Getting from A to B can sometimes be tricky to organise, especially when you have young kids. Working out potential connections, factoring delays, balancing your carbon footprint, worrying about tired children, booking tickets for different modes of transport to make one single journey, considering your comfort levels, and then also worrying about your luggage can make travel planning stressful.
Of course, we can all dream about winning millions on the lottery as I imagine that would be the only way we mortals would ever discover how much is a plane to hire! But in reality, most of us are budget conscious and have to think about how we can travel on long journeys without racking up the costs. So when it comes to finding the right mode of transport, here are some tips that you may want to think about before you take a long journey.
Get The Lowest Fares For Flights
Have you ever noticed when you start searching for airfares, prices seem to rise between visits to the airline websites? This is because your visit to their site has been recorded using tracking cookies. The airline company wants you to buy sooner rather than later so, in order to get you to do this, they will slide the price-up if you didn’t buy your tickets. If you call back to the same site, the price will have risen and the idea is that you panic and rush to make your purchase.
But you need to shop around if you want to get the best price, so to avoid the website using cookies when you visit, use the incognito or private browsing option in your web browser.
Travel At The Least Popular Times
Whichever mode of transport you are taking, booking your tickets for the least popular travel times will help save you money. Flying at night is a great time for kids as they will sleep and it can often be kinder on the wallet. When the lights are dimmed, hopefully, everyone, even the kids will sleep.
Flying midweek is generally cheaper than flying during the weekend, too. With people often taking breaks away over the weekend, and business travellers making their journeys at the beginning of the week, midweek routes may offer the best value. Train journeys are always cheaper at off-peak times, while driving at night is a great option. Not only will kids go to sleep, there is less traffic, and greater fuel efficiency.
Get Cheaper Train Tickets
Rail fares can be extortionate and will differ depending on the country you are travelling in. The UK has some of the highest rail fares, especially if you leave it until the day of travel to pay for your ticket. Shop around for your tickets and buy as early as possible. If you know that you will be making a rail journey on a particular date, as soon as you know, look for your ticket to ensure you get the best deal possible. Return tickets often give the best value. Sometimes, it may even be the same price or cheaper to buy a return ticket than a single.
Use Reward Schemes
How many reward schemes are you currently signed up to? Many of the major travel providers will have their own rewards schemes, if they are companies that you use often, you should make sure you take advantage of any preferential offer prices where you can.
Use Offers Linked To Your Credit Card
Many credit cards offer special offers when it comes to booking airline tickets. Many frequent travellers will take out specific credit cards that have these great offers just to purchase their tickets though. Look for cards with links to frequent flyers and air miles programs.
Share Your Costs
Onward travel from airports can add up, especially if you need to take a taxi or an Uber. Where possible, team up with other people who are going in the same direction. Sharing a ride together will not only save you all money, but it also saves the need for multiple vehicles to drive the same route. While it is only a small carbon saving in the grand scheme of things, every little helps.
Take Less Baggage
If you can manage with just a small amount of luggage, you can save yourself baggage costs. With many airlines allowing you to take up to 5kg of hand luggage, use packing cubes to fit all your belongings in a carry-on case and save yourself a bundle. Take a lightweight bag and wear your heaviest items and you will get more into your case. In addition to this, you won’t have to wait around to reclaim your baggage on the other side, and you can get straight off and enjoy your break away.