Little known fact – I used to work as a travel agent. The “classic, behind the desk, happy to attend you and ensure that you get the best flight deal for your dream trip” travel agent… the sort that we all used to go to before everything became so much more accessible to us through the internet. Who needs a travel agent now when you can find flights, vacation packages and travel tips with a few clicks of a button?

On the positive side, I’ve picked up some great money-saving tips through my experience and I’m always figuring out new ways to save money on trips online. Here are my discoveries for you to learn and use:

5 Easy Ways to Save BIG on your Next Trip #trip #vacation #savemoney #save

Time of the day and date of the week influences airfare

I knew this as a travel agent and the fact still exists: airfare fluctuates throughout the day and depending on the day of the week.

I don’t know the intricate details as to why this happens but I can assume that it’s based on similar financial algorithms to those of the stock market: demand vs supply. If demand for a particular flight is high, prices go up. If the opposite is true, prices will go down. Certain hours and days there is less interest in purchasing, etc. Samantha Kelly has some great ideas on how you can keep watch over the fluctuation and grab the best deal.

You can find coupons online for your vacation package

This is a new and exciting discovery for me. I found a site called which lists off discounts and coupon codes for hotels, airport rentals, and cruises all around the world. Here comes my Michelin star meal during my European trip, courtesy of a coupon that will save me money on the trip!

The coupons can come in handy for shopping, restaurants, and activities, too. From now on, before heading out, I’ll always check for coupons so I can score discounts.

Groupon = fun experiences

On our trip to France, I went all out and bought a bunch of interesting Groupons for restaurants. Not only did we get to experience some authentic French cuisine, but we saved so much money. We went to very high-quality Parisian restaurants that would have cost us hundreds of dollars without a Groupon.

Every country’s respective Groupon is actually in their native tongue, so we used Google translate to try to fully understand what they offered. You can also go through their leisure & attractions category or the shopping section. It’s like a small adventure!

Bid for your hotel room – it works!

I haven’t done this in years but I swear by it. You can go on bidding sites like Priceline and tell hotels in the region how much YOU are willing to pay per night.

Hotels almost always have empty rooms so they prefer to sell them off at a break-even point or even at a small loss in order to fill them up. To a hotel, empty rooms are a big loss in money so acquiring some revenue is better than no revenue at all.

You can check forums to see what other people are bidding and what bids have been accepted, as well as to what hotels. I have stayed in some very fancy hotels in NYC and in Los Angeles for $50 a night – probably 1/7th of the regular cost, if not more!

These are the forums I use: Better Bidding and Bidding Traveler

Use mobile apps

There are two good ways to use mobile apps for your trip:
The first is to check for flight prices and the second is to use relevant apps wherever you travel.

I discovered the first one when booking flights to Paris. Lo and behold, the Expedia app offered the same flight online and in their app, but at a discount of $80 through their app! I can only assume that they want more people using it, so they reduce their commission in order to offer a lower price. Alternatively, they may ‘reserve’ lower prices to their mobile app. The prices fluctuated a lot, though, so even though it was lower one day, it could be higher the next.

You can download apps for coupons, discounts, day deals, etc. for your trip. They may be difficult to understand if they are in a foreign language, but really, it’s part of the fun. 🙂 You might find some amazing deals and have some interesting experiences. If the apps are really good, they will notify you of discounts and deals when you approach different areas. This is the future, people!

Do you have any tips on how to save money on your trip? Tell us below!