Saving money on travel

Traveling in the U.S. does not have to cost a lot. Depending on the amount of time and money you have available, you can usually find ways to make your trip more economical. Try some of these tips:

  1. Flexibility with your dates of travel can allow you to save money on tickets. Midweek travel generally costs less than weekend travel.

  2. Several internet websites allow you to shop for the best fares. These include, , , and

  3. Use credit cards to accumulate air miles that can apply toward upgrades and tickets.

  4. Early booking can save you money with rental car companies. If you book in the low season, you can sometimes get low season rates even for travel during the peak season.

  5. Unreserved airline seats and hotel rooms go on sale when the date nears and no one has booked them. To avoid earning nothing for those empty places, airlines and hotels sell the seats and rooms at a last minute deep discount, preferring to make some money rather than none at all.  

  6. Picking up your rental car at an agency away from the airport can often save you money over picking it up at the airport.

  7. When visiting large cities, use public transportation rather than renting a car.      

  8. If you have time for more leisurely travel, look into traveling by train. You can find special deals and packages at or, and of course, which all offer specials and discounted tickets online.

  9. Sometimes staying in a hotel during the week can cost more than staying in the same hotel on the weekend, if the hotel primarily relies on business travelers. By the same token, hotels in a resort or vacation area might cost more on the weekend because they cater to guests who like to gear their stays to coordinate with their time off. At these hotels, booking weekdays can save you money.

  10. Purchasing items at a tourist stop means you’ll pay more. Plan ahead and get your water, sunscreen, film, etc. before you arrive at a popular destination.

  11. Chambers of Commerce and Visitor’s Centers in places you visit often offer coupons and discounted tickets for local restaurants, businesses and attractions.

  12. Lunch menus offer the same food as dinner ones, but in smaller portions for less money.

  13. Travel with a cooler so that you don’t have to purchase drinks and snacks at every stop along the way. Arranging to stay in an efficiency, studio or condo with kitchen amenities allows you to prepare some of your own food instead of eating every meal out.

  14. Stay in places that offer breakfast with the room and/or allow kids to eat free.

Air travel

Saving money on travel

Major attractions