By Adam Ewart, CEO of Send My Bag
My company is set up to save travellers time, money and hassle, so I am often called upon for advice on how to generally save money when travelling. I work internationally – we have offices in Northern Ireland and NYC – and with seven years in the travel industry under my belt, I have been able to pick up some useful tricks and tips first-hand.
The aviation industry is going through a challenging time right now, with three major European airlines collapsing this year alone. I think there is a wider issue at stake here: a huge lack of trust in budget airlines and the travel industry as a whole.
Money-saving has turned the travel market on its head, with airlines competing for the lowest cost. However, all too often, travellers forget about the ‘added extras’ that catch consumers out and ramp up unexpected costs. Although I pride myself on knowing that Send My Bag is based on a philosophy of good customer service, with efficient and safe passage of luggage, I too am all about getting the best deals and saving money. Here are a few of my top money saving tips for you to use.
Firstly, whether it is for business or pleasure, it can be tempting to book two separate flights to keep costs low. You are not alone – the self-connecting flight market is booming, accounting for 50 million journeys worldwide. The problem lies in the ancillary charges, such as luggage and varying rules, and it can be easy to be caught out and end up paying more than you first thought. Be sure to read the small print and avoid that extra sting on the day.
Never underestimate the use of price comparison websites when selecting your flights and hotels. Instead of looking at one airline directly, you could save a huge amount by comparing all suppliers. There are plenty of free resources out there that are set up to help you get the best deals and a little research goes a long way.
For me, managing my travel miles is crucial for saving money. If you travel as often as I do, I couldn’t recommend enough the benefits of having a credit card that acquires air miles. Consider getting a credit card that allows you to collect free miles with every purchase, such as American Express. You will reap the rewards on your future travels!
You may think that once you’ve got your flight locked down and hotel booked, that is enough to keep to your budget, but this can be a costly assumption. Time and time again we see airlines hiding costs which only appear at the airport. One of the most common faux-pas is being caught out when trying to take an extra “personal item” in addition to your hand luggage on board. When travelling with a carry-on, I always check that my personal items, whether it be a briefcase or a rucksack, fit inside my hand luggage.
Lastly, as someone that is constantly travelling for business, I accumulate an enormous number of receipts, some of which inevitably get lost along the way. I recommend taking pictures of all your receipts and keeping these on file – perfect if you are sick of losing track of what you spend when travelling for business.
The travel industry has rapidly evolved thanks to new emerging technologies, making complex processes simpler and more efficient. With a little forward planning, it is possible to save time and money – and remember, not all airlines are there to catch you out.