Knowing the tricks of the trade can help you save some serious cash when traveling.
That’s why we’ve pulled together 20 tricks for your next trip, inspired by this Quora list on hacks that have scored travelers large savings.
From secret ways to snag cheap flights to apps that give you access to free international calling without WiFi, here are 20 ways you can avoid overpaying the next time you take a vacation.
Use this browser extension to find active promo codes.
Honey is a browser extension that scours the Internet for coupons that are available for the website you happen to be shopping on.
When you’re ready to check out, simply click the Honey button, and it will automatically apply the coupon that will save you the highest amount.
Avoid having to pay bank fees.
If you have to pay $3 each time you withdraw money from the ATM (or 3% when you swipe your credit card), the fees can add up.
Quora users recommended going with a Charles Schwab debit card to avoid having to deal with ATM fees, as well as credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees, like the Capital One Venture Card.
Tap into hidden airports.
- Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker
Some airlines don’t operate in the same alliance or have a codeshare agreement, which means they might not show up together on flight searches even though the option is available.
Tripdelta uses an algorithm to search connections from nearby airports or between two airlines to track “hidden airports”, as the team calls them. These flights can often offer better rates and connections.
Figure out which day of the week airlines post their sales.
Some airlines have certain days of the week where they will release their sale fares. For example, Virgin Australia has its Thursday Happy Hour, which is an exclusive sale for discount flights that you can access only by signing up for their email alert.
Clear your cookies or use an incognito window when booking flights.
Refreshing a window won’t make your flights cheaper, but it can make them go up based on changes in demand.
To avoid this, Quora users recommended either clearing your cookies (bits of information that store the details of your web browsing) to effectively delete your recent searches, or to use an incognito search window.
Book a secret hotel.
Secret hotel rooms are essentially accommodations that are being sold at a reduced price by hotels that don’t want the rooms left empty.
You won’t know which hotel you’re booking the room in upfront, but savings can often be as much as 20% to 50% off the original listed price.
Go for your big meal at lunchtime.
- Flickr/Juan J. Martínez
Quora user Thomas Johnson added this tip, since restaurants often reserve their best deals for lunchtime.
According to the Travel Channel, lunch prices can often be as much as 30% cheaper than what the same entree could cost on a dinner menu. Plus, you’re likely to come across outdoor markets that offer delicious bites at reasonable costs.
Buy a tourism card.
While you’ll need to buy the tourism card itself, it’s worth it if you’re going sightseeing, as these cards often give you access to discounted prices and free transportation to a city’s best sites.
For example, the Madrid tourist card gives travelers up to 30% off the price of visiting the city’s best destinations, as well as the ability to skip lines.
Quora commenters also recommended carrying your student ID to receive possible discounts on tickets.
Snag free stopovers.
Some airlines offer free stopovers in their hub cities. The stopovers can range anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, giving you the chance to visit two cities for the price of one. Icelandair even offers you the free services of a stopover buddy who can entertain you during your time in between flights.
You can usually find this information in the fine print of the fare rules, or by searching through the rules section of flights on Google’s ITA Software.
Look into the free amenities you can access on a flight and at a hotel.
- Flickr/Håkan Dahlström
Airlines and hotels often have free amenities for travelers – if they’re savvy enough to ask for them.
Certain medications, alcohol, and grooming kits are often available for guests who ask on flights. Hotels also offer a slew of free amenities that range from phone chargers and adapters to games, workout gear, and electronics like Kindles or iPads.
Go on a repositioning cruise.
- Flickr / eGuide Travel
Repositioning cruises take place when cruise ships need to relocate from one region to another, typically when seasons are shifting. They’re known for being cheaper than your typical cruise.
Websites like CruiseCompete.com let you search for repositioning cruises from multiple providers.
Use this website to search for the cheapest form of transportation.
Rome2rio is a trip planner that maps out all of the available transportation options between destinations.
Enter the name of any address or landmark to see the best available flight, train, bus, ferry, and driving options, with estimated travel times and fares.
“You may find that it saves hundreds to fly into a smaller airport and take a bus or boat ride to your final destination,” Quora user Leslie Venetz wrote.
Venture out to the suburbs.
- Flickr/Jocelyn Kinghorn
While being in close proximity to major attractions can be more convenient, it’s also bound to be more expensive.
Staying at a hotel in the suburbs can help you get lower rates on your room, and prices in shops and cafes typically tend to be lower in suburbs as well.
Use services that alert you on price deals.
- Flickr/Startup Stock Photos
Fly early in the morning or late at night.
Most people don’t like traveling early in the morning or late at night, so these times can often yield lower prices for flights.
Early-morning and late-night flights are good options for leisure routes, while mid-day flights work best for business routes.
Avoid paying hefty fees for international calls.
Rebtel’s calling app allows users to make international calls without the use of WiFi or data by connecting to the company’s connection points in their server.
The company also recently launched its Speak Freely campaign, allowing users to make international calls for free for a year, after which they plan to charge $1 per month for the service.
Go for a private rental.
- Flickr/Bart Speelman
Some vacation rentals can end up being cheaper than a hotel stay.
“We rented a three-bedroom house in Italy’s Tuscany region for two weeks for much less than a hotel, and it was much more comfortable,” wrote Quora user Matt Campbell.
Use tools like Google Flights to check multiple airline rates.
- Google Flights
Adioso is another search engine that allows you to search for flights nearly a year into the future.
Become your own tour guide with an app.
With all of the apps we have available today, taking overpriced tours can become a thing of the past.
Apps like Field Trip notify you when you hit a point of interest while walking. The app also scouts out offers and discounts that happen to be nearby.
Instead of searching destinations, search multiple fares at once.
Searching by fare rather than place can help you spot better deals.
Use Kayak’s explore tool, which displays multiple airline fares on a map based on a set budget.