Planning to hit the open highway with friends or family this spring or summer? Dreaming of two weeks in Europe this fall? When you finally return home, your head and heart will be full of memories — but your wallet will likely be running on empty.
Vacation costs can add up quickly. Any way to trim that damage is likely welcome. So, we’ve rounded up nine of the best ways to save on travel costs in 2019.
1. Free cash back
Yes, you can often earn cash back when booking travel arrangements online just as you can earn cash back when buying stuff from online retailers.
Websites known as cash-back portals make this possible. Examples include:
By going to other websites through portals, you can earn cash back on purchases made on the sites of certain hotels, car rental companies and online travel agencies like Expedia and Priceline. We detail the mechanics in “3 Websites That Pay You for Shopping.”
2. Free checked bags on airlines
Free checked baggage used to be the norm on most airlines. While those days are long gone, one carrier is keeping the tradition alive.
Fly on Southwest Airlines, and your first two checked bags are free. Skis and golf bags also travel gratis.
You will generally pay for checked bags on other airlines, but many offer exceptions. For example, American Airlines allows free checked bags for travelers who hold certain of the airline’s AA-branded credit cards.
Many airlines also offer complimentary checked baggage to people who fly in business class or meet other criteria.
3. Free Wi-Fi on airlines and at airports
It used to be that many people wondered how they’d get through a two-hour flight without a cigarette. The modern version of that malady is trying to endure a couple of hours without internet access.
Fly JetBlue, however, and you won’t have to worry. The airline offers free Wi-Fi — dubbed “Fly-Fi” — on all of its aircraft.
Many airports also offer complimentary Wi-Fi service.
4. Free museums
If your idea of great travel includes arts and culture and you have a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card, you can get a great freebie on the first weekend of every month. That’s when more than 200 museums and cultural institutions that participate in BOA’s “Museums on Us” program offer you free admission.