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出门旅行,这七招帮你少花钱

GoBankingRates 2017年04月10日

如果你的经济情况并不富裕,那么确保你玩得好又花得少的一个关键因素,就是想方设法避免旅行中不必要的开销。

夏天近了,再过两三个月,旅游的季节又到了。或许你正在计划跟家人和朋友一起旅游,又或许你打算一个人踏上旅程。但不管怎样,如果你的经济情况并不富裕,只能严格按照预算开支,那么确保你玩得好又花得少的一个关键因素,就是想方设法避免旅行中不必要的开销。

没错,旅行中有不少大大小小的费用都是可以避免的。只要提前做好功课,就能省下不少航班、酒店和就餐费用,同时还丝毫不会影响旅行的乐趣。

避开旅游旺季

只要出行时机安排得当,是能省下不少旅途费用的。首先,你要尽可能避免在旅游旺季时出行。

纽约市一旅游公司smarTours的联合CEO格雷格•格罗内姆斯表示:“如果你在旅游旺季过后的几周出行,那么首先当地的气候并不会有什么变化,另外从航班到酒店等各种费用都会下降很多。”比方说,如果你想到海滨城市待上一周,不要光把时间局限在炎夏时分,你可以提前搜索一下整个夏天的机票和酒店费用,甚至晚春和初秋的时间都可以考虑在内。

如果你确实只能在旅游旺季抽出时间,那也尽量不要赶在“旺季中的旺季”。比如旅行预订网站Upside.com的董事长兼CEO杰伊•沃克就指出:“要尽量避免各种小长假。比如在美国,大多数人都会把夏季的出行计划放在阵亡将士纪念日、美国国庆日(7月4日)和劳动节。”

错峰出行能省下很多旅行开支。比如沃克建议最好搭乘凌晨或深夜的航班,或是选在周二或周三出行,这些时间一般都能买到最便宜的机票。

“哪怕只给你的出行计划做一个小小的变化,都能让你省下不少旅行费用,甚至在旅游旺季也是一样。比如如果你一定要在某一周里出行,你也可以给你的行程加上或减去一天。虽然行程只有一两天的变化,但你会发现很多费用都变便宜了。”

避免机场码头的泊车费用

AirportParkingHelper.com的执行董事安迪•吉布森指出,在机场或码头停车一天,可能要缴纳20美元的停车费。不过如果你在出行前住在一家有停车服务的酒店里,就可以避开这项费用。

吉布森表示:“如果你无论如何都要住酒店,那就选择一家允许你在离开时免费将车辆停放在那里的酒店。如果你提前预订了一家有机场泊车服务的酒店,你就可以放心地乘机了,因为你知道你的车子总是有地方停的。相比之下,机场的大多数泊车位都不能预订,而且往往还都停满了。”

这样一来,出发那天,你就可以乘坐酒店的班车前往机场或码头。这种方法特别适合那些离机场或码头有一个小时以上车程的人。虽然要在酒店住上一夜,但你却可以因此搭乘一趟更便宜的凌晨航班——同时也省却了一大早起床赶路的辛苦。

如果你确实不需要出行前住一晚酒店,你也可以在AirportParkingHelper.com上找到廉价的机场停车位和优惠券。

避免行李托运费用

现在乘坐美国班机,能躲过托运费的情况是越来越少了——但也并非完全不可能。捷蓝航空曾经允许旅客免费托运一件行李,现在则要收取每件25美元的托运费,除非你升舱。西南航空大概是美国国内航空公司里唯一一家还不收取托运费的公司了。

不过对于其他航空公司来说,如果你使用他们的品牌信用卡订购机票,是能免交这项费用的。

The WeekendJetsetter.com的旅游博主安娜•莱丝表示:“比如,如果你使用美国航空的花旗银行AAdvantage万事达卡,不仅你自己可以免收行李托运费,你的同行者中最多四人也可以免交托运费。对于一个五口之家来说,乘坐一次航班省下的托运费,就够缴纳这张信用卡的年费(95美元)了。”

当然,如果你只随身携带一件手提行李,也是可以免交托运费的。说出来你可能不相信,哪怕是一个小小的随机行李箱,也能保障一次很长的旅程了——当然,前提是带对行李。旅行博客Roamarro.com的创意总监科莱特•斯托勒表示,她曾经进行过一次长达一年半的环球旅行,靠的只是一个能随身登机的小行李箱。她建议出行时最多只带两双鞋,衣服则只带纯色、耐磨、好搭配的衣服。对于最占空间的衣服,你可以选择上机时披在身上。

然而这种方法也并非对所有航空公司都奏效。像Frontier和Spirit这种廉价航空公司,对随身行李也是收费的,有些大航空公司几乎对乘客带上飞机的任何稍占空间的东西都收费。

DealNews.com的编辑本杰明•格雷泽表示:“联合航空和美国航空的基本的经济舱费用不含随身行李箱的费用。”

所以你在预订航班之前,一定要先确认机票是否包含行李费用。因为如果行李要单另付费的话,那么貌似便宜的机票也就没那么便宜了。反而一趟稍贵点的航班如果能够免收行李费用的话,倒是更加经济实惠。

避免酒店费用

来自纽约大学乔纳森蒂施酒店与旅游业中心的一份报告显示,2016年,美国人民住酒店的费用达到了创纪录的25.5亿美元。如果知道哪些费用是不必要的,你就可以免交一些酒店费用。

比如,很多酒店都开始征收提前入住、延迟退房、行李寄存或预订特定房型的费用。另外,你在使用各种酒店服务或设施前,也应该先问问它是否是收费的。

避免这些费用的另一个方法,就是成为这些酒店的会员。莱丝表示:“你可以在酒店官网上免费注册成为会员,也可以在入住时提出注册会员。”

成为会员后,你就可以享有一些特权,比如免费WiFi。有些酒店的会员项目(比如希尔顿荣誉贵宾)还为会员提供了房价折扣和延迟退房等特权。

这些会员项目一般都是积分制的,攒够积分后,就可以兑换免费入住权。通常来说,你的会员级别越高,能够享受的特权也就越多。如果你持有酒店特定品牌的信用卡,也能享受相应特权或更高的会员待遇。

避免高价就餐的费用

如果你在旅行途中顿顿下馆子,哪怕是吃连锁快餐,你的旅费也会蹭蹭地往上涨。不过只要提前精心策划,你还是能在这方面省下不少钱的。

比如说,不要住酒店的标准间,而是预订一个有小厨房的房间,或是住在一套有厨房的假日公寓里。温德姆假日租赁公司(Wyndham Vacation Rentals)的一项研究显示,旅客们如果租用他们的假日公寓,并且使用公寓里的厨房自己做饭(一周按做12顿饭算,其中5顿早餐、4顿午饭、3顿晚饭),而不是到餐馆吃饭,那么他们平均每周可以省下898美元。

住在假日出租公寓也能省下不少住宿费用。据HomeAway.com称,一套1300平方英尺的出租出寓的日租只有99美元,而酒店房间的平均房费则为118美元,且酒店房间的平均面积只有400平方英尺。你可以在HomeAway.com、VacationRentals.com和VRBO.com等网站上找到此类假日公寓的信息。

避免不必要的租车费用

如果你打算租车,也要尽量避免各种不必要的额外费用。格雷泽指出:“租车公司经常在最后一分钟收取高额的手续费。有一种费用是可以避免的,那就是额外的保险费。”

租车公司可能会不遗余力地推荐你买保险,但你很可能已经买过了。

格雷泽建议道:“在你出行前,你可以打电话给你的信用卡提供商,问问如果你用信用卡租车,是否可以免费提供车损险。另外,你也可以打给你自己的车险提供商,看你的保险里是否包含了租车险。只要有任意一方表示涵盖了租车险,你就不用再买了。”

另一个省钱妙招则是在还车前将油加满,而不是掏钱让租车公司去加油。另外如果可能的话,尽量不要在机场租车,因为租车公司要付给机场一笔不扉的租金,而这笔钱无疑会转嫁到消费者身上。

避免外币交易费

如果你出国旅行,那么无论是用借记卡还是信用卡消费,都免不了要被扣掉不少费用。比如每次你在国外使用ATM机取款时,银行都会收取一笔外币交易费。跨国使用信用卡也同样会被抽取一笔费用。

莱丝表示:“现在已经有很多信用卡和活期账户不再收取用户的外币交易费或ATM费用。如果你没有这种账户,那么在出国旅游时可能要损失掉几百美元的费用。”

比如她建议可以办理Chase Sapphire Reserve信用卡,该卡不收取任何外币交易费。而第一资本(Capital One)的360储蓄账户与借记卡“能够让你在全球各地免费取钱”。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

With the summer travel season just a couple of months away, you might be making plans for a family vacation, getaway with friends or even a solo trip. If you need to stick to a budget, one of the key parts of your travel planning is finding ways to avoid unnecessary expenses on your journey.

That's right: There are plenty of fees — both big and small — you can dodge when you vacation. You can also keep down the cost of flights, accommodations, food and more common travel expenses without cutting back on the fun.

Avoid the high cost of peak travel times

You can keep travel expenses manageable if you time your trips right. For starters, avoid traveling during the peak season, if possible.

"It's amazing what a difference it can make to go a few weeks after peak season," said Greg Geronemus, co-CEO of smarTours, a guided tour company based in New York City. "You can get essentially the same weather and spend a lot less on everything from airfare to hotels." For example, rather than limiting your search for flights and accommodations at the beach to one week in the summer, check prices across all the summer months and even in late spring and early fall to find the best deals.

If your schedule allows you to travel only during the peak season, make sure you don't plan a trip for the "peak" of peak season. "Book away from major holiday periods," said Jay Walker, chairman and CEO of Upside.com, a business travel booking site. "Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day are generally when summer travelers will pay the most for their itineraries."

Avoiding peak travel times can also save you money. For example, Walker recommends flying early in the morning or late at night and on Tuesdays or Sundays to get the cheapest fares.

"Even small, incremental changes in itinerary can generate discounts on travel, even during peak summer travel seasons," he said. "If you have to travel during a given week, try adding or subtracting a day from your itinerary. Often, a change of a day or two will generate a cheaper fare or rate."

Avoid airport and cruise parking fees

Parking at an airport or cruise terminal can cost $20 or more per day, said Andie Gibson, managing partner at AirportParkingHelper.com. You might be able to avoid this travel fee by staying at a hotel that offers free parking packages the night before departure.

"If you need a hotel room anyway, choosing a hotel that allows you to park your car for free while you're gone is a no-brainer," Gibson said. "When you pre-book a hotel with airport parking included, you enjoy peace of mind knowing you've got a guaranteed spot to leave your vehicle — unlike most on-site airport economy lots, which don't allow pre-booking and can fill up."

On the day of your departure, simply take the hotel shuttle to the airport or cruise terminal. This strategy can especially pay off for travelers who have to drive an hour or more to get to a city with an airport or cruise terminal. By staying overnight, you might even be able to book a cheaper early morning flight — without having to get up at the crack of dawn.

If you don't need a hotel room prior to the trip, you can find cheap airport parking alternatives and coupons at AirportParkingHelper.com.

Avoid airline baggage fees

It's getting harder to avoid baggage fees — but not impossible. JetBlue, which once let passengers check one bag for free, now charges $25 per bag checked at the airport, unless you opt for a higher tier fare. Southwest Airlines is the only major airline that still lets passengers check bags for free on domestic flights.

However, you might be able to avoid this travel fee on other airlines if you use their branded credit cards to buy your tickets.

"For example, with the American Airlines Citi AAdvantage Mastercard, you will receive a free checked bag for yourself and up to four companions traveling on the same itinerary," said Anna Rice, a travel blogger at TheWeekendJetsetter.com. "For a family of five, the savings from just one trip already amounts to more than the annual fee of the credit card ($95)."

You also might be able to avoid fees if you opt to bring only a carry-on bag. Believe it or not, a small bag can be enough to get you through even a long trip — if you pack wisely, that is. Collette Stohler, creative director of travel blog Roamaroo.com, said she traveled around the world for a year and a half with only a carry-on bag. She recommends packing no more than two pairs of shoes, taking only solid-color clothing that can be mixed and matched and wearing layers — including your bulkiest clothing — on the plane.

But even this strategy doesn't work on all airlines. Low-cost carriers like Frontier and Spirit charge for carry-on bags, and some major airlines have started billing passengers for bringing aboard anything other than a small personal item.

"Basic Economy fares from United and American do not include a full-sized carry-on suitcase to go in the overhead bin," said Benjamin Glaser, an editor with DealNews.com.

So, make sure you check airlines' baggage fees before booking a flight. You might find that the cheapest flight won't cost you the least if you have to pay more for your luggage. A flight that costs slightly more might be a better deal if you can take a carry-on or check a bag for free.

Avoid hotel fees

Hotel fees hit a record high of $2.55 billion in 2016, according to a report by New York University's Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. Knowing what you might be charged extra for can help you avoid some of these fees.

For example, hotels are increasingly charging for early check-in, holding luggage until a room is ready or after check-out and guaranteeing a specific room type, according to the study. Be sure to ask about fees before using any hotel service or amenity.

Another way to avoid some fees is to become a member of hotel loyalty programs. "Loyalty programs are usually free to sign up for on a hotel's website, but you can also ask to be registered at check-in," said Rice.

One of the perks you can often get as a member is free WiFi, she said. Some loyalty programs, such as Hilton Honors, offer members discounted room rates and late check-out.

These programs typically allow members to earn points for staying at hotel properties and cash in those points for free stays. Often, as you earn more points, your status increases, and you have access to more benefits. You also can get perks and achieve higher rewards statuses faster with a hotel branded credit card.

Avoid the high cost of food while traveling

The cost of food while traveling can add up quickly if you eat all of your meals at restaurants — or even fast food joints. However, you can avoid eating out for most or all of your meals if you pick your accommodations carefully.

Instead of booking a standard hotel room, look for one with a kitchenette or stay in a vacation rental with a full kitchen. A study commissioned by Wyndham Vacation Rentals found that travelers saved $898 a week by using the kitchens in their vacation rentals rather than dining out. They cooked 12 meals, on average — five breakfasts, four lunches and three dinners.

Staying in a vacation rental property also might help lower your overall lodging costs. According to HomeAway.com, the average price per night for a 1,300-square-foot rental condo is $99. On the other hand, the average price of a hotel room is $118, and the average room size is just 400 square feet. You can find vacation rental properties on sites such as HomeAway.com, VacationRentals.com and VRBO.com.

Avoid unnecessary car rental expenses

If you have to rent a car for your vacation, keep the cost down by avoiding unnecessary fees. "Car rentals agencies always slam you with tons of charges at the last minute," Glaser said. "One avoidable one is additional insurance."

The rental car company will likely offer you the option to buy insurance coverage, but there's a good chance you're already covered.

"Before you travel, call your credit card provider and ask if they will provide collision insurance if you pay for the rental with your card," Glaser said. "Also, check with your own automobile insurance provider to see if they will cover your rental. If either says yes, you likely don't need any more."

You also can save money on rental cars by filling up the gas tank before you drop off the car, rather than prepaying the rental company to refuel it for you. If possible, don't rent a car from the airport, because you'll pay more thanks to concessions fees rental agencies pay to airports — and pass on to consumers.

Avoid foreign transaction fees

If you travel overseas, you could get hit with a variety of fees for using your debit or credit card. For example, your bank might charge you a foreign transaction fee for withdrawing cash from an ATM in a foreign country. Your credit card issuer also might charge you a fee for using your card overseas.

"Today, there are many credit cards and checking accounts that do not charge consumers foreign transaction fees or ATM fees," Rice said. "If you're traveling without one, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on a trip on fees."

She recommends the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, which has no foreign transaction fees. And the Capital One 360 checking account and debit card "allow you to take out money around the world for free," Rice said.

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