November 19, 2015
Most startups are actively looking for ways to cut unnecessary costs. One of the best ways to ensure that you have more cash on hand to spend on other critical areas is to cut back on travel expenses. Saving money while traveling is not always as straightforward as you might think, but here are some tips you can use that might help you out:
Price comparison vs. frequent flyer miles
Most airlines offer their customers a chance to sign up for frequent flyer programs. While every passenger should be a member of the frequent flier program, that should not be the determining factor when deciding which airline to fly with. If you compare the rates of your chosen airline through a website like Kayak, you may find that the savings are worth going with a different airline. If that's the case, then you should go with the less expensive ticket and join their frequent flyer program.
Tips for better searching
Here's a sneaky, pro tip: When searching for tickets online, be sure to clear your browser of cookies or use your browser in incognito mode in order to avoid having to pay higher ticket prices simply because the airlines know that you've searched on a particular flight more than once.
You might want to also consider flying out of a different airport or traveling on slightly different dates if you can find a better deal. Tuesday is typically seen as the best day of the week to find a good price, because that's when airlines release their best prices. Websites like Yapta will let you keep track of any changes in the price of your ticket so you can pursue a refund if the price falls significantly.
Keep an eye on the small print
Some airlines are very good at hiding their fees. As a result, the total cost to fly on a “bargain” ticket price could cost you just as much or more than flying with another airline. For example, baggage fees: many airlines will charge you $25 or more to check one bag, but there are also airlines that will charge you as much as $100 to carry a bag on the plane with you. An airline like Southwest will allow you to check two bags without charging a fee. You can obviously see how these fees can make a significant difference on the final cost of your ticket.
Likewise, pay close attention to whether the airline will allow you to change your ticket or receive a refund. Business travel plans can change with little notice, so you don't want to find out later that you're stuck with an expensive ticket that no one can use.
Pay with a well-chosen credit card
It's smart to use specific cards for paying for your flights, hotels or dining – that's how you can maximize cash back or bonus points. When you're about to get a credit card, spend some time to find the best promotions. Of course, chasing rewards is not always a good idea as applying for a new card might lower your overall credit score.
When looking at rewards, analyze how much these points are actually worth. You might discover that instead of getting a discount on a flight, it's better to use a card which converts your points into valuable gift cards from services like Amazon.
Image Credit: Pixels
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