How to Avoid Paying 15 Boring Travel Expenses

Welcome to the country of the cheapskate.

Travel is quite expensive without all the fees and extras that airlines, car rental companies, airports, and accommodation companies try to pin you on.

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In the world of travel, there is always a hidden cost, a necessary supplement, or a hidden fee that you have to pay. And while most people just pay and move on, there’s usually a way around these travel annoyances – all it takes is a little research, legwork, and know-how to get them. get around.

In order to outsmart the system, you have to think tight (and put in a little extra work).

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And when it comes to travel, I’m the ultimate tight-fisted. Hello and have a good trip.


Don’t categorize yourself with a particular destination. Instead, keep an eye out for cheap flights to this region, then find out how to get to your desired destination from there.

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Sign up for company theft alerts like Cheap flights from Scott, and when you spot an offer from your airport (or one nearby) to the region you want to visit, book it. From there, you can research how to get to your actual destination, whether it’s with a cheap local flight, train, or rental car.

For example, if you live in New York and dream of visiting Prague, expand your search to include cheap flights to Europe. I once booked a very cheap fare from Denver to Amsterdam, spent a few days in Holland, then booked a 60 euro flight on EasyJet in Prague (my favorite destination).


If you are traveling with someone, avoid paying more for your plane tickets by comparing the cost of booking two tickets at a time with the cost of booking two tickets separately.

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In the past, when prices went up after plugging in two travelers, I attributed it to an untimely fare increase, but apparently booking two tickets at a time can really cost more than booking one ticket at a time.

According to Cheap flights from Scott, airlines have “fare categories” that determine your cabin type and privileges (like having to pay to choose a seat). If there is only one ticket left in the cheapest fare category and you request two tickets, both tickets will be added to the next fare category (which is more expensive).

To outsmart the system, you will need to act quickly by booking one ticket at the lower level and the second at the higher rate. It’s a bit of extra work, but you could save a lot on the price of that first ticket.


Rather than paying to choose a seat, arrive at the airport early and ask at the check-in counter and boarding agents if they can move you.

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I always book the cheapest fare available which means I’m usually on a non-refundable ticket which requires me to Pay an extra fee choose my seat. For some reason this makes me super pissed off.

Rather than paying to choose my seat, I make it a point to arrive at the airport a little earlier, then ask both at the check-in counter and at the gate (usually at least one can help) if they can move me. While not guaranteed, I would say it works 70% to 80% of the time.


Avoid checked baggage fees (and the drama of lost baggage) by bringing a carry-on suitcase and personal item.

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IMO, checked baggage only causes problems. They almost always cost you extra and tend to get lost and cause a headache. In most cases (or I would say, all) you will do well with a carry-on and a backpack.


Skip the expensive airport lunch and bring your own food.

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While not nearly as much fun, packing your own food can save you a nice little money. I always bring an energy bar and nuts, but if you are traveling during mealtime and know you won’t have food on the plane, you might want to bring a sammie or a container of leftover pasta salad (put it in a container that you can throw away afterwards).


If you need to park at the airport for a long time, consider booking an overnight stay at an airport hotel and parking for free.

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Of course, taking the train or taking a ride is ideal (and free), but sometimes airport parking is unavoidable. When you are intended to be an airport parking lot, check the daily rates and compare them with the cost of an overnight reservation at an airport hotel where you can park your car for free and take the shuttle to the airport. ‘airport. (Just be sure to ask the hotel if free parking is included before committing.)

For example, if a hotel costs $ 89 a night and you’ll be away for 10 days, paying $ 89 up front (and sleeping before your flight) is worth $ 17 a day to park your car ($ 170).


Instead of picking up your rental car at the airport, check out car rental companies across town.

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Everyone wants to get off the plane and get into their rental car, so car rental companies almost always charge extra for an airport pickup. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that by taking a 15-minute Uber or train ride to another location, you can hire a car (from the same company) for much less.

The trick is to plug in the city, not the airport, when looking for a car rental. This way you will see all the different locations and can choose the one with the lowest prices.


Before you say “yes” to car rental insurance, check the benefits of your credit card.

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Rental car rates are almost always reasonable until you start purchasing all kinds of add-ons and various insurance coverages.

Here’s the reality: Most credit cards offer some sort of collision damage waiver and damage waiver coverage, so as long as you use a credit card with this benefit to reserve your car, you’ll be covered. It just takes a little bit of research before pickup to comfortably say “no” to all that extra (and in most cases, duplicate) coverage offered by car rental companies.


Avoid high rates per night on Airbnb by booking a month stay.

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This trick won’t work for every trip, but if you’re staying somewhere long enough, it may be beneficial to book a full month on Airbnb rather than a few weeks. Why? Because once you hit the 30 day mark, Airbnb hosts dramatically cut rates – I’ve seen discounts of up to 60%.

Even if you don’t stay the full 30 days, it strength save money by booking the full month at the lower flat rate and saving sooner.


Rather than adding international data to your US phone plan, buy a SIM card or use Wi-Fi.

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Accessing data abroad can cost you up to $ 10 a day (🧐), or you can buy a SIM card and a few weeks of data for around $ 20 in total (that’s what I usually pay in France ). The trick is to wait until you are outside the airport to buy the SIM card, as airports love to raise prices.

Another option? Trust the Wi-Fi and enjoy not being connected 24/7.


Instead of taking taxis, walk, cycle, or take public transportation.

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In the age of Uber, it can be hard to break this little habit, but your wallet will thank you. Walk when you can, and when you can’t, take a bus, train, or city bike.


Rather than having breakfast, lunch, and dinner out, grab two of your daily meals at your hotel or on Airbnb.

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Foodies may balk, but when I travel, I make it a point to eat two meals a day at “home”. Usually cereal for breakfast and a PB&J lunch or stir-fry dinner. Although annoying, this little gesture can save you a ton of money.


And when you eat out, stick to the take out and over the counter restaurants.

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I’m clearly not a five-star type of traveler, but I honestly believe ordering falafel on the street in Paris (check out L’As du Fallafel) beats a Michelin-starred meal. My favorite thing to do is grab food, post in the park, and people watch.


Instead of paying an additional 1% to 3% on anything you buy overseas, get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

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I’m honestly shocked it’s still a thing, but credit cards will actually charge you 1% to 3% more when you pay for something abroad. The good news is that there are plenty of credit cards with no overseas transaction fees and great travel benefits, including the cards I use: Chase Sapphire Reserve and United MileagePlus.


Finally, rather than stressing about ATM fees (or trying to forget that they exist), find a bank that reimburses you for any ATM fees you are charged.

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It sounds like a tough task, but it exists and it could save you $ 3-5 every time you use an ATM (in the US or overseas). I moved all of my banking transactions to Charles Schwab for this same reason – at the end of each month, they refund me any ATM fees I have been billed (no limit).

What travel supplements are driving you crazy? Did you find a way to get around them? Thanks for sharing, wise.

For more money tips and tricks, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.

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