HomeTravelTips and ResourcesSavvy travellers reveal their top tips for saving money

Savvy travellers reveal their top tips for saving money

Booking more than two weeks ahead, asking for last room availability, and choosing fares that offer like-for-like credit options with cancellations.

These are just some of the top hacks that helped the savviest travellers shave hundreds of thousands of dollars off their travel spend last year, as revealed by Corporate Traveller.

Flight Centre Travel Group’s flagship SME travel management business has lifted the lid on the best travel tactics that have helped some of their most strategic customers save more than 30 per cent on travel over 2023. Tom Walley, Corporate Traveller’s Australian-based global managing director, says these tips could put hundreds back into traveller’s pockets.

Mr Walley says: “Simple but effective hacks such as booking airfares a month out from the travel date can alone save a company up to $200 on a single one-way domestic ticket. And given there was a 28.7 per cent increase in ‘revenue passenger kilometres’ to 67.6 billion last year within Australia, we know Aussies are spending more and more on travel.”

Ditch the myth of last-minute travel deals

Last-minute travel deals are a myth, says Mr Walley, with the cheapest airfares now typically available at least two weeks out from the travel date, but booking as soon as six months in advance would see the largest savings. He further adds that organisation is key when it comes to nabbing the cheapest deals.

Mr Walley says: “Last year one of our customers simply shifted 33 per cent of their bookings from within two weeks to at least four weeks in advance. By doing so, they reduced their average trip cost year on year by $137 per booking.”

Airlines offer their cheapest rates on any given flight more than 14 days out, as their algorithms work to seat availability, and as seats get snapped up, the price of the remaining spots tend to increase. Additionally, says Mr Walley, Corporate Travellers’ savviest customers frequently book on the quarter or half hour to nab cheaper fares, with travellers that opt for a flexible departure time able to secure the best deals.

Mr Walley says: “Remember that many travel hacks that worked years ago have also changed. Travellers used to think travelling on a Tuesday, for example, would guarantee the best fare. But now, by tracking flight prices, booking in advance and being flexible with meeting times at the destination, you’re far more likely to reap savings.”

Book a flight that offers the best terms and conditions

Not all airline terms and conditions were created equal, Mr Walley says, and by buying a flight that lets you get a full credit that can be used on the same economy flight type has the potential to save you thousands in the long run when those travel plans change.

Smart travellers should always check the terms and conditions of a fare, as some economy tickets may appear to allow flight credits in the case of cancellation, but it may come with restrictions.

“Some flight credits only allow you to purchase a flex fare, which means in some cases you’ll end up paying hundreds of dollars more,” Mr Walley says.

“Others hit you with hefty fees for changing flight dates. Our smartest customers opt for flights with good credit and refund policies.”

Encourage a carry-on luggage culture

Travelling with carry-on luggage can save you up to $90 per airfare. During domestic travel, think about doing away with checked-in baggage for short trips. This can generate significant savings over the course of a year if you are a regular traveller.

It is worth knowing what to pack and how to do it efficiently. For instance, by taking travel-sized toiletries, separating electronic devices and carrying your laptop separately, Mr Walley says the carry-on luggage limits have proven to be ample on two to four day trips.

Package your flight, hotel and transfers

Some travellers make the mistake of booking each component of their travel separately in the hopes of snagging a better deal, but by bundling the trip, their customers usually pay the same, Mr Walley says. This means less time spent organising a car rental or rideshare, less hassle, and less room for error.

“Our top customers know that time is also money and that with bundled deals that include airport transport, the booking and travel process is seamless,” he says.

Select hotels close to the CBD, transport and meetings

Travellers who booked hotels within walking distance of restaurants and attractions also clocked major savings last year by cutting down on rideshares and even restaurant expenses.

By booking a hotel in the city centre, Mr Walley says travellers enjoyed more dining options and less need for a rental car or taxi.

What’s your favourite money-saving travel tip? Why not share it in the comments section below?

Also read: Airfares have dropped, but at what cost?

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