How often do you find yourself booking flights and accommodation for a trip only to find out a week later, much to your exasperation, that prices have dropped significantly? Especially when the money saved could have paid for an additional night’s stay or a meal at that local restaurant so many travellers have been raving about.
When it comes to making the most of our travel budgets, there are many variables we cannot control from fuel prices to the state of the global economy, but there are others that we can. Lifestyle habits are a good example and we have identified four that could get you travelling sooner rather than later.
1) Stop Procrastinating
At the end of a long day, it is tempting to just shut down and let tomorrow take care of the things that need to be done. While you might be forgiven for shelving your laundry plans, there is a lot more at stake when it comes to making travel plans for a sanity check and giving yourself a much-needed break.
In fact, there is no better time than now to get organized and start planning for your next trip. As average air ticket prices (ATPs) around the world continue to drop – ATPs for economy class journeys are at their lowest since 2013 – and airline capacity continues to grow, travellers now have more options to fly to more destinations, and at lower prices than ever before. All across the board, ATPs for economy round-trip itineraries declined about 5 percent in 2016 compared to the year before.
Air Ticket Prices for economy class journeys are at their lowest since 2013
2) Make Better Use of Your Weekends
If work is getting to you and you are thinking of spending the weekend moping around in bed, don’t. Chances are, you are not going to feel much better and by the time the realisation hits, the weekend would be over. When feeling like this, there are two good ways travel can help break this cycle – either go on a trip or book one.
Weekends are perfect for travel bookings because average flight prices are generally at their lowest. Flights to the US, for instance, have lower average prices on the weekends and almost 50 percent lower on Sundays than on Fridays. In terms of the actual trip, average hotel rates for itineraries beginning on Sunday (including Sunday-night stays) also tend to be less expensive than those beginning on other days of the week.
Tip: Hotel stays that have their first night on Sunday tend to be cheaper
3) Learn to Be Decisive
To travel or not to travel? What if the economy worsens? Where should I even go?!
With so many destinations in the world and a limited travel budget, it can be tough deciding. Rather than thinking yourself in circles and dwelling on the what ifs, a good way to start is by choosing a continent. Then ask yourself, do you want to travel within the region or beyond? Visit a single city or multiple destinations?
The good thing is, any of the above options can be planned for and booked without breaking the bank. You would think crossing borders means a more expensive trip, but that’s not necessarily true.
The key is to look for value-for-money options such as package deals and bundled bookings. On Expedia, booking multiple products such as airfare and hotel could see savings of $600 (!) or more per trip. If you book your flight first, you can still come back within a limited period to book your hotels at a discount.
Subscribe to membership programmes that give you the greatest returns. For instance, Expedia+ members who book through the mobile app receive 2x rewards points. Expedia+ rewards points accumulate the more you travel, and can be redeemed for discounts.
Tip: Book your flight or hotel on Expedia’s mobile app for 2x rewards points
4) Travel like a Millennial
Some might say ‘Millennial’ describes a state of mind more than a demographic category. When it comes to travelling, that includes choosing authentic, local experiences over cookie-cutter offerings, personalising your trip with alternate places to stay, and making savvy, informed decisions.
When researching hotels, for example, take time to understand the target markets and find out when and where to go. Peer reviews on platforms like Expedia can offer useful insights and help you filter through the thousands of properties listed on the platform. Market gurus also confirm that staying in alternate locations such as London’s Shoreditch neighbourhood is not only more economical but is also imbued with a deeper sense of local culture.
“With online booking, you can design your own trip and stay in more interesting local neighbourhoods outside the tourist traps”
Small lifestyle changes can often yield great returns. By developing the right habits, you might just find yourself spending less but travelling more!