20 Best Travel Hacks to Save your Money (2024 Guide)

Annette Anthony

Annette Anthony

Last updated 08 July, 2024

Planning a trip can be exciting, but it can also strain your budget and time if you're not careful. Whether you're a seasoned traveller or prepping for your first adventure, saving money without sacrificing the quality of your trip is always a win.

In this guide, we've compiled the 20 best travel hacks for 2024 that will help you make the most of your journey while keeping your wallet happy. From booking tips to packing secrets, these strategies will ensure you have an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.

Let's dive in and discover how you can travel smarter and more affordably!

Table of Contents


Best Travel Hacks to Save your Money and Time 

Here's the list you're waiting for, and why we'd recommend you try that hack!

#1 Book flights on a private browser tab

Booking flights on a private or incognito browser can save you hundreds of dollars. This is because airline websites use cookies to track your search history and increase the prices accordingly. By using a private browser tab (and this international travel hack!), you can avoid this price inflation and get the best deals on flights.

#2 Take advantage of the sharing economy

The sharing economy is one of many funny travel hacks to use when travelling. It provides access to cheaper accommodation, quirky tour guides, rideshare options, and home-cooked meals with local chefs. Locals also know where to find deals, which supermarkets are most affordable, and where to find the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bars.

#3 Look for last-minute deals

Waiting until an hour or so before the starting time can save you upwards of 50% on tickets, as retailers often drastically cut costs to fill empty spots, especially for tours, live shows, and even spa treatments.

#4 Be open to free activities

Bigger cities often have free activities worth checking out that provide an authentic feel for the city. Local markets, museums, and historical sites can offer free activities, and if you go somewhere all-inclusive, don't forget to check out the activities put on by your hotel.

#5 Budget for one splurge meal each day

Designating one meal each day to be in a nicer or trendier restaurant and opting for snacks or takeaway meals for the other two can help save money. Hitting up the hotel's free breakfast, swinging by a local grocery store for lunch, and keeping a stash of snacks in your hotel room can also help balance the splurge meal.

#6 Take advantage of free hotel amenities

Leveraging the hotel's amenities as much as possible can help cut costs. Use the WiFi to download maps and tickets to save on roaming fees, ask the hotel staff for affordable restaurant recommendations, and utilise any shuttles provided. Remember to take advantage of the complimentary breakfast, even if it's not a five-star spread. In fact, if you think about it, this is also a travel hack for travelling light!

#7 Pack light

Now, travel hacks for packing are beneficial for avoiding checked bag fees, navigating public transit more easily, and avoiding the temptation to pay for souvenirs. Look for clothes you can wash easily in a sink, dry quickly, and mix and match.

#8 Shop at local grocery stores

Visiting local markets can be an adventure on its own, and having food on hand means you'll likely save money, as you'll be less tempted to buy overpriced items from tourist traps.

#9 Pack snacks

Packing snacks from home can save money, as you'll be less tempted to buy expensive snacks while on the go. Look for protein-heavy items like jerky and protein bars, and pack a reusable water bottle to avoid buying bottled water.

#10 Gain a deeper understanding of travel costs

Being aware of general prices can help you avoid being overcharged with an unofficial "tourist tax." Look up average taxi costs, restaurant prices, and admission fees before your trip.

#11 Use credit card rewards and sign-up bonuses

Sign up for travel credit cards, let your miles pile up, and then enjoy free flights.

⭐HSBC CC Lucky Draw⭐: Apply for an HSBC Credit Card and get the chance to win a Mercedes-Benz EQB or 86,000 KrisFlyer miles (enough for a round-trip economy class ticket to Paris). Get up to 30+ chances to win when you apply for HSBC Credit Cards and spend a minimum of S$500. Valid till 23 September 2024. T&Cs apply.

SingSaver Exclusive Offer: Enjoy the following rewards when you sign up for an HSBC Live+ Credit Card:

HSBC_Live+Blurb_KV1_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

Receive a FLUJO SmartTrax Standing Desk (worth S$699) or a Dyson AM07 (worth S$459) or a Sony WF-1000XM5 (worth S$429) or S$300 eVoucher (Redeem from Merchants such as Shopee, Grab) upon activating and spending min. S$500 by end of the following calendar month from the card account opening date and providing marketing consent. Valid till 21 July 2024. T&Cs apply.

HSBC_Live+Blurb_KV2_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

Get up to S$900 worth of vouchers and cashback with Live+:

  • S$300 eVoucher when you sign up with SingSaver
  • S$100 cashback from HSBC when you charge 1 qualifying transaction (T&Cs)
  • up to S$500 cashback from Live+ Card over 6 months (based on 8% cashback capped at S$250 per quarter)

Rewards Upgrade Campaign_BLOGARTICLE_800x250 (1)

⬆️Reward Upgrade Campaign⬆️: Upgrade your rewards when you top up as low as S$100. Valid till 31 July 2024. T&Cs apply.

  • S$100 for an Apple iPad 10th Gen 10.9 wifi 64GB worth (S$529.00)
  • S$250 for an Apple Watch Series 9 (GPS), 41mm worth (S$604.50)
  • S$200 for a Sony HT-AX7 Portable Theatre System worth (S$769.00)
  • S$588 for a Sony ZV-1M2 Vlog Camera worth (S$1,209.00)
  • S$980 for a Macbook Air 13" 256GB M3 worth (S$1,599.00)
  • S$1,099 for an Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB worth (S$1,664.25)

#12 Book during shoulder season - but what is that?

Travelling during shoulder season, between high and low seasons, can save you money on flights and accommodation. Prices are lower with smaller crowds, too.

#13 Use public transportation

Buses, trains, or subways can save you money compared to taxis or rideshares. They're often more efficient and allow you to experience the local culture.

#14 Book accommodations with kitchens

Booking accommodations with kitchens, such as Airbnb or vacation rentals, can save you money on meals. Cook your food and skip eating out for every meal.

#15 Use travel hacking techniques

Travel hacking involves using credit card rewards, airline miles, and hotel points to book free or discounted travel. It requires research and planning, but if you hit the jackpot, you have more money to spend on other parts of your holiday!

#16 Book early for popular events or attractions

If you have a specific plan in mind, like a popular event or visit a must-see attraction, book your tickets as early as possible. Prices often increase as the event or attraction gets closer.

#17 Use a travel agent

While it may seem counterintuitive, using a travel agent can save you money. They often have access to discounted rates and packages that aren't available to the general public.

#18 Travel during off-peak times

Travelling during off-peak times, such as weekdays , can reduce flight and accommodation costs. Not only that, the crowds tend to be smaller, too!

#19 Use a travel rewards credit card

A travel rewards credit card can help you gain miles or points per dollar spent, which you can redeem for free flights, hotel stays, or other travel-related expenses.

#20 Allow flexibility in your travelling dates

This hack gives you the chance to save money on flights and accommodation. Prices often vary depending on the day of the week or month of the year.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are travel hacks to save money worth it?

Travel hacking can be worth it if you do it properly. Travel hackers can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on flights, hotel stays, and other travel expenses by leveraging credit card rewards, airline miles, and hotel points. The primary benefits of travel hacking include increased savings, access to exclusive experiences and perks, and flexibility in customising your travel experiences.

How can I travel the world easily?

To travel the world effortlessly, leverage the sharing economy. Websites like Airbnb and EatWith offer affordable accommodations, unique tour guides, rideshare options, and home-cooked meals with local chefs. These services can vary based on your destination, but give you a diverse and enriching travel experience. Locals often know where to find the best deals, which supermarkets are cheapest, and where to find the tastiest food at the lowest prices.

How do I get the most out of my travel?

To get the most out of your travel, set a specific travel goal and leverage rewards to save money and get more out of your trips. Look for opportunities to earn bonus miles and points, and use them before they expire. Be flexible with locations and travel timings to find the best deals.

How to travel when you don't have money?

To travel when you don't have money, take advantage of free activities, such as local markets, museums, and historical sites. Use public transportation instead of taxis or rideshares, and book accommodations with kitchens to save money on meals. Consider travel hacking by signing up for travel credit cards and collecting miles and points to book free or discounted travel.

Should I travel when I'm broke?

It's generally not advisable to travel when you're broke. Travel can be expensive, and going into debt to fund a trip can lead to financial difficulties down the line. If you're short on cash, consider saving up for your trip or finding ways to earn extra money to fund your travels.

How to get a free plane ticket?

To earn a free plane ticket, consider signing up for travel credit cards that provide generous sign-up bonuses and ongoing rewards for spending. Additionally, leverage airline loyalty programs and credit card rewards programs to accumulate miles and points through daily purchases.

How to backpack with no money?

To backpack with no money, use the sharing economy to find cheap accommodation and transportation. Take advantage of free things to do to add on your itinerary, such as walking tours and visiting local markets. Cut costs by cooking your own meals with groceries from nearby stores. Look into volunteering or working for accommodation through programs like WWOOF or Workaway.


Best Miles & Travel Credit Cards

Maximise your budget holiday spend even further with the best air miles credit cards and best credit cards for travelling in Singapore. Get rewarded whenever you spend locally or overseas, plus access awesome perks like airport lounges, discounted travel insurance rates, and even free gifts for first sign ups!

Credit Card Best for/Benefits Details Min. Annual Income
Citi PremierMiles Card

 

- S$1 = 10 miles on Bookings at Kaligo

- S$1 = 7 miles on Hotel Bookings at Agoda

- S$1 = 2 miles on Foreign Spend
 
- S$1 = 1.2 miles on Local Spend
 
- 2 free airport lounge visits per year with Priority Pass

- Up to S$1 million complimentary Travel Insurance coverage when you charge travel tickets to card
- Miles awarded as Citi Miles, which never expire

- S$27 per redemption

- Annual fee: S$196.20 (First year free)
 - Local/PR: S$30,000

- Foreigner: S$42,000
DBS Altitude Card
DBSAltitudeVisaSignatureCard-e1568109609752


 

- S$1 = 3 miles on Agoda Bookings

- S$1 = 2.2 miles on Foreign Spend
 
- S$1 = 1.3 miles on Local Spend
 
- 2 free airport lounge visits per year with Priority Pass
- Miles awarded as DBS Points, which never expire
 
- 5,000 DBS Points = 10,000 KrisFlyer Miles

- S$27.25 (incl. GST) per redemption

- Annual fee: S$196.20 (First year free)
- Local/PR: S$30,000

- Foreigner: S$45,000
OCBC 90°N Miles Card
OCBC_90N_VISA-1
OCBC_90N_MASTERCARD_UPDATED
- S$1 = 1.3 miles on Local Spend
 
- S$1 = 2.1 miles on Foreign Spend
 
- S$1 = 7 miles on Agoda Bookings in Foreign Currency
 
- S$1 = 6 miles on Agoda Bookings in Local Currency
- 90°N Miles never expire
 
- 1 90°N Mile = 1 KrisFlyer Mile
 
- 90°N Miles can be redeemed per blocks of 1,000 Miles
 
- Exchange 90°N Miles for cash rebates, vouchers, or offset travel costs too
 
- Annual fee: S$196.20 (Frist year free)
- Local/PR: S$30,000
 
- Foreigner = S$45,000
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card
Maybank-Horizon-Visa-Signature-Card-1

- S$1 = 2.8 miles on Overseas Spend and Air Tickets (All Airlines)*

- S$1 = 1.2 miles on Local Retail Spend^ on Shopping, Dining, Food Delivery, Supermarket, Transport, Hotels, Cruises, Travel Packages, Car Rentals

- S$1 = 0.25 miles on Utilities, Education, Insurance, and Medical expenses

- Complimentary access to Selected VIP Airport Lounges

- Up to S$1 million Complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage

- Min. S$800 spend per month required, otherwise 1.2 mpd only
 
- Miles awarded in the form of TREATS Points
 
- *Capped at 40,000 Bonus TREATS Points per calendar month for Air Tickets. Up to 3.2 mpd for a limited time only. T&Cs apply.
 
- ^No min. spend, no cap
- Annual fee: S$196.20 (First 3 years free)
- Local/PR: S$30,000

- Malaysian Citizen: S$45,000

- Foreigner: S$60,000

UOB PRVI Miles Card
UOB_PRIVIMILES_MASTER
uob-prvi-resized-e1548402137533-2uob-prvi-amex-resized-3

- S$1 = 6 miles on Selected Online and Flight Bookings at Agoda, Expedia, and UOB Travel

- S$1 = 2.4 miles on Overseas Spend

- S$1 = 1.4 miles on Local Spend

- Up to S$500,000 complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage
- Miles awarded as UNI$
 
- S$25 per redemption

- Annual fee: S$261.60 (First year free)
- Local/PR: S$30,000

- Foreigner: S$40,000

HSBC TravelOne Card
HSBC TravelOne

- S$1 = 2.4 miles on Foreign Spend
 
- S$1 = 1.2 miles on Local Spend
 
- 4 Complimentary Airport Lounge Visits per year (Primary cardholders only)
 
- Up to US$100,000 Complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage (including COVID-19)
25,000 Rewards Points = 10,000 Miles
 
5 free supplementary cards
 
No conversion fee for air miles or hotel points (Until 31 May 2024)
 
Annual fee: S$196.20 (First year free)
- Local/PR: S$30,000

- Foreigner/Self-Employed: S$40,000

Standard Chartered Journey Card
SC_Card_OM_Journey_20220816-AssetA-RGB-2500px_HENRY YEO

- S$1 = 2 miles on Foreign Spend
 
- S$1 = 1.2 miles on Local Spend
 
- S$1 = 3 miles on Select Local Online Categories like Transportation, Grocery, and Food Delivery*
 
- 2 Complimentary Priority Pass Airport Lounge Visits per year
 
- Up to S$500,000 Complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage
- Rewards Points never earned from SC Journey Card never expire
 
- 25,000 Rewards Points = 10,000 KrisFlyer Miles
 
- *Capped at S$1,000 spend per statement month
 
- 45% off MSIG TravelEasy Travel Insurance (Single Trip) (Valid till 30 Jun 2024)
 
- Annual fee: S$196.20 (First year free)
- Local/PR: S$30,000

- Foreigner: S$60,000

KrisFlyer UOB Card
KrisFlyerUOBCreditCard

- S$1 = 3 miles on Everyday Spend (e.g. Dining, Online Food Delivery, Online Shopping, Online Travel, Local Transport)*
 
- S$1 = 3 miles on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, KrisShop, and Kris+ purchases
 
- S$1 = 1.2 miles on All Other Spend
 
- Up to S$500,000 Complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage
 
- Fast track to KrisFlyer Elite Silver Status
 
- Other Membership Privileges on Scoot
- *Min. S$800 annual spend on Singapore Airlines, Scoot, and KrisShop required
 
- Earn KrisFlyer Miles directly to KrisFlyer Membership Account
 
- No cap on miles earned but only credited within 2 months of paying annual fee
 
- Annual fee: S$196.20 (First year free) 
- Local/PR: S$30,000

- Foreigner: S$40,000

AMEX Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
AMEX_SINGAPORE_AIRLINES_KRISFLYER

- S$1 = 1.1 miles on Local Spend

- S$1 = 2 miles on Foreign Spend during June and December

- S$1 = 2 miles on Singapore Airlines-Related Spend

- S$1 = 3.1 miles on Grab Singapore Transactions, capped at S$200 per month

-S$1 = 0.5 miles on Singapore Airlines Instalment Plans via PaySmall for eligible purchases

- Up to S$350,000 Complimentary Travel Insurance coverage

- Exclusive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Loyalty Programme Perks

- Earn KrisFlyer Miles directly to KrisFlyer Membership Account
 
- Annual fee: S$179.85 (First year free)
Subject to American Express' approval

AMEX Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

AMEX_SINGAPORE_AIRLINES_KRISFLYER_ASCEND

 

- S$1 = 1.2 miles on Local Spend

- S$1 = 2 miles on Foreign Spend during June and December

- S$1 = 2 miles on Singapore Airlines-Related Spend

- S$1 = 3.2 miles on Grab Singapore Transactions, capped at S$200 per month

- Up to S$1 million Complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage

- Exclusive Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Loyalty Programme Perks

- Earn KrisFlyer Miles directly to KrisFlyer Membership Account
 
- Annual fee: S$343.35 (First year free)
Subject to American Express' approval

HSBC Revolution Card
HSBC-Revolution-New

- S$1 = 4 miles on Online and Contactless Spend (e.g.Shopping, Groceries, Dining, Food Delivery, Ride-hailing)

- S$1 = 0.4 miles on All Other Spend

- Up to S$300,000 Complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage

- Capped at S$1,000 spend / 9,000 Bonus Rewards Points per calendar month
 
- No annual fee
- Local/PR: S$30,000

- Foreigner/Self-employed: S$40,000

Citi Rewards Card
CITI_REWARDS_MASTER

- S$1 = 4 miles on Selected Online Transactions (e.g. Shopping, Ride-hailing, Food Delivery, Groceries) and In-Store Shopping

- S$1 = 4 miles on All Other Retail Spend

- Up to S$1 million Complimentary Travel Insurance Coverage

- Capped at S$1,000 spend / 9,000 Bonus Rewards Points per statement month
 
- Annual fee: S$196.20 (First year free)
- Local/PR: S$30,000

- Foreigner: S$42,000

Read these next: 

HSBC Live+ Card Review (2024): Earn 8% Cashback On The Things You Love

What is Cashback And How Does it Work?

Best Credit Cards to Use in Japan

Best Credit Card Flight Promotions and Discounts 2024

How to Apply For a Credit Card in Singapore

 

FINANCIAL TIP:

Use a personal loan to consolidate your outstanding debt at a lower interest rate!

Sign up for our newsletter for financial tips, tricks and exclusive information that can be personalised to your preferences!