By Alexis Bennett/InStyle
January 12, 2018

Not sure how to save on travel in 2018? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered the best tips and tricks to help you save those coins. Ahead, you’ll discover ways to find out when websites have price glitches. Yes, it happens to airlines all the time. Shoppers have reported seeing missing zeros, and scoring international flights for less than $400. We’ll even show you how to save on lodging. That way you can load up your savings account, or you can use the extra cash to buy that cute handbag you’ve been eyeing.

Keep reading to learn how to save on travel in 2018.

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1. Don’t sleep on layovers.

Sometimes you’ll find deals on flights with free extended layovers—like the Emirates Dubai stopover. That way, you’ll get to hit up two destinations for the price of one. Believe it or not, some airlines offer free hotel stays, too. So don’t be afraid to ask for the deals.

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2. Minimize currency exchange fees.

Currency exchange fees can really sneak up on you if you aren’t careful, especially if you’re swiping a traditional credit and debit card like crazy. Your best bet is to sign-up for no-foreign-fee cards and keep some cash on you. You’ll get the best rates on trading your cash in with your bank or credit union. You can also protect your cash from fluctuating exchange rates with websites like Travelex Currency, which promises to give you the lowest exchange rate.

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3. Travel on Wednesday.

Airfare tends to go up on the weekends (that’s when the demand is highest). But if you really want to save, request time off from work starting during the middle of the week. Use websites like Momondo to compare and schedule the most affordable flights.

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4. Get alerts on unusual discounts.

Price glitches happen all the time. Sometimes airlines will make mistakes converting prices between currencies or simply making typos. But it’s hard to keep an eye out on the once-in-a-lifetime deals, unless you’re following websites that send out alerts—like Secret Flying or AirFaireWatchDog.

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5. Know the cheapest times to fly.

You’ll find the best hotel and flight deals after New Year’s Day and before Valentine’s Day. You might also want to plan your next getaway after Spring Break season ends, but before the summer starts in order to save a few bucks.

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6. Manage your phone bill.

There are a few things you need to do in order to make sure you don’t come home to a crazy phone bill. Step 1: Turn off your cellular data and roaming in your devices settings, and put your phone on airplane mode right away. Even if you don’t make or answer calls, you could still be charged for any incoming alerts including text and voice messages. Don’t forget to download the Google maps you’ll need before you embark on your trip. That way, even if you aren’t connected to wifi, you’ll have a guide. And if you absolutely need to make a call, you’ll save a ton by buying a local or foreign pre-paid SIM card.

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7. Talk to the locals and experienced travelers.

On the first day of your trip, your mission is to make friends with a local. They’ll be your source for finding all of the hidden gems, plus they’ll help you avoid the typical tourists traps that can drain your budget. If you’re an introvert, you can go the digital route and learn money-saving tips about your destination from reviewers on websites like Trip Advisor.

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8. Read museum signs carefully.

There are a lot of free museums, but signs with recommended donations could leave you confused and spending more than you really have to. Pay attention and keep an eye out for suggested versus required admission fees.

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9. Sign up for travel rewards.

If you’re going to use a credit card, you might as well sign up for one that can help you win free flights and nights at your favorite hotels. Be sure to pay off monthly balances, so you don’t end up paying in the long run in interest.

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10. Skip the hotels.

Room and board usually puts a big dent in your travel budget. Instead of booking a fancy hotel, find major savings and stay with the locals. Websites like Love Home Swap and AirBnB are perfect for easily securing alternative lodging.

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