When planning a vacation, there can be several stressful financial factors leading to the actual trip, like how to afford the trip and expenses that could occur during travel. The experienced travelers of InterContinental Hotels Group's Priority Club have provided some great ideas for our readers on how to alleviate the burden of worrying about finances. Here is a compilation of some of their best cost-reducing tips:
Plan, Plan, Plan: There is no substitute for planning. Experienced travelers agree that shopping around for the best deals on the Internet is the most effective way to reduce vacation costs. Families should research every aspect of a potential trip and compare the cost of each segment (air, hotel, rental car, etc.) and continue to check rates even after making a reservation, one traveler suggests. People who are proactive in the early states of planning usually find the very best deals.
Look For The Best Deals: Consider calling the hotels directly to inquire about discounts. Another great idea is to sign up for e-mail notices of sales and promotions from online travel sites and be flexible with your travel date when your destination goes on sale or runs a special promotion, recommends one traveler.
Bring Food and Money: After scheduling the vacation, families should consider bringing a cooler full of favorite foods and drinks when traveling by car to reduce or even eliminate the cost of dining out. Another tip is to avoid ATM fees by taking cash out at grocery stores. Many grocery and drug stores enable you to request some cash back with each purchase (even when purchasing just a pack of gum, a bottle of water or a soft drink.) Consider visiting local grocery stores to buy foods that are easy to store and prepare in your hotel room rather than dining out.
Be Loyal: Frequent travelers often plan to use their airline and hotel loyalty program points to substantially reduce their travel costs. A few even mention redeeming points for gift cards to gas stations, restaurants, and national retail chain stores such as Target and Wal-Mart for use on their trips. This practice will help to cut costs in other areas.
Bundle Packages: If your travels take you to Europe, consider taking a cruise. Cruises typically offer an all-inclusive type package and can provide more “bang for your buck,” which is important considering current exchange rates.
Consider Alternative Routes: Several travelers recommend flying to a major European hub to connect to your final European destination on Europe’s low-cost airlines such as RyanAir, Easy Jet and others. The trains in Europe are another convenient and economical way to travel to your destination.
Priority Club Connect is an online community for Priority Club Rewards members. It provides a forum for members to connect and engage with other travelers and to learn about the Priority Club Loyalty program and the InterContinental Hotels Group family of brands. Topics of discussion range from exotic travel destinations and special offers to packing tips and financial travel information helpful for any traveler. To join the community and contribute your travel tips and experiences, please visit: http://community.priorityclub.com/.