1. Individual over combined travels
When we travel, we always book hotels and flights separately. This is for two main reasons: The nice and cute boutique hotels are often not available at combined travel offers or in travel agencies. It is usually not cheaper or even more expensive.
2. Check flights with incognito browser
Flight prices can vary on a daily basis. Take some time to check them for several days or weeks. Some website like skyscanner.de even have an alert function that reminds you when flight prices drop. Always check them in your incognito browser and make a final check if maybe you get a better fare when booking on your mobile device. This can save you A LOT of money. For our last flight to Costa Rica I saved 600 EUR with this strategy for the three of us.
3. Save money by traveling light
This strategy applies more for short trips and cheaper airlines. If you stay only a few days and don’t need one full luggage per person, check the basic flight fare on the airlines website with NO luggage at all. Then add only the luggage that you REALLY need. On our last short trip to Ibiza, we travelled with only one checked bag and one hand luggage and saved more than 150 EUR with this strategy.
4. Genius discount at booking.com
We basically always book our hotels via booking.com The ratings are very helpful, the choice of hotels and the filter functions are excellent AND they offer a Genius discount if you book regularly on their platform. When you book 2 hotels in 2 years you are Genius level 1 and get 10% discount on selected hotels. With Genius level 2 (5 hotels in 2 years) you get up to 15%. Forever. To reach Genius level 2, we booked some of our business trips also via booking.com and reached the Genius 2 level with this strategy.
5. Airbnb/ Boutique hotels instead of 5*
I never check the star rating of a hotel. For me this is the most irrelevant thing to check when you travel Apartments and small hotels usually never have a star rating and can be the most magical place you have ever been. Airbnb and booking.com have a great selection of nice places to stay. I usually sort them by „best rating“ and then I carefully read the ratings.
6. B&B instead of All In
I know some people love the fact of All In hotels and not having to care about what to eat all day. But let me tell you why I don’t like it: You eat much more than you actually need. You do not eat local, but only in your hotel and you do not support the restaurants in the country that you visit. And it’s often pretty expensive vs. the B&B rate. We usually only book B&B. First of all it gives you a financial relief when booking the hotel, because it is not massively expensive all at once. Second, when you have a good extensive breakfast and a light lunch + nice dinner in the evening. Your costs are not much higher that with ALL IN. I promise.
7. Detox while traveling
What can definitely hit the holiday budget hard it alcohol consumption. Cocktails and bottles of wine seem to taste even better on vacation. When we are traveling, we usually sent drink that much alcohol and rather make a bit of a detox when you are on vacation. Good for your body, good for your budget.
8. Snacks for the flight
More and more airlines are charging you for drinks and snacks on board. To avoid extra costs for this, just bring your own snacks. Since we are traveling with Levi, we have more or less a whole backpack full of food and drinks. From carrots and cucumber, to sandwich, berries, apple and gummy bears. And yes, you are allowed to bring that, don’t worry!
9. Rental car and transfers
We experienced that you can save 50% when you book your transfers, rental cars, ferries or other activities online. You can do this in advance from home or even last minute during your holiday. In Crete, we would have paid double the price for a rental car if we did it via the hotel. One exception applies: If you are in a foreign country that is not so save, I would always recommend to book transfers via the hotel first, because you need to trust the driver. If the driver is nice, ask for a business card and negotiate a fare for the next time.