price jungle. Check out the packages made by the different travel agents. They can adjust the itinerary according to your needs.
- Light Baggage, Lighter Fees
Speaking of air travels, one important factor that affects your flights is the amount of baggage you have with you. This is because airlines have to make room for baggage in the plane, thus the added fees. For example, some airlines who offer budget economy class tickets will only allow 23 kilos of total baggage. Every excess will cost you a lot. Norwegian Air has only 20 kilos per passenger, but they have a cheaper cost for extra luggage.
One thing that you can do to answer all those problems is to try to just have one suitcase where you can put all of your necessities. Make sure that all your clothes are folded in a way that it fits one side of the bag, then quarter of the space for toiletries, gadgets and important things, and the other for purchases. Simply put, less bags, more room for savings!
- Round Trip Tickets and Timing Means Savings
Now that you have been made aware of the fact that promotional flights can give you the best savings, and that lighter baggage equals more money, it is time for you to understand the amount of money you can save by doing round trips and connecting flights. One of the ways to be a truly savvy traveller is to understand the one-way versus round trip ticket rule.
Traditional travel rules dictate that whenever you are booking a flight, buying a round trip ticket is cheaper than booking two one-way tickets – after all, airlines reward people for booking seats early. But for some folks who are heading to a destination for an undecided period of time – say, you have a sick relative out of state, or you are a student studying abroad – committing to a return date is not possible.
If you have any idea when you might want to return home like the exact day of the week, time of the year, etc. This info could be valuable to you when determining on the type of ticket you avail of. One thing you may actually have noticed already is that airfare increases on busy travel days like Fridays and Sundays, and during busy travel seasons which are around the holidays and during the summer. It’s a must to do a little hypothetical price comparison ahead of time if you anticipate returning during a peak travel period to see if there are any savings that come with booking a round trip flight (even with the potential for change fees).
The first thing to keep in mind with something like this is that airlines don’t price based on costs. They price based on demand. When schedules are set at least a couple months in advance, predictions about revenues have been made and the hope is that the flight will be profitable, but airlines never know for sure. Once the schedule is set in stone, costs aren’t going to change, so it’s up to the revenue management team to simply maximize the amount of revenue that gets onboard that airplane.
So the next time you book a flight, go for a round-trip ticket, on weekdays.
- Connecting Flights connect you with more $$$
Again, when you consider the timing of flights, you are aware that the higher the demand equates to higher costs. That goes similar to the air industry as they charge much higher when there are more passengers. The prices are dictated by how many passengers are going to be present or are going to book the flight.
One thing that I know without question is that a lot of people will pay more to fly nonstop, so even if a connecting itinerary may cost an airline more to fly, the airline doesn’t care about that. It only cares about getting as much revenue as it can on each flight, and that might mean pricing connecting itineraries less than nonstop.
You might also want to check out if there are connecting flights ahead. Cheaper is better anyways!
ON CAR RENTALS
Car rentals prove to be one of the best things offered in the travel industry, mainly because it provides comfort for travellers while also accommodating for their preferences. It can be quite pricey on the front, but if you want to be wiser in choosing the best car rentals out there, better take note of these important info!
- Check Car Rental Coverage
One thing you should always do is to be specific on what type of car rental you really need. There is what is called the One Way Car Rentals, a type of rental system in which the car is picked up from one point and is dropped off at a different location. Usually, this kind of rental system allows for double the standard price of car rentals, and more if the pick-up and drop off locations are located at two different states.
The thing to do is to just be precise on where you are and where you will go. For example, if you need a car for a week, but you will be at two different cities, you should take note of the number of days you will spend in one area. Say when you will be in New York for 4 days and 3 days at New Jersey, you can break it down into two rental periods which can save you a couple of bucks.
Although you might need to go back to the pick-up point of the rental company, it would not take that much of your time since you are within the same location.
One another thing you should take advantage of is the insurance of numerous credit cards that covers rentals. You can save easily when you pay through these credit cards and get rewards as well. Reap the benefits!
- Car size and Preference Matters
It is easy to get cheap on car rentals, mainly because you have full control on what type of car you will get. For better travel experience, choose a car that fits your preference. For example, if you are travelling with your family, you might want to get an SUV so everybody can be comfortable as you travel. It also gives you more space for your travel baggage and gears.
If you are travelling with children like I did when my kids are younger, it is smart to contact the rental agency for prices of car seats. The advantage is obvious, as you don’t have to bring your kid’s car seat which means more room in your travel kit.
- Cheaper Ride with Coupon Codes
Like those of air flights, rental companies also have promotional offers in the form of coupon codes. You can get these coupon codes online (in the social media groups you join) and easily get cheaper prices on the rentals.
Just be vigorous and watchful on these promo rentals, and you will save a lot of money over time. Also, be aware of the inclusive details in the promo to avoid any misunderstanding at the moment of your rental. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Gas Smart Equals Money Smart
In order for your car to function and your trip to progress, it is obvious that you need to fill it up with gas. However, with the rising prices of gas, you should find ways to find alternatives on both gas and the deals you get from the rental company. In fact, rental companies offer to fuel up your rented car in full tank. Be aware that even though their prices are considerably cheaper than the fuel prices at gas stations, they don’t consider the amount of gas left after your rental. The better approach is to decline the offer and fill the car with regular gas, since this is the type of gas they put in anyway.
In that thought, you will only fuel up your rented car based only on what you need. You will have a better grasp on your finances when you can assess your fuel demand!
ON OTHER MODES OF TRANSPORTATION
Beside air transports and car rentals, there are a variety of types of transportation that exists. To boost your rank in the money-wise travellers rank, you should be aware of the roundabouts of all of these other types. Trains, subways and other public transportation native to the place you are going to provide better options on to how you can go to any place for less.
- Avoid Taxis, Avoid Expenses
The most usual thing for travellers going to places they have never been into is just to take the cab. Is it okay? Sure, given that you have a flexible budget. But if you are trying to maximize your finances during your stay, riding a taxi is the cardinal sin. Travelling to new places would be much more thrilling if you find yourself actually doing the travel. That means looking for maps and landmarks, checking nearby places and surfing the internet for clues. And above all things, avoiding a cab ride urges you to actually ask the locals, and to communicate with them- all for free. Besides, the true spirit of travelling is getting out of your comfort zone and trusting your instincts.
This comes with perfect motivation since talking to locals can give you insights on how to travel to your location. You wouldn’t know, they may give you some nice tips such as shortcuts to get there. That means more savings and less time consumed for you.
By then, you will be able to welcome public transportation which is much cheaper than a private carriage. The result is that you will gain more extra cash for really important matters, just like upgrading the services you are going to get during your vacation such as accommodation and better food. Sure, taking a cab will take you to your desired destination faster. But who’s rushing anyway? Just sit tight, and enjoy the ride!
- Train / Subway to More Savings
After you grasped the pros and cons of taking private transportation, you may just realize that the best way to save is to opt for public transport. One of the finest options is to take the train. But why Is that really? What can trains offer that other modes of transportation can’t provide?
You see, riding the train proves to be the daily mode of transportation for many locals in the area you are going. It is simply because it is much convenient with regards to time. This applies greatly when you are getting off schedule from your itinerary. But riding a train does not only account for saving your time. By doing so, you have actually saved a lot of money. Train rides are much cheaper than other modes of transportation because they carry a noteworthy number of passengers going to a specific place. Since the number of passengers is high, the cost is diminished significantly.
The importance of train travels can be much obvious when you are going in a trip to Europe. Say for example, you want to go to London from Paris. The usual and most noted mode of transportation is by train. This is because trains provide the same comfort as other high-tier passages. It would also be helpful if you research on multi-trip discounts. Many metros and rails have passes such as a 3-day unlimited travel passes which might be worth the cost.
Another cheapskate guide to this mode of transportation is opting for night trains. If you know or have researched the amount of time you will spend in your travels, it is best that you travel at night where you can rest the whole evening. This will not only cut the number of hours you have in the day, you also get to save because you don’t have to pay for accommodation! By the time you wake up, you would have already arrived at your desired destination.
So the next time you travel, make sure you give night trains a try. It’s worth every penny!
- Bus Rides equal Money on the Side
When trains are not present at the place you are going to, I am pretty sure that there will be bus terminals where there are daily trips to where you are going. The reason why you should consider bus rides is that it is again relatively cheaper than the other modes of transportation. Though it may be true that this type of carriage is one of the slowest, the positive thing about this is that you get to spend time seeing the wonders on your way to your destination.
Bus trips usually take hours before you actually get there, but the important thing is that you have a better perspective of your journey as you have more time to satiate your wanderlust. Financially, it is way cheaper because you also have a big number of passengers going along with you. Some bus trips also have a travel guide who can show you the beautiful landmarks of the place you are going, as well as some wonderful background on the matter. It is definitely worth the time, with fewer implications on your budget!
- Cruising without Losing
The wonders that the sea hides can be had when you opt to travel through a cruise ship. Most of you will argue that taking a cruise will just hurt your bank account. The real thing is that it is not necessarily so. The way to having a relatively cheaper cruise is by booking two years in advance. Though it may be considerably long to wait for, but this actually gives you more time to prepare for that once in a blue moon trip! But if you somehow find yourself wanting to cruise now, you can always look at cruise trip sites where they offer last-minute deals. Though, options are limited.
In my experience in the travel industry, I can say personally that the best deals for this type of vacation are available to customers who are flexible and open to new ideas. When you want to cruise but you do not want to splurge, you can still have your tickets by booking after the itineraries are announced. Usually though, off-peak cruises offer the best deals. So why not take advantage of it right?
Check out this related article : A cheapskates guide to travelling: Food