Spring is finally here, which means we probably all have our eye on a travel adventure. If your spring break plans are more about getting the most incredible travel experiences for a bargain than about splurging on a luxury vacation, then you’re in luck. There are plenty of ways to take advantage of travel deals online and in person. All it takes is a little digging and patience to save you big and earn you Cash Back at Ebates. Here are some of the best travel hacks of the season.
You already know Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to find deals on flights, and you know clearing the cache in your web browser can help keep prices down. But did you know you can save on flights, accommodations and ground transportation when you book it all at once? There’s a reason Travelocity offers that option right off the bat: It’s one of the easiest — and possibly the most overlooked — travel tips. You can get your flight, hotel and rental car for a bargain if you’re ready to commit all at once.
Start earning points
Any self-respecting travel hacker has a credit card or 10 that earns valuable miles, hotel points or both. Beyond signing up for cards that have incredible travel rewards, less committed travelers can simply sign up for any frequent flyer program that’s available. Anytime you try a new airline, sign up. Anytime you book with an airline you’re already signed up for, don’t forget to include your frequent flyer number. This easy (and free) hack will earn you points simply by traveling. It won’t happen right away, but maybe next spring you’ll have miles to use and your biggest decision will be whether to upgrade to first class.
LivingSocial is the perfect travel mate for anyone looking to try new activities while on vacation. It has deals for every travel adventure — from snorkeling in Hawaii to aspa day in Napa Valley. It’s the best way to book something in advance, eliminating the headache of indecision when you arrive and saving you money by finding the best discounts on local attractions. Booking — or at least researching — in advance could save you while you’re on your trip.
Locate restaurant deals
You’ll be able to enjoy the best brunch in town at a bargain with a pre-booked deal at Mangrove Mama’s in Sugar Loaf Key, Florida. Restaurant.com lists some of the country’s best restaurants, and most have significant discounts. If you’re trying to be spontaneous or you simply can’t make up your mind beforehand, ask three locals where to go for food as soon as you arrive. Chances are, they won’t suggest a chain or the main tourist trap. They’ll know where to go to get good food that’s affordable. Expert tip: Don’t be afraid of street food or a hole in the wall!
Get all the apps
Wolfram Sun Exposure:
Before you travel, make sure you have all the apps you might need to make it the most efficient trip possible. Don’t waste time splitting the hotel bill; to painlessly and scrupulously divvy up all the week’s expenses among your group, download Splittr from the App Store before you go. Or, to avoid missing dinner reservations because you’re stuck at the hotel applying endless globs of aloe to your arms, download Wolfram Sun Exposure. This app tells you exactly how much sun you should be getting and when to call it quits. There are so many seriously clever apps out there that could make your trip as efficient and cost-effective as possible, and it takes only the smallest amount of effort before you travel to find them.
Chelsea is a freelance writer living in San Francisco, specializing in lifestyle and travel. When she can't get on a plane herself to visit somewhere obscure (Montenegro anyone?), she's training her sweet puppy and taking visitors to wine country with her fiancé. She loves being able to share ideas and stories proving that doing good and having fun can go hand in hand.