Optimize your travel costs
Travel is something that seems to have entrenched deeply in our DNA’s. Having said so, we are constantly on the lookout to maximize our travel experiences and also look for ways and means to cut our travel costs. Of course, cutting costs does not mean compromising on quality, what it means is planning intelligently and pruning costs wherever it is possible through more research. Money thus saved is ploughed back into the travel budget once more. This means that when you optimize your travel costs you get to travel more, and that is something we really love.
Let us look at some of the major components that constitute the total travel expenditure and see by what means they can be optimized. Here are few travel tips to optimize your travel costs.
Optimize your travel costs by factoring in Transportation Costs
Whether it is international or domestic travel, the transportation cost accounts for a major chunk of the travel budget. This includes the cost of flight, train or bus tickets from and to your destination. In addition, this would also include airport, railway station, or bus station transfers as well as local transport within your destination. One can save a significant chunk of money by focusing on this one aspect of travel costs. This can be done in a very simple way. One just needs to devote some time and have patience as well as plan in advance. We usually plan a couple of months in advance and this gives us the best deals on flights. The prices tend to increase nearer the date of actual flying, hence booking in advance is definitely a prudent move.
We look at various travel portals and check prices before finalizing our bookings. It is surprising to note that there may be a difference in the prices for the same flights across portals owing to periodic deals or offers. Recently while researching for an upcoming travel, we came across Akbar Travels, check out their site here. We knew that this company was a reputed name in the travel industry in India and offered end to end travel solutions, but were pleasantly surprised that they had a full-fledged online travel portal as well. They had quite a few offers and deals. The prices seemed to be competitive.
You can clearly see the difference:
On Akbar travels site
On competitor’s site
On competitor’s site
What added value to their offerings was the fact that they also had the facility of booking airport transfers as well as they had their own fleet of buses for travel to interior town or cities. Thus, this was useful as it provided a one stop shop for our needs.
So, the takeaway is to do research and look for the best deal in flight, train or bus tickets and to book as early as possible. Remember the early bird gets the worm!
Optimize your travel costs through Accommodation Costs
This is another major component that needs to be optimized in the travel budget. Depending on your style of travel, this can really shoot up. If you are a luxury or family traveler who is at home only in comfortable and luxurious hotels and not the backpacking sort who can be comfortable in hostels, then accommodation is always going to eat away a major part of your travel budget. It is our experience, especially when we have traveled in some of the expensive countries of Europe, that accommodation burns a hole in our pockets.
The way to try and optimize the costs incurred on accommodation without compromising on quality is to again plan in advance and book. Also, look out for those special offers which travel portals offer which can sometimes result in quite substantial savings. The other trick is to plan your travels to a destination at a time when lesser people are heading towards it, this will result in cheaper hotel rates as well as give a better travel experience.
Optimize your travel costs through Food Costs
Expenditure on food is something that one would not like to prune, after all you need the energy to explore new destinations and this cannot be done on an empty stomach! However, we have found that it works out economical if we include breakfast and dinner in our hotel booking plan. This works out quite economical and also one can start the day fortified with a good breakfast and explore the local food for lunch. At the end of the day’s exploration you know that there is a nice dinner followed by a cozy bed awaiting you. This is indeed a comforting thought and removes a lot of hassles of scouting for dinner options in a new place.
Optimize your travel costs through Foreign Exchange
During an international travel buying and selling currencies involves a loss as there is always a difference between the two. It definitely helps if you get a good rate and the service is provided by the portal through which you are booking your tickets and hotels. We found that Akbar Travels provides this service as well and offers competitive exchange rates.
Optimize your travel costs through Visa Costs
In the case of international travel, visa costs could be substantial based on the country that you are visiting. Though many of the countries now have online visa applications that you can do yourself, for some you need to approach the respective embassies. This of course involves time and cost. It is helpful in such cases if the hassles of visa application were handled by a service provider at a reasonable cost. We found that Akbar Travels handles all visa formalities too at a reasonable and competitive rate.
These are some of the components of the travel budget that can be focused on when planning, to design a cost effective as well as satisfying travel itinerary. This will help optimize your travel costs.
What are your hacks to optimize your travel costs? Do share your feedback through our comments section.
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