(with contributions from Sandeep Amar)
Recently, I was looking for a good deal for an upcoming trip to Portugal. After some digging, I found cheap flights and a car. Here are 12 existing and new astounding hacks on getting a great deal:
- Book on Tuesdays: Nobody does. That’s why prices are lower. Check it for yourself;
- Clean the cookies of your browser often (preferably after each search). If an airline knows that you want to go to a certain destination at a certain time, they will NOT show you a better deal;
- Book two separate flights with different airlines for your return ticket.
- Book with the airline website. Other sites who sell tickets may have lower fares but add a large commission;
- Pay directly via Debit card or by transferring the funds (type iDEAL). Creditcard charges from airlines or travel websites are absurd. The tip is to have a travel fund ready at all times…;
- Book to or from nearby airports other than your travel origin or destination;
- Always ask for a free upgrade at check in, with a smile;
- If you’re not desperate to travel the day you’re booked for, ask if the flight is oversold when you get to the airport, (they always oversell seats on a flight). If it is, offer that you would be happy to fly on a later flight depending on the compensation levels. Compensation can sometimes be a voucher up to the amount you’ve paid for your ticket;
- What really blew my mind was this NEWEST hack. I booked a rental car and found out it had a limited mileage of 60 km a day. Not really an option for me. I cancelled the booking and the site offered me a better deal without me having to cancel the reservation. That’s what I call a smart algorithm!
- When renting a car: the insurance you can opt for your car (liability/ CDW). You can buy this with the reservation or at the airport at an extra charge. Did you know that there are independent insurers who offer this insurance? Just saved 10% on the policy!
- The BEST HACKs ever: I heard it from a friend a while back. KLMs’ fares from AMS to the US are way more expensive that if you would fly from any airport in Europe via AMS to the US. What you can do is buy a round trip from, for example, Brussels via AMS to your favorite destination in the US. The trick is that you have to check in at Brussels Airport and travel with carry on only. On your way back you can get off in AMS.
- If this is not an option you can include a hotel to your trip on KLMs’ website. The flight then is cheaper and you’ve got a hotel included. This is really incredible!
It takes a bit more time to work with these hacks, but I saved more than E 500,- on my next trip!
What are your hacks to save money when making reservations?