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10 Incredibly Useful Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money

Making a few awkward mistakes during your first few trips abroad is practically a rite of passage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take shortcuts. Try some of these travel hacks to start your journey like a pro.

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1. Search for flights in private browsing mode

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It’s a good idea to switch to incognito browsing mode or clear your cookies if you know you’ll be frequently rechecking the flights for a particular date or route. This is because of something called “dynamic pricing,” which causes the price to go up based on demand. So while this won’t necessarily help you get cheaper flights, it will help you avoid overpaying.

2. Identify the best month to travel

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If you’re flexible with your travel dates, it pays to do a bit of digging and determine the cheapest month to travel. Data collected by Skyscanner shows that in general, the best months to score cheap flights are May and November. December is usually the most expensive month, but there are always exceptions.

3. Set up price alerts

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Since the most affordable month to travel may vary depending on your start and end point, another good way to find the best possible flights is to sign up for price alert emails. You can set up alerts based on criteria like departure and destination cities, specific or flexible dates and maximum fares.

4. Find free stopovers

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Many airlines offer free stopovers at their main hubs, so if you’re not on a tight schedule, taking advantage of these deals allows you to see multiple destinations for the price of one. Unlike layovers, stopovers allow you to tour a city for a few days before catching a connecting flight to your final destination, and some airlines have even begun offering local escorts to show you around. Check your ticket’s fare rules or contact the airline directly.

5. Find discount codes online

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Doing an online search for discount or promo codes before booking your flight is the easiest way to save money, but surprisingly few travelers are aware that this is an option. Airlines generally prefer for you to book directly through their website rather than through a third-party, so they often offer promo codes and discounts to returning customers. To find these discounts, you can sign up for airline newsletters and browse social media platforms or promo code websites.

6. Don’t change money at the airport

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Changing money at the airport might be the most convenient option, but it’s also the quickest way to get ripped off. Research shows that using airport bureau de change outlets can end up costing you up to a third more than other options such as using ATMs to withdraw cash, using credit cards for large purchases and using pre-paid travel cards that lock your exchange rate and help you avoid currency fluctuations. If you must buy travel money, order your cash online to get better rates, and pick it up in-store before you leave.

7. Rent a bicycle instead of a car

Tobias Cornille

Car rental may seem reasonable at first glance, but it can quickly add up when you take into account things like car insurance, navigation systems, fuel costs and parking fees. So if you’re visiting a bike-friendly city like Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Paris, renting a bicycle is a great way to save money. Many major cities now have bicycle rental or bike-sharing schemes, and using a bicycle to get around will allow you to see more of a city while avoiding the stress of looking for parking or sitting in traffic.

8. Use an app as a tour guide

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If you’re planning to visit major landmarks and museums or hoping to take a city walking tour, you can save a lot of money by downloading a sightseeing app and exploring on your own rather than paying for a guided tour. Some examples of apps to try include Detour, Field Trip, Sunday Drive and History Pin.

9. Avoid unnecessary baggage charges

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If you’re going away for a few days or weeks and want to avoid paying the often extravagant airline baggage charges , you can now use so-called “wearable luggage” to fit more items on your person and get away with bringing only your carry-on luggage. Brands like Rufus Roo, Jaktogo and Bagket have designed special travel jackets and vests with extra large and deep pockets, and many of them can be converted into a bag once the flight is behind you.

10. Save money with a multi-trip insurance policy

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You’ve probably heard it said that if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel, and while this is true, it is possible to find reasonable offers on travel insurance. In addition to checking comparison websites, you can save money by getting multi-trip insurance that covers you for all the trips you take during a 12-month period. Multi-trip insurance usually won’t cover extended trips that last more than a month, but if you’re planning a few trips of no more than 31 days in the same year, getting a policy that covers the whole year for one fee can save you a significant amount.

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