As I shared recently, I was able to fly to Europe for $25 thanks to a credit card sign up bonus. For the full story on that amazing deal, check out my post, My First Travel Hack.
In addition to my rewards cards I always sign up for hotel, airline, and any other loyalty programs. I never know which ones are going to add up over time. I keep track of them all in a little spreadsheet, and when it comes time to plan a trip, I check my “point” balance to see where I can score some freebies. I’ve claimed many a free flight and hotel stay with this simple tactic.
Subletting My Room.
Renting out a room is one of the easiest ways to make a lot of money with minimal effort. Any time I leave town, even if it’s just for a month, I always try to get my room subletted so that I can cover rent, at least partially, and use that money for my travels instead. Luckily, living in New York City, the demand for temporary housing is high, so I’ve never had much trouble finding somebody. For more on how to go about it, check out my post How To: Sublet Your Room.
When it comes to the holidays or special gift giving occasions, I have learned that practical gifting is not only a great policy on the giving end but also on the receiving side. By asking for things I know I need, like cash or grocery store gift cards, I free up money to spend on my “wants” later down the line. After my Christmas “haul” I was able to save on a whole month of groceries, allowing me to put that huge chunk of my budget towards my travel fund instead.
Most of my most exotic travels have been subsidized by work. As a professional actress, I have spent the better part of a few years on the road from Asia to South America to most of the fifty states. Thanks to my nomadic profession, most flights and hotel stays are covered. I also pocket as much of my per diem as possible to save for side trips and extra adventures.
This last trip to Europe was courtesy of the boyfriends’ latest gig. While I had to arrange my flights, most of the hotel cost was covered as I spent the majority of my time there in the company housing.
As I mentioned in the post Love and Money: Long Distance Expenses, my boyfriend helped contribute to the cost of my Eurotrip as I was coming to visit him and he would be unable to fly home to do the same for me. Sharing the cost of my travel made it possible for us to spend that time together.
What tactics do you use to save on big trips and vacations?