Updated: March 28, 2023
Many people dream about being able to someday retire and travel the world. There are also a growing number of people who are considering career breaks and time after school to travel extensively. A top concern and deterrent of these individuals is the cost of travel. This article will outline the several ways to save on transportation costs to allow discounted travel around the world.
Know your top destinations, but be flexible. Making a list of top destinations is an excellent outline for a travel plan, but keeping flexibility on how and when you arrive there is a key to budget travel.
• Airlines use specific airport hubs to connect flights to other destinations. Searching for direct flights both in and out of these locations can save significant amounts of money on tickets. It also often allows for time to explore the area around these hubs between flights.
• Start at an end destination and work your way back. Look at a top destination’s airport website and look at all inbound and outbound flights. This will give you information on which hubs service these locations most often, and other possible destinations of interest you can use as a connection.
Time is your friend. Long-term travel requires considerable planning with as much notice as possible.
• Taking time to research destinations is key to affordable pricing. Traveling to destinations during popular events will cost more than during non-peak times. Researching all forms of transportation are key: South America, and Asia offer luxury buses that are often cheaper and more comfortable than flights, while crossing the Atlantic Ocean can be cheaper on a cruise than by a flight once lodging and meals are factored in.
• Having flexibility in time of travel is a significant source of savings. Searching tickets over a month time-frame will allow for the cheapest options. Additional flexibility in travel time, and not being rushed to your destination will also allow for multiple connections and long layovers, the cheapest tickets usually available.
• Many cruise lines and some airlines offer a best price guarantee but do not advertise it. Booking well in advance and routinely checking back for drops in ticket prices gives you the opportunity to contact the company and request they match their current price. If they will not match the price often companies will provide you with a credit of the difference in price to use on future travel.
Use technology to your advantage. The Internet is the best tool for planning, searching, and booking cheap travel.
• Many search engines allow for you to search multiple airlines over multiple dates to find the lowest prices.
• Checking directly with the airline, cruise line, or bus company and not through a travel agent will give a comparison for all other prices. Signing up for the travel company’s newsletters and loyalty groups will often provide you with first access to special pricing.
• Following travel companies and travel groups on social media provides direct access to immediate news and specials. Travel groups often post glitches in booking software and most travel companies repair these in minutes. Followers that are able to book during the window of glitches are usually allowed to keep their prices. Travel companies occasionally offer followers discounts and travel credits for public feedback on social media.
• Use the booking company’s currency conversion. Changing the booking to multiple currencies can provide significant savings. Often changing currency in software assumes you are in a poorer region and provides discounted pricing. A quick search engine lookup will provide you with an accurate conversion, and a global credit card with no international fees is best for purchase.
Planning well in advance, keeping flexible travel times, and using technology to your advantage can allow you to follow your dreams and travel the world at an affordable price!