Traveling on a budget: Tips for getting the best deals

With so many great online travel deals, loyalty reward programs and member discounts, it makes almost no sense to pay full price for your next vacation. Here’s where to start:

Member discounts

You can often save money on travel, dining and entertainment through your membership in various groups. Look into the member discount programs offered by organizations such as the American Automobile Association, the Seniors Coalition, the ASPCA and hundreds of others. 

Also, college alumni associations and fraternities often have travel packages, and there are countless travel discounts for students, teachers, military personnel, veterans, nurses and government employees.  

Popular travel sites

Use online travel comparison sites to find bargains and compare prices for airfare, hotels, resorts, cruises, rental cars, restaurants and entertainment. Some of the more popular travel sites include Expedia, Hipmunk and Hotwire.1

Free upgrades

Whether you want to upgrade to first class, get a bigger room or drive a more comfortable rental car, all it takes is a little luck – and kindness. Being pleasant with gate agents, hotel clerks and rental car agents can really make a difference in how they treat you. Traveling during the off-season helps, too. 

It never hurts to politely ask for an upgrade, but keep in mind that most companies give preferential treatment to customers who participate in their loyalty reward programs.2 Which brings us to:

Loyalty programs

Most major airlines, hotel chains, cruise lines and rental car agencies have customer loyalty programs. Joining is almost always free and points can be redeemed for free accommodations, travel and rentals.

If you’d rather not to be bound to a certain hotel or airline, consider a credit card that offers points for your spending on multiple travel companies.  

If you’re traveling on a budget, it’s important to protect your investment with the right travel insurance. Nationwide offers affordable travel insurance that could cover you in the event of the unexpected. Learn more about getting travel insurance today.

[1] Sources:

[2] Source:

Nationwide offers this information to help you make decisions that may help you mitigate your risk. Of course, we can't address every possible risk or guarantee these tips will work for you. However, we hope that you will consider which of these may help you in your efforts to protect your family and yourself.