4 Ways Smart Travelers Save Money (and the Clueless Pay More)

It can be easy to tell a smart traveler from a clueless one. Just ask, “How much did you pay for your ticket?” If you aren’t warned to mind your own business, you’ll probably learn they paid too much. It’s easy to do – but it’s also easy to save. Here are four smart ways to keep more money in your pocket.

Shopping deadline: Summer vacation tickets

LISTEN: Rick Seaney has more smart ways to save money.

Smart Travelers vs. Clueless: Airfare

  • Smart travelers:  Always compare airfare prices.

Why it’s smart: It’s the only way to be sure of getting the best available price.

  • Clueless travelers: Fly the one airline that always has the cheapest flights.

Why it’s clueless: It’s not true. No single airline always has the best prices.

Smart Travelers vs. Clueless: Travel days

  • Smart travelers: Try to travel on Tuesdays, Wednesday or Saturdays

Why it’s smart: These are generally the cheapest days to fly.

  • Clueless travelers: Always fly Fridays and Sundays to maximize vacation time.

Why it’s clueless: Those are often the most expensive days to fly. If you can split the difference – fly one weekday and one weekend day – you can at least reap half the savings.

Smart Travelers vs. Clueless: Flexibility

  • Smart travelers: Look for unusual ways to save even if it makes the trip longer

Why it’s smart:Being flexible enough to fly overnight or at dawn can save money, as can adding a stop to a long flight

  • Clueless travelers: No detours, no delays, no inconvenience

Why it’s clueless: Airlines know travelers prize non-stops during convenient times of day and that’s why they charge more for these flights.

Smart Travelers vs. Clueless: Group Shopping

  • Smart travelers: Shop for their tickets one ticket at a time.

Why it’s smart: Airline reservation systems require that all tickets for a single trip purchased in a single booking cost the same, so if there are one or two lower-priced tickets, you will only get those by booking one at a time.

  • Clueless travelers: Buy tickets for friends and family in one transaction.

Why it’s clueless: It’s just one more way where you might end up spending more than you have to.

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Published: February 17, 2014