finder.com.au’s best travel hacks revealed
It’s the question on every traveller’s lips: how do you get more bang for your holiday buck? With more Australians starting to plan and book their overseas summer holiday now , one of Australia’s biggest comparison websites finder.com.au/travel-insurance  has revealed its top travel hacks, which any traveller can adopt and potentially save serious money on their next holiday.
Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at finder.com.au/travel-insurance, said most travellers can save a small fortune by learning some easy travel hacks that other travellers use.
“Travel hacks are often well guarded secrets mastered by those who are able to use them to their advantage.
“But travel hacks are coming out of the shadows and now anyone can follow a few tips and tricks to come out on top.
“We see thousands of Australians comparing deals online everyday but there are still millions of others who could be missing out on big savings by not spending a little time doing their research.”
finder.com.au’s top travel hacks:
- Buy online: The biggest saving you can make is by doing your research and buying your holiday transport, accommodation and travel insurance online. Providers save on overheads if you buy online and often pass on the cost savings to customers. Research by finder.com.au/travel-insurance shows differences of hundreds of dollars for travel insurance policies between online providers, airlines and travel agents so it’s worth comparing before signing up.
- Convert foreign currency on arrival: Avoid withdrawing too much foreign currency before taking off, instead compare local currency conversion branches when you land at your destination. They can be much cheaper than what you will find in Australia.
- Stay for free: Stay in someone’s home and pay nothing for accommodation. Use Couchsurfing to find a place to crash or share your hometown with travellers. Alternatively sign up for a home swap and save thousands on accommodation costs when you travel.
- Plans change: If you need to cancel your hotel reservation against the hotel’s cancellation policy, don’t call and cancel, instead move your reservation to next week and then a few hours later call and cancel your ‘new’ reservation. This could save you a cancellation fee.
- Sign up: If you travel often, always join the hotel and airline loyalty programs which will give you a much better chance for a free upgrade. Even if it’s the lowest level, you still get rewarded first. It’s also worth signing up to online travel websites which will notify you of their special sale offers.
- Travel off-peak: Travel in the offseason if possible as there is more leeway to upgrade and travel costs are generally much cheaper.
- Smooth sailing: If you book a cruise, pay attention to the final payment date. For most major cruise lines the deposit is normally 100 percent refundable until the final payment date so if you notice the price for your cruise has dropped since you’ve booked and it’s before final payment, cancel your booking and re-book at the new price.
- Get bumped: If you are flying and aren’t in a rush, volunteer to be ‘bumped’ to a later service if the flight is overbooked. Airlines usually sell more tickets than they have physical seats, based on each flight’s historical record of a certain number of last-minute re-bookings and cancellations. But sometimes the numbers run the other way. The airline ends up with an excess of paid passengers in economy. Once you give up your seat you have to wait for the next available flight. Normally the airline will offer an incentive such as a free domestic trip as ‘compensation’. Other perks include accommodation and food vouchers or use of the business lounge.
- Spread out: If you’re booking a flight with a companion, don’t pick seats right next to each other. Instead, have one person reserve the aisle seat and the other reserve the window seat, leaving the middle seat empty as this is the least likely seat to be chosen. You’re much more likely to have an entire row together once the plane takes off.
1 Source: Southern Cross Austereo Research Holiday Study September 2013
2 Experian Hitwise 2013
For further information
The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.
finder.com.au is Australia's most visited comparison website and has helped over 4.8 million Australians find better credit cards, home loans, life insurance, shopping deals and more since 2006. finder.com.au compares 250 credit and debit cards from 31 providers, over 300 home loan products, and information from 13 life insurance providers as well as online shopping promo codes, mobile phone plans, travel insurance and more. One Australian every five minutes is using finder.com.au to find better (Source: Google Analytics).