If you follow my blog, you know that I have three wonderful but very active children. This means that there are constant demands on our pocketbooks to dish out some cash for just about anything. It is a constant struggle to negotiate our wants with our needs and then there are the must-haves.
Recently I have been on-line preparing for two pretty important events in the girls lives: a trip to Florida for one child and a trip to the UK & France for the other. This means that it is important that we save some money so that they can go on these ‘life enriching’ adventures.
So when it is time to make some purchases or make travel plans, there is nothing better then getting discount codes and coupons to use towards purchases whether they are on-line or in person. I have compiled a list of things that you can do on-line to get the most out of your money when you are planning a trip.
- Shop around on different travel sites for competitive airfare, hotel and car rentals. These expenses tend to be the biggest but you can certainly get some great sales if you pay attention. On of my favourites on-line referencing sites is Trip Advisor (I write reviews whenever I travel). The ability to read reviews can help you make the right choices for you. The write-ups sometime provide great tips on how to save money. Another resource is CheapAir.ca because it lets you compare a lot of different airlines at the same time (i.e. United, Air Canada, American Airlines, US Air etc.) without having to go from airline website to airline website.
- When looking for hotels always consider contacting the hotel directly as they will likely match any sale price that you find on-line. If you are registered with their rewards programs, you may be able to secure an upgrade, free Wi-Fi or even get breakfast included in the deal. More importantly, you will be able to make a reservation without having to give them payment upfront. Always good to keep your money in your pocket for as long as you can. You can also cancel at the last moment without penalty.
- Don’t be afraid to search out coupons, discount codes or ‘promo’ codes. You can easily find them at FlipIt.com. It is a website that is dedicated to helping you save money by giving you those special (sometimes secret) codes. They work with big retailers like The Gap, Garage, Amazon or even Victoria Secret. They also have codes for food, flower and technology providers. It is easy to use, just sign up and search by store or by category, then start saving!
- An added bonus is finding coupon codes that can be used with a service provider. That means that because Flipit.com is an international company they can offer discounts with airlines like Air Canada, British Airways and Virgin. They also have codes that give you additional savings. The same goes for an international company like Hotels.com.
- Always try to accumulate rewards points either by using a credit card that gives you travel benefits or by getting an additional night free (directly through hotel chains or indirectly through reward collector cards). I am a member of Hotel.com and after I have booked 10 nights with them, I am able to get one night free. So far I have two nights paid for and have a few more trips planned. This means that I am more likely to go through Hotels.com because I’ll eventually benefit with a free hotel stay. I will also check the Flipit.com website before I book those hotel rooms just to see if there is a further discount code that I can use.
So by ‘double dipping’ it is a win-win situation. How? By booking a hotel room over $300 (so likely a few consecutive nights), I save $50 then I will get to check off two nights towards my ten that will eventually get me one night for free. When I pay for it with my Aeroplan Visa, I get points towards Air Canada flights. Then if I make sure to register with the hotel’s reward program, I also gain points towards a free night’s stay. So actually it is a win-win-win-win situation. Somewhere along the line, I will get a free flight and a free hotel.
Traveling can be a costly affair but if you take advantage of promo codes, discounts and reward programs, you will most likely go on a trip for less then you expected to pay. We are avid collectors of points and rewards but we also reap the benefits of travel at a reduced price.
Make sure to take the time to visit different websites when you are planning a trip, purchasing clothes or ordering food. One can never save enough and besides when we get a better deal… don’t you always feel good about that?