I AM A PLANNER. There’s no denying it. I love traveling for many reasons but the whole process of planning out a complex trip on an excel spreadsheet, looking for deals and ways to save money is definitely one of my favourite parts! I love seeing how amazing I can make the trip for as little money as possible!! You don’t have to get all crazy with spreadsheets like me but there are a few apps you can learn to use that will save you some big bucks, help you earn points for free travel and give you the title of master trip planner in your family!
Here are my favourites:
- Trip Advisor
- Passport America
The way I’m actually saving the most money right now on travel is my using the EBates App as a starting point for all of my online shopping. When you start your online shopping by using the EBates app, Chrome browser extension, or website, the company gives you back a percentage of money on everything you buy through the stores you shop at that they are registered with. When I combine it with the Expedia App or Expedia Wesbite I can double up on points and save a lot of money!
For example: I would start on the EBates website, then click on the Expedia website link from EBates, log in to my Expedia account so I also earn Expedia points on every purchase and finally, make sure I’m booking your travel with a points credit card to save up for free travel in a third way! This is huge!
In fact, travel aside you can use EBates on so many online stores I would highly recommend using it for your Christmas shopping too! You can use it for Amazon, Ebay, Sephora, Old Navy and so many other stores!! I highly recommend using the Chrome browser extension so you never forget the use your Ebates link and when you do click on the store don’t leave that web page until you have completed your purchase so that you don’t lose the link from Ebates and your cash back. EBates pays out the cash you earn 4 times a year by cheque or directly to your Paypal account. Easy Peasy!
Many people believe that the Airmiles program isn’t really a great option however, if you have the ability to use it for any major life purchases such as new computers through Air Miles Shops, especially during a 10 or 20 times the points event you can earn a short haul flight very quickly. (Often in one purchase.) For instance, if you needed to purchase a new laptop and chose an Apple Macbook Pro that costs $3500 and you are able to purchase it during a 20x the points event you would earn 3,500 points. During the low season you can fly from Toronto to Orlando for only 3,000 points! I’ve used Airmiles for a few flights over the last 5 years this way. I usually choose Airmiles only when they have a big points event on otherwise I’m mainly using EBates now.
I use Trip Advisor on a regular basis before going to E-Bates and Expedia to quickly compare the prices and reviews on hotels. I find their app easy to search on and the reviews are always helpful. I don’t often book travel through Trip Advisor but it saves me a lot of time on research and occasionally finds me much better prices directly through a hotel’s own website that are even better than Expedia. You can see in the screenshot below though how you can even use EBates if you book through Trip Advisor!
Passport America is a must have for anyone camping in a lot of different locations in the United States. It only costs $44 for a year (as of this article’s posted date) and if you’re travelling around a lot it can save you a lot of money on campground fees. We used it all over the US but found some great deals in California and Nevada. One of our favourite campgrounds was the Pechanga Casino in Temecula, CA and it was about $25/night for a gorgeous campsite with the Passport America discount.
What are your favourite ways to save money while travelling? Are there any new apps I should be aware of?
Disclosure: This post does include affiliate links for E-Bates because of course I would love to receive a referral payment if you want to give it a try! Who wouldn’t! Mind you, the fact that I might receive a referral bonus in no way influences my opinion. I am LOVING this program and you should totally give it a try!