Being that I write about 80% travel on this blog, one of the most common questions I'm asked it how to save money -- whether it be on flights, hotels, packages, food or excursions -- everyone wants tips on how to save cash while on vacation. And I totally get it -- I'm all about saving money! Here are three of my favorite ways to save money on travel:
1. 'Deal of the Day' sites are your friend. My absolute best travel tip to save money while on vacation is to stalk deal sites once you know your destination. I'm a huge advocate of Groupon and Living Social, but I think most people use these sites just for local deals. Once you know where you want to go, visit these sites on a daily basis to see if you can snag up an awesome hotel deal. Then, keep on stalking until you've got dining and attraction deals. Every major city has a Groupon channel and you don't have to live there to purchase and use the coupon. Groupon also has channels outside the United States, so you can still save money while traveling abroad. Just make sure to read the terms and conditions before you purchase and check dates of redemption.
2. Restaurant.com - Another way to save money on dining is to purchase Restaurant.com gift certificates. Check your destination early in the month for the best selection, and make sure to look for exclusive coupon codes before you purchase. I usually get $25 GC for $2 from restaurant.com. There's a set amount you need to spend on each certificate --not including alcohol-- and gratuity is automatically added to the total bill, pre-discount. Still, it's a great way to try new restaurants while saving money on vacation.
3. Google "Coupon Codes" for everything - You would be surprised at the amount of coupon codes that are out there -- even for flights! Regularly, I receive alerts for Southwest Airlines Coupon to save money on my next flight. The key to using Google for coupons is to search for "coupon codes" or "promo code" with the name of the company you want to save money on. For example, if I’m flying Emirates, I would look for "Promo Code for Emirates". If the company I'm looking for offers a lot of deals, I will add 2012 or the month at the end to get the most current listings. Anytime you see a coupon code box at checkout, assume there is a code available and do a search before completing your purchase!