Traveling is what builds memories and helps us to disconnect from the hassles of everyday life, but it’s also one of the priciest experiences out there. From airplane tickets to meals and entertainment, even a quick day trip could cost a small fortune. Don’t cancel your plans yet; there are ways to make traveling more affordable. With these quick money-saving tips, you’d be able to spend less and get free gift cards for your travels.
Renting vs Hotels When You Book Your Stay
Generally speaking, it’s usually cheaper to rent an Airbnb apartment than stay at a hotel. You don’t pay for services such as daily room cleaning, concierge, and all the amenities the hotel might offer. But there are more reasons why rentals save your money after all. If you have an apartment to yourself, you can save money by cooking at least some of your meals. Also, rentals are typically located not in the center of tourist activities which means you’ll pay less for groceries and cabs.
Fetch Pro-Tip: You can get free Airbnb gift cards when you redeem your points on the Fetch app. Search “Airbnb” or check the “Travel” section in the app’s “Rewards” tab.
Don’t Overpay for Water
When walking around the new city and exploring the sights, you’ll unavoidably get thirsty and want to buy some drinks. Touristy locations often offer a wide variety of sodas, bottled water, and even cocktails — and jack up the price as high as they wish. You can avoid the price hikes by traveling with a refillable water bottle. Bring it to the airport empty and fill it in immediately after passing the customs: most airports are equipped with water fountains. If traveling to locations with no access to clean tap water, consider purchasing your drinks at local stores and pharmacies rather than touristy spots.
Buy this: Takeya Originals Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle ($22.10 on Amazon) fits plenty of water and doesn’t take up too much space in your travel bag.
Cut Out Shopping
It feels special to have pieces in your wardrobe or in your house that remind you of your travels. But often, souvenirs are just overpriced cheap items that won’t have any value to them. Instead of spending the time and money finding little reminders of your vacations, concentrate on taking photos instead. If you have a smartphone, the “film” is free – which means you can spend more time outdoors documenting your experiences versus hitting the shops in search of unique items. Upload your travel photos and create slideshows and galleries that are perfect for sharing. After all, if you want to have a reminder of your trip, check out Etsy for affordable souvenirs made by artists from across the globe.
Consider this: Amazon Handmade is a marketplace for local artists that offer, among other things, unique souvenirs. Bonus saving: you don’t need to overpay for your luggage when bringing the gifts back home. With Amazon Prime, shipping is free.
Pack Your Snacks
The more you walk in a new city, the more calories you burn and become hungrier. To avoid unplanned trips to cafes and restaurants, always have a few convenient snack options with you when you are out of the hotel. Think protein bars, cheese sticks, apples, nuts, and seeds, or even peanut butter sandwiches that won’t go bad for a long time. Not only are such options healthier, but also so much cheaper.
Buy this: IFA Reusable Storage Bags ($12.50 on Amazon) are more durable than your typical Ziploc bags, which means you won’t have spilling accidents.
Fetch Pro-Tip: Nature Valley, Autumn’s Gold, and LÄRABAR are great for snacks on the go, plus you get Fetch bonus points on their products.
Find Free Things to Do
Before hitting the road, do a simple Google search to learn about all the experiences you can enjoy for free in the city you are visiting. It’s also helpful to do an Instagram search via a hashtag that starts with #FreeThingsToDoIn, followed by the city you are visiting. For instance, #FreeThingsToDoInNYC or #FreeThingsToDoInLondon. You find all the posts by local travel bloggers who research and describe all the affordable or complimentary tours, experiences, or just discounts to major tourist sights.
Consider this: Many museums have free or discounted admission days. When planning a visit, google the name of the museum you want to visit and “free admission” to learn which days and times you can access such discounts.
Get an Airport Lounge Membership
If you travel often, you might save a lot of money by accessing the airport lounges. You can stock up on food and drinks for the flight, charge your phone, use free WiFi, relax, and even read magazines and newspapers for free. Most of the major credit cards — like Amex, Chase, and Citi — allow access to airport lounges for their clients who hold a specific type of card. Call your bank to find out more and save cash every time you need to take an airplane.
Check it out: If you don’t have a qualified credit card but still want to have access to airport lounges, join a paid Priority Pass program. It starts from $99 per year, which pays off if you travel at least a few times per year.
Fetch Pro-Tip: Redeem your Fetch points for free Delta and Southwest Airlines gift cards.
Check out our guide 9 Ways to Save Money on Flights, to save even more when you travel.
Save and Snap Your Travel Receipts
When traveling in the U.S. or abroad, always save your receipts. This will help to stay organized with your finances, while traveling, and keep your travel budget in check. Another tip is to upload your shopping receipts to the Fetch App. By doing so, you accumulate points that could be converted into store cards. Think about it as “free money” for shopping at the places you already spend money on regularly!
Click the buttons below, or scan the QR code with your smartphone’s camera, to download the Fetch app and start getting points for free travel gift cards.
Katya Bychkova is a beauty and style expert based in NYC. Face mask enthusiast and frequent traveler, Katya is a contributor to top lifestyle publications. She's also the founder and editor of the Style Sprinter blog — a luxury guide to skincare and makeup — since 2014.
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