Tricks to Travel More With Less Money and Time

If you love the idea of traveling, but don't think you have enough money or time to get away, it’s time to reframe your mindset about chasing adventure. Whether you can only get away for long weekends or take extended tours, find out the tricks experienced travelers use to see the world on a budget.

Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #540

Myth #2. You can never get a refund.

Even non-refundable flights have a 24-hour refund window. If you book then change your mind, you can cancel the entire thing like it never happened. Also, some airlines will work with you to reimburse the cost of any subsequent price drop after you purchase, and all will refund your fare if there’s a delay or change in itinerary attributable to the airline.

Myth #3. You need a credit card to earn points or miles.

Many people are discouraged from travel hacking because they think the only way to earn bulk miles is by opening a credit card. Granted, credit cards are a great way to exponentially grow your miles, but they’re not essential. You can log miles for flights taken on partner airlines and earn points online by shopping through partner links or completing surveys.

Myth #4. Roundtrip fares are the best deals.

Roundtrip fares have long been preferred in the booking process, but I’m an advocate of one-way flights. You get more value for point redemptions when booking award travel, can customize your itinerary to add intentional connections, and they give you the flexibility to book your trip piecemeal, making your own travel lay-a-way plan.

Myth #5. You should be loyal to one airline.

JetBlue and Norwegian are two examples of budget carriers that won’t make you feel like you’re flying for cheap.

This may be a good tactic if you’re aiming for elite status or first class upgrades, but deal hunters are looking for the best price overall. It’s better to cast a wide net, across multiple search engines and websites to ensure you get rates for airlines that don’t show up in all results, like Southwest and Allegiant.

Myth #6. You can’t fly comfortably on a budget.

Budget airlines are often synonymous with discomfort, with seats that are unable to recline, minuscule tray tables and a general lack of in-flight entertainment. Not all airlines are created equal, however. JetBlue and Norwegian are two examples of budget carriers that won’t make you feel like you’re flying for cheap. You can also score first class tickets on the cheap with sale alerts or bidding for upgrades.

Myth #7. Error fares are for suckers.

A lot of people see error fares and steer clear, thinking it will be a waste of their time. While it’s true that there’s always a chance the airline won’t honor the ticket, your money will be refunded in the event it can’t be honored so you have nothing to lose. Just hold off on making any binding reservations at your destination until after you know for sure.

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Global Travel image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.