Tips for Saving Money on Travel
Yesterday I used the air fryer which has languished in our pantry. Yes it works and yes it cuts down on energy What does an air fryer have to do with travel? Nothing but the operative words here are trying something new and finding savings.
2023 brings increased costs for travel. Airfares are higher. Why? Demand for travel is spiking after two years of mass closeting. Fuel cost is up. Staff salaries are higher.
Like the UPS deliverymen carrying your tires upstairs, airline staff are under pressure with crowded planes and obnoxious passengers. Delta, as one example, increased flight crew pay. Delta’s paid staff hours did not begin until the plane door was shut. Meanwhile staff dealt with irritated passengers, overhead bag fights, spilled Starbucks coffee. This increase is one we should all vote for.
There are a few ways to cut down on travel costs.
Airfares: Instead of flying on one airline, search for a round trip that uses two airlines. Sites like www.kayak.com offer that option. You can buy the cheaper leg for each segment. Second, look for your flight from a partner airline. It might be cheaper. Example: Delta r/t London is much more than Virgin Atlantic r/t and you get Delta miles anyway. Stay away from expensive airports. Example: if you look at the long list of taxes attached to your ticket, they include local taxes. Some airports levy higher taxes than others, London’s Heathrow for example.
Try some of the more reliable discounters. I use Easyjet often within Europe. Also Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic for long haul flights out of Europe. Example: fly US to Johannesburg on one airline vs. fly US to London, stay overnight, then take a Virgin flight to Johannesburg on a separate ticket. You might have to add a second overnight on the return or leave a gap of several hours between your flights to be safe.
Uber vs taxis. Increasingly one sees Uber parking areas in overseas airports. Before you flag that $70+ taxi, check Uber’s prices. From an airport home, Uber operates like this: you go to the specific Uber parking lot, order the car when you arrive. Your wait should be about 5-10 minutes. Your US Uber app will work overseas.
Cell phone usage. Airports have free wifi! Before you turn on roaming, try all the official airport wifi option on your phone. If the freeie is not accessible, keep trying. If you are gutsy, ask someone drinking Starbucks coffee to share the Starbucks wifi. PS I’ve done that shamelessly. Use WhatsApp and get your contacts to subscribe to it. Some people avoid Whatsapp because it is owned by Facebook. Want to chat for free? Get over it. Want to chat and not see your airport exhausted face on FaceTime, get over it. I use wifi in airports and am sometimes pleasantly surprised to see the screen come up: Welcome Phyllis.
Airport food vendors, shame on you. A sandwich can cost $20 in an airport. Hunt around and you might find up to 50% discount on a Priority Club membership. The card gains entrance to 1000+ airport clubs with food, Wi-Fi, clean bathrooms etc. Warning: in some popular airports, you need to pre book Priority Club or wait in line
Free events here and overseas. Some free events are listed here:
—English speaking bookshops like The Otherwise Book Shop in Rome has events.
—Church concerts like Evensong at 5:30PM includes the choir in Westminster Abbey,.
—Museum free times like MOMA free the first Friday of each month 4-8PM.
—Libraries have exhibits like the Treasures Exhibit at the NY Public Library with its phenomenal documents: George Washington’s farewell speech in his handwriting? First newspaper publication of the Declaration of Independence, July 9 1776?
—Historic buildings are really museums. Example: extensive Diego Rivera murals in the Town Hall of Mexico City. Or ancient interior of The Roman Pantheon in Rome.
—Gardens worldwide are generally free They often have installations or art or historic signs.
So air fry your travel life with easy to find Free Events even in non-English speaking areas.
Travel Tips from Phyllis Stoller, President of The Women’s Travel Group and avid bargain hunter.
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