6 Unhinged Travel Hacks To Help You Save Money



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Beach and fishing village of Firapotamos on Milos island, Greece
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Thinking Outside The Box Can Save You A Lot Of Money

Your next vacation or business trip doesn’t have to be cripplingly expensive. Just because you have your sights set on staying at an impressively classy hotel in a dreamlike destination with white sandy beaches and warm, piercing blue waters doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to settle for an obscene “resort fee.” Oh boy, will we get into all of that later. 

Thankfully, this world’s seasoned travelers have repeatedly stepped outside the conventional lane when approaching travel strategies, to instead provide the rest of us with a collection of unexpected, even unhinged money-saving travel hacks. With these tips tucked away in your back pocket, you might save enough money to fund your next getaway much sooner. 

Note: We recommend doing your research and thoroughly reading the fine print when booking travel to avoid unexpected fees or penalties. These travel suggestions may not apply to or be appropriate for all travelers and circumstances.

Related: 32 Things You're Doing Wrong When Planning a Vacation

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Andrii Koval/istockphoto

1. Book A Trip Where There Was Recent Currency Devaluation Or Protest

Yes, when taken at surface level this travel hack is giving all the unhinged energy, but bear with us. You can try to pick a place in the world that could be in a dicey spot (not life-threatening, of course), monitor said place, buy the airline tickets, and then prepay for the hotel at the moment that there is a significant dip in the pricing. 

Your golden ticket to the cheapest time with this approach is to prebook any experiences, tours, etc. You can also try to book your airline ticket in the destination country’s national airline/currency. As far as a useful service to help you succeed in this approach, check out Skyscanner

7-Eleven store

2. Hit Your Nearest 7-Eleven

Many of us are prone to getting off the plane, wandering through the airport in a travel-fatigued daze, and then booking it for the hotel, only to end up in our rooms with zero snacks/drinks and an overpowering hunger. Work against that possibility by identifying your nearest local grocery stores (especially when traveling throughout Europe), or if you’re traveling around Japan,  make a pit stop at 7-Eleven. Apparently, the food and drink options made available to 7-Eleven customers in Japan are enough to write home about.

Related: 12 Things You Should Never Do in a Hotel Room

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Kobus Louw/istockphoto

3. Take a Ride Share to a Hotel Near the Airport

You’ll want to run your proper reconnaissance, before experimenting with this unhinged travel hack. However, if you’re flying domestic in the U.S. and you’re taking an Uber/Lyft to/from the airport, you can try to find a nearby hotel or even restaurant to set your pickup/drop-off location. 

Then, ideally you only have to hoof it five or so minutes to the airport. In some cases, you may even be able to hitch a ride with the hotel's airport shuttle. This can end up saving you quite a bit of money on the cost of your ride share. A large part of this can be attributed to those nasty, ever clogged airport pickup/departure lanes. Those can play out like a true Wild West. 

Related: Tired of Spending a Fortune on Uber and Lyft? Try These Alternative Ride-Share Services

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Alessandro Biascioli/istockphoto

4. Use Dating Apps To Find Your Next Local Tour Guide

There are certain dating apps like Bumble that have a “BFF” option, which is intended to provide its users the ability to match with likeminded folk/make new friends in their area. You’ll just want to be transparent about your intentions in your profile, and then as is always the case with any kind of online dating app, be wary of scams, and remain vigilant in exercising your common sense.

Related: Big Mistakes Novice Travelers Make and How to Avoid Them

Empty airport at sunset

5. Pull The “Sick Card” For A Last-Minute, Unsecured Flight Cancellation

Maybe the funds were too tight to even cough over the flight cancellation insurance fee, but the point here is that you have a potential way out. If you phone your airline and tell them that you’ve endured a medical emergency, their protocol is such that they’ll ask for your doctor’s info. 

From there, they’ll either refund you or give you back the money you spent as credit for a future flight. This loophole works in that it’s illegal for your doctor to reveal anything regarding your medical status to your airline without your permission. So, you can just go ahead and tell the desperate lie if the occasion calls for it. 

Related: How To Save Money on Flights Using Google's Price Guarantee Program

Perfect reflection of the Reine village on the water of the fjord in the Lofoten Islands,  Norway

6. Pack A Tent And Roam In The Nordic Countries

While certainly not for everyone, it’s at least worthwhile to note that due to the “Right to Roam” laws in Nordic countries and other parts of Northern Europe, visitors are able to pack tents and camp while journeying. This obviously can translate to saving quite a bit of money. Not only will you save money, but you’ll experience those Nordic countries on a whole new, deeply intimate level. 

Related: These Countries Love RVs As Much As America Does

Young blonde woman sitting in the beach restaurant enjoying a red cocktail with the turquoise sea and palm trees and a yacht in the background

7. Contest The Hotel Resort Fee

You’ve got to be ready to stand your ground on this one. Granted, don’t get too carried away if you’re stonewalled by a stubborn hotel receptionist, but this is how you can play it if you want to take a go at contesting your next hotel resort fee. You see, hotel resort fees are basically a shady way for a hotel to advertise one price, potentially sidestep taxes, and then they’ll charge a whole other, noticeably higher price with the “resort fee” baked in and never actually advertised. 

Legally, you’re required to pay the advertised price and the applicable taxes for your hotel room. However, as can often be the case, you won’t see the resort fee being featured as part of the advertised price. Some states already have in place consumer protection laws to ensure people are guarded against any deceptive or misleading pricing. So, with all of that having been aired out, you can take a run at trying to have your resort fee waived. Who knows? You might catch the right person on the right day, and save yourself hundreds of dollars in the process. 

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