These Are Dave Ramsey’s 5 Best Tips for Cutting Travel Costs. Should You Follow Them?

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A young adult wearing a face mask uses a kiosk to check in for a flight.

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If you’re planning a trip, check out these tips to cut costs.

Key Point

  • Now that the threat of COVID-19 has subsided, many people are traveling again.
  • Travel costs a lot of money, but Dave Ramsey has some suggestions to help you spend less on vacation.
  • Carefully choosing your travel dates and requesting free upgrades are just two ways to save money on your vacation.

COVID-19 has stopped many from traveling for several years. But now that lockdowns are lifted and safe vaccines and boosters are available, it’s entirely possible that we’ll be traveling again. It may be good for your spirit, but it’s not necessarily good for your wallet.

If you don’t want to strain your credit card to make up for lost time, here are some tips from financial expert Dave Ramsey to help you save money on transportation.

1. Consider baggage fees when choosing an airline

Ramsey recommends bringing carry-on bags instead of checked bags whenever possible, as carry-on bags are generally cheaper than checked bags. However, if you do need suitcases, Ramsey suggests researching airlines that will be cheaper to bring suitcases with you.

Packing lightly and being mindful of baggage fees are great tips worth following. Paying to carry a lot of luggage can double the cost of your flight (especially if you buy a discount ticket).

Another way to cut this cost (which Ramsey doesn’t recommend as he’s against credit cards) is to sign up for a travel card that offers free checked bags as one of its perks.

2. Book tickets at strategic times

The timeline you book your air travel with actually determines the price. Ramsey suggests buying tickets about three and a half months or he three weeks before departure.

If this works for your timing and you know in advance where you want to go or aren’t afraid to make last minute reservations, then this advice is also worth listening to. So, you don’t have to pay more for your flights than you need to.

3. Travel on cheap days

Being flexible when going on vacation can also help you save money, says Ramsey. Flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays tend to be cheaper than flights departing on other days of the week.

Depending on your work vacation policy and whether your children are in school, this advice can be difficult to implement. But if it doesn’t matter when you leave, traveling on these days can save you money and avoid crowds.

4. Avoid big tourist areas

Ramsey suggests that choosing off-the-beaten-path locations instead of the biggest tourist destinations usually costs less to go on vacation.

This is useful advice if you want to avoid crowded places and do something different. Of course, popular tourist destinations usually have a reason. Don’t compromise your desire to visit a dream city or a paradise island just to save a few bucks.

5. Ask for free upgrades

Finally, Ramsey’s final great tip is to simply ask for a free upgrade. This can be done at airports and hotels. If you make a polite request, you never know when someone might offer you a better seat or a better room, especially if you’re celebrating a special occasion.

Any of these tips can go a long way in keeping your vacation costs down, so try them out the next time you go on a trip.

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