With all of the newfangled mobile phone apps and tech gadgets these days, travelers can start to feel that the cost of a trip is spiraling out of control before they even pack their bags. Turns out, some of the best savings solutions can still be found by kicking it “old school.” So before you throw down for the hottest new items, consider these tried-and-true solutions for pinching your travel pennies.
Shop surplus stores
It may have fallen out of fashion, but shopping at military surplus stores is still a great way to get a superior value for certain goods. Camping gear, extreme-weather clothing and even emergency medical supplies can all be found at such establishments, along with rucksacks, canteens and other storage solutions for carrying your supplies on the road.
Gather coupons before you go
Janice Temple, a travel agent, former flight attendant and founder of the Black Travel Bloggers writing group, favors good old-fashioned coupon books. Her source? Temple contacts the tourism board of her chosen destination several weeks in advance via its website. Not only does she receive the latest coupon book with current savings opportunities, but she is also able to research museum freebies and other deals ahead of time.
Use layover to see another place
While most travelers research savings opportunities for their destination, many overlook the fact that airlines allow ticket holders to stop and spend time in their layover city at no extra charge. “Budgetnista” Tiffany Aliche, author of “The One Week Budget,” sees this as a chance to see two destinations for the price of a single airline ticket. The Budgetnista put this tip to the test herself when traveling to Costa Rica with friends. Since their tickets had them stopping in Panama for a time, they took it as a sign. Says Aliche, “My friends and I purposefully extended our stay there to explore the beautiful country and go to the Panama Canal.”
Take advantage of discounts
If you’re a student, remember your school ID. It may be an old-fashioned budget tip, but many places still offer steep savings to those carrying a student identification card. Visits to museums, historic attractions and other travel experiences can cost less if you just remember to carry your ID along with your passport.
Myscha Theriault is co-author of “10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget,” and founder of travel website TrekHound.com.