Affordability is one of the most common factors that gets in the way of many people taking their dream trip to some far-off destination. Sadly, many will put that trip off for years and even decades because it just never seems within reach.
To parents, the cost of bringing the whole family along while ditching work for a week or two runs a pretty hefty tab. To younger adults likely to travel solo or with close friends, funds are easily limited by old student loans and entry-level career salaries. This leads to money-saving travel hacks being a very popular wanderlust Google search.
Try for yourself. Searches like Cheapest Ways to Travel, How Can I Travel on $X a Day?, and Budget Travel Hacks will return an endless list of tips to make travel more affordable. And while these lists are valuable to those who apply their advice, it takes just one word to explain why top suggestions like “stay in a hostel,” “travel offseason,” or “be flexible on your travel dates” won’t work for everybody: compromise.
If your dream vacation is a surf trip somewhere in the Indian Ocean, saving a few bucks by going during Bali’s flat season isn’t going to cut it. If you’ve been dreaming of waking up with your better half in a Mediterranean Villa for years, why settle for a run-down hostel in Greece? And if the kids have been asking for a winter break ski trip in the Sierras, well, your travel dates are going to be confined to their slim holiday window away from school. Suddenly, adding up all these compromises makes a dream trip sound less dreamy, doesn’t it?
So why not dive into some bonafide money-saving tips for travel that don’t require compromise? Start with these two:
1. Find the Secret to Beating Rate Parity
While the money you’ll spend getting from Point A to Point B is an entirely different conversation, accommodations are undoubtedly one of the top-two largest expenses involved in travel. And not only will the places you shack up on a trip make or break your travel budget, to some, they can do exactly the same for your enjoyment of travel as well.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many reliable ways to earn discount rates on accommodations without once again going back to that ugly compromise word.Notice the convenient use of “many.”
One main reason your endless internet search for the best possible rate at the hotel or resort of your dreams gets so challenging is because of a tricky little phrase called rate parity. Technically, rate parity isn’t exactly a secret, but the average traveler doesn’t know how it can work against them.
Rate parity is a legal agreement put in place between online travel agencies (OTAs) and a hotel, for example, that ensures neither business is undercutting the other on price. In theory, it makes sense; an online booking site and hotel agree to publish the same nightly rate to the public, giving neither an unfair advantage in stealing your business.
But in practice, it disables the hotel’s ability to offer you a proper discounted rate. If they drop the rate on their personal website, for example, that rate would have to drop for OTAs as well, creating an endless cycle where savings never actually get passed on to the public.
So let’s put a pin in that thought for tip number two…
2. Find a Reliable, Trustworthy Members Only Travel Club
Remember that point about rate parity establishing what hotels and OTAs are allowed to advertise to the public? That rule doesn’t apply to closed-platform travel businesses. Therefore, by extension, the rule doesn’t affect the clientele those businesses serve.
Businesses like these could include travel arrangements through time shares or membership-type services and clubs. Because these businesses work directly with their members or clientele, they’re able to negotiate around common roadblocks like rate parity. But beyond that, their benefits also extend to things like cruises and rewards that help travelers save on flights.
As more of a full service travel club rather than just a place to book a discounted room, members are able to save on expenditures like car rentals, tours, and visiting popular tourist attractions.
Take one such travel club’s listed rates for a popular resort and spa in Los Cabos, Mexico. On all well-known OTAs, the public price for a stay in the 4.5 star accommodation is upwards of $5,000 and even over $7,000 for one listing.
Meanwhile, travel club members’ privately-listed price is just $1,850 for the same dates — a 67% discount totaling almost $4,000. These travelers aren’t roughing it on the outskirts of the destination they actually desired.
Members find themselves in top-notch accommodations and with the appropriate planning (and help), they are given the freedom to go where they want, when they want.
Notice how none of this added up to compromising the vacation you always dreamed of?
If you’re excited to start traveling in style, you can learn all about a great travel club whose members are doing just this. You can register for an exclusive, free webinar by clicking here…