There was recently a great article in the New York Times about what you can do now to save money on travel. Every year there are new services available and ‘travel hacks’ that can help you make the most of your trip while not spending too much money. Check out these 8 things that you can do to save money on your future travels:
1) Cross-reference destinations.
Make a list of everywhere you might want to go this year. Then run a few tests to rank them by where you might get the most for your money. Start at the site Numbeo (numbeo.com/travel-prices), which ranks countries by cost of living, restaurant costs, and cities by travel cost (and, friendlier to this columnist, “backpacker travel cost”). Then log onto a site like Fareness (fareness.com) to compare how much you might have to pay on the approximate dates you’re planning to go (this will work only up to four months out). Finally, score extra points for the destination where your friends or relatives or friends’ relatives live and might provide money-saving advice, a free meal or even a spare bedroom.
2) Schedule your airfare purchases.
You probably already have a few specific dates you need to be somewhere in 2016 — Thanksgiving at the in-laws, a friend’s wedding and, of course, you’ll be surprising your mom on her birthday. (She paid me to say that.) Tickets through the end of November are already on sale for most airlines, so you could buy them right now and lock in a decent price, a good move for the disorganized. But now might not get you the best price — so mark your calendar with a reminder for the ideal time to buy. To find out when, try Kayak’s Travel Hacker global pages, which will give you the best data-based guess. Also set an airfare alert (on Airfare Watchdog, for example) in case really cheap tickets come up in the meantime.
The Hopper app (or hopper.com/research) offers more granular information. I recently checked on flights from New York to Paris for Memorial Day weekend. Hopper told me they were almost $900 at the time, but might drop as low as $650 between now and April 22, when they are likely to rise again. And the Hopper app will also watch the prices for you. (Note that American Airlines does not share data with Hopper, so you’ll have to check those yourself.)
To learn more, check out the full article below.