Accommodation can be one of the biggest costs of an overseas holiday, and while we’ve all heard of Airbnb as a great way to avoid big hotel bills, Mozo has found five unique travel hacks that could save you hundreds on your next holiday.
1. Bid for your next holiday
CharityBuzz is a website which lets you bid for experiences, including travel packages, at a discounted rate while benefiting a charity. It’s free to join, you’ll just need to register with a credit card and shipping address. Currently a four-night stay at a luxury resort in Cancun is going for $239 and is estimated to be worth $1,150, with the winning bidder contributing to WhyHunger which aims to end Hunger and Poverty.
While you’re not supporting a charity, Luxury Link also lets you bid on accommodation at a discounted rate plus a bunch of extra perks.
2. Volunteer for your bed and breakfast
Through websites like Workaway, you can volunteer your time and skills in exchange for food and accommodation. Hosts could be armers, families or hostel owners - to name a few - who need an extra pair of hands for 4-5 hours a day and will pay you with free accommodation and food. Simply set up a profile for around $40 outlining your skills and choose from thousands of hosts across the globe, including Asia, Europe and The Americas.
3. Get Holy
If you fancy getting a little closer to God, or just discount accommodation in a beautiful setting, check out Monastery Stays where you can stay in convents and monasteries around Italy for a fraction of the price of a big brand hotel. You may have to stick to a curfew or sacrifice a little luxury but with prices at around $75 per night, the savings will make it all worthwhile.
4. Check your credit card
Your credit card may be affiliated with a particular hotel group which could give you a discount as part of its Rewards program or by quoting your membership number when you make the booking. Another option might be to use your credit card’s concierge service which might have access to special deals or perks at selected hotels.
5. Take a risk
Take advantage of ‘mystery’ or ‘secret’ deals being offered through accommodation booking sites like Wotif and lastminute.com.au. While you won’t know the name or exactly where the hotel is you could snap up a luxury room for 40% less than the usual price. These deals are often very restrictive so don’t expect to be able to change or cancel your stay.
Lock your foreign exchange: With unpredictable currency fluctuations, it’s a good idea to lock in some of your foreign exchange as soon as you book your tickets. Get a prepaid travel card that doesn’t charge you for reloads, and save yourself the stress of changing currency rates.
Travel friendly credit card: It makes sense to have your money spread out across different sources, so you’re not stranded with no money just in case you lose one card. Some of the features to look out for in a good travel credit card are that it shouldn’t charge a currency conversion fee or have excess international fees on purchases.
Don’t forget to carry cash: International cash withdrawals are always accompanied with extra charges. You can easily avoid this cost by carrying some amount of local currency in cash so you can avoid using the ATM as far as possible.
Don’t buy currency at the airport: Remember to convert your currency in advance because airport exchange bureaus are almost always the most expensive spots for getting cash. Why waste money in conversion when you can use it on your holiday?
Take out travel insurance: Don’t leave travel insurance for the last moment. Cover yourself for any travel emergencies like tour cancellations, travel delays or lost luggage. If you need to change your travel plans after buying travel insurance, you should be able to make amendments at no extra cost.