Ways to Save from Door to Door While Traveling

When it comes to travel, everyone wants a deal. With the holidays fast approaching and traveling season in full swing, you just have to know how to help yourself get one.

There are many ways that can help assure you get at least a little something extra on your next vacation or weekend getaway. Sure, the discount might be minimal, maybe just 5 or 10 percent, but if you’re determined to always getting the best price, the savings will add up quickly.

It also doesn’t hurt to act like a tourist in your hometown, either.

“As a go-to source for travel information, we know that many restaurants, hotels, stores and events offer discounts, but oftentimes consumers forget to check,” said Amy Moreno, senior travel manager for AAA Arizona. “Think about airport parking, pet sitting services or even movie tickets. Once you get into the discount mindset, it soon will become second nature.”

Here are six ways to cut corners on costs:

  • Join the club: Research which restaurants you’d like to visit and see if they offer an email club, mailing list or following them on social media to find opportunities for savings. Oftentimes, you’ll receive anything from a free appetizer to a percentage off your check. You sometimes can piggyback those savings onto discounts offered by showing your AAA card.
     
  • Save on activities: Discounts often are available for attraction tickets to theme parks and zoos; previews of plays and musicals; and many museums also offer free admission days each month for patrons. Sure, you could save money by going to a matinee instead of the late show, but you also could buy movie tickets in advance, from AAA, and save on multi-ticket purchases. For example, Six Flags Magic Mountain tickets generally cost $68 for adults, and using a AAA discount drops the price down to $44.
     
  • Travel off peak: Taking part in certain activities during the off season or shoulder season can save dollars. Plus, you’ll beat the crowds. For example, San Diego offers its lowest rates in October, and kids ages 3 to 11 get into attractions such as San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park for free with a paying adult.
     
  • Loyalty counts: Join a hotel’s rewards program. Sometimes first-timers will receive a credit for the mini bar, a late checkout or a discount at its restaurants. After you stay a few times and rack up the points, you’ll be eligible for even more.
     
  • Check your memberships: Whether you’re a college alumnus, student, veteran or AAA member, groups and affiliations can equate to discounts. Do research beforehand to see what sort of savings you can accrue.
     
  • Don’t miss out: Make sure that you don’t miss out on drugstore, grocery store or gas station discounts available to loyalty cardholders by downloading your cards to your smartphone. You can use the free Key Ring app or Passbook, which saves the numbers electronically and lets you pull them up as a scanable bar code at the register. Also, be sure to download the AAA Mobile app to keep member discounts at your fingertips.
     
  • Just ask: After you’ve established rapport with a customer service representative or business owner, ask if there’s any sort of discount that you might be able to receive. People generally like being helpful, and more often than not, you’ll benefit.

“There’s no shame in saving money,” Moreno said. “Keep discounts top of mind, and you’ll keep more money in your wallet.”