You’ve barely unpacked and you’re already planning where to go next. After all, traveling is one of the most amazing things we can do on Earth.
Food for thought: it’s traveling that gives us the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of other people, to talk with people from other ethnicity and to try new flavors, through gastronomy.
Although many times it’s necessary to cut some here and there and make some sacrifices so that you can take that trip of your dreams. Then, I think: “is it possible to travel cheaper?”
Of course it is! I talked to two experts in tourism: The graduation professor of Means of Lodging at Senac (São Paulo), Fernando Baracho Martinelli; and with a travel agent from Extranera Viagens e Turismo (also in São Paulo), Bianca Mendes.
They have given me great pieces of advice not only to make wonderful memories, but also so we can save.
One of them is the date you choose. As we know very well, low seasons are the best picks if you’re looking into saving money. Take note: from March to June and from September to November, apart from holidays.
It all starts here: the moment you buy your tickets to paradise. Tip number one: “getting your ticket with at least 6 months of advance often ensures promotional rates and amazing discounts”, Bianca tells us.
Plus, take all the advantage you can from the internet. Search on travel websites, like booking.com, etc, and find the best deals by also checking the airline company websites directly”, adds Martinelli.
There are also websites and ticket apps, like Skyscanner, Kayak, Hotwire, Skypicker, among others. These engines guide us in terms of whether to get the ticket then and there or to wait for the best time to get the hottest offers.
Oh! There’s also that common belief of searching for tickets in the wee hours so you can find the most amazing deals. According to Bianca, what actually happens is that the reservations that haven’t been issued are usually canceled by midnight. This way, the rates go right back to the system and remain there until someone else get them.
You Can Travel Business Class
Look, the only time I have flown business class was on the way back from Buenos Aires, when the plane was overbooked and I was the last one to check in. The only spot left was this wonder. Apart from that, I always fly economy. But it is possible to fly business.
In this case, Bianca suggests looking for the help of a travel agency, as they can contact the airlines directly. This way, good deals in business class may turn up.
The agent gives an example: “the other day there was a promotional rate to Miami (departing from Brazil) in which the business ticket was USD$299 + taxes. Naturally other websites advertised the same rate. When it was taken down and many people hadn’t made the payment yet, only those who had gotten the ticket through the agency got their tickets issued for the promotional rate”.
Martinelli is a bit more skeptical. As he states, getting business tickets for a better rate is difficult. The best way to do that is joining an airline mileage program.
He goes on: “another way is searching on travel engines, like the ones mentioned before. Besides, there are further “strategies”, like being the last guy to check in”, he states (which was exactly what happened to me).
Martinelli also suggests against asking the clerk for a free upgrade as they hardly ever do so. “Usually, they offer clients standing alone an upgrade, without their asking”, he suggests.
The Reward Credit Card Programs
Either way, we aren’t entirely sure on how to use this program. Martinelli suggests planning. He also points to checking alternative times and dates for the flights, plus paying attention to the airline program deals. “They are usually emailed to you. Make sure you you get those emails”, he instructs.
You should also watch for lightning deals. The airlines offer some cheaper flights you can buy using your points. And all that is emailed to you. Always check your spam folder.
The Best and Cheapest Hotels
Great! So, you got your ticket for free – or for a reasonable rate – and now it’s time to book the best hotel, for a low cost as well. The way to proceed is the same as with the flights: searching for online agencies that offer good deals, but, just an idea for you: many times the hotel websites themselves will offer better deals.
Now, Bianca suggests getting professional help at this moment, after all, you get what you pay for. “Insane deals, rates too different from the most can be a way to fooled.
Getting your reservation with at least 6 months of advance often ensures promotional rates and amazing discounts”, Bianca says.
Tickets, done. Hotel, done. Now it’s time to think about the extra services. Car Rental, travel insurance and more.
Booking with at least 6 months of advance often ensures promotional rates and amazing discounts.
When it comes to travel insurance, Bianca adds that there will always be good deals on family rates, like up to 75% off on the second passenger. It’s worthwhile to check that out, in case you’re considering traveling with company.
Things to do. It’s always best to book in advance. Not for saving purposes, in this case. But so you avoid lines and because some tickets sell out.
Well, afer all these tips, there’s no excuse you won’t be able to save the next time you travel, right? I’ve taken it all down and I’m starting to plan my next trip right away!