Travel in 2022? 5 Smart Travel Hacks to Save You Money ready to go

Post updated Jan, 2024

Are you ready to travel somewhere new this year?

There is nothing like a good plan when it comes to travel, and after visiting every country in the world, we want to share our tips to save you some cash.

Our 6 Travel Hacks to Save you Money on your Next Trip

1. Get your flight for free! Choose the right credit card with points right now!

There has never been a better time than NOW to sign up for a credit card with good Frequent Flyer points and additional perks.

Most credit cards with points have a condition of minimal spending. It doesn’t take long to accumulate the points to enjoy your free flight next year.

The great news is, we have done all the research, and this is the best credit card for travellers from Australia and the USA.

A. If you are from the USA the absolute best travel credit card is The Chase Saphire Reserve Card – High annual fee, but it gives you better benefits than any other credit card on the market.

B. The Best Credit Card for Travel for Australians: American Express Explorer Credit Card.

This is the one credit card we have and absolutely love. We have done a lot of research and the AMEX Explorer card offers the best deal, which is THE card for travel.

Sign up through our AMEX friend referral link you will get not 100,000 but 150,000 points!

Travel in 2022? 5 Smart Travel Hacks to Save You Money AMEX Explorer Credit Card

Here is why:

  • You get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.  Unless you use this link to get 150,000 points!
  • You’ll also get two complimentary entries per year to the American Express Lounge, located at Sydney or Melbourne International Airport. Great lounge btw!
  • Yes, the card membership costs $400 per year, BUT you will get $400 travel credit to match it which you can spend on flight, hotel, or now you can even spend it at Harvey Norman by the end of 2022!
  • Of course, it comes with International Travel Insurance. I still recommend getting comprehensive Travel Insurance with World Nomads as the AMEX policy has caps on payout (up to $1000 for a single trip for example). However, I had to claim previously with AMEX for some cancelled flights and they were great and I got money back for something I thought was a lost cause.
  • You earn 2 points for every dollar spent and earn additional 3 points per $1 (up to 40,000 points) on top of the standard earn rate when you save the American Express Shop Small offer on your card and spend at participating small businesses. Really great way to support small shopping.
  • Points are not capped and don’t expire. 
Travel in 2022? 5 Smart Travel Hacks to Save You Money Qatar plane

And now for the best part. Why AMEX Explorer Credit Card is my Number 1:

You can transfer your points to a choice of 8 airline partner programs – Asia Miles™, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Malaysian Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, THAI Royal Orchid Plus, and Air New Zealand Airpoints™.

And I have done the hard work for you. Once you earn your points with your AMEX card and you are ready to travel, transfer your points to Asia Miles, which is the FF program of Cathey Pacific. 

Now I know you might say, but I usually fly with Qantas or Qatar, etc. Well, Asia Miles has 26 airline partners. That’s right. This means your earned points can be spent on 26 airlines when you travel and beyond!

You can book flights with American Airlines, British Airways, Qatar, Fiji Airways, Lufthansa, and many more.

What a win! Definitely one of the best travel hacks to save you money on travel.

I should mention the interest rate, although I just pay my bill every month. No exceptions. The introductory interest rate of 3.99% p.a. on new purchases for the first 6 months, 19.99% p.a. 

2. Never pay international fees for ATM or purchases again. Ever!

If you are still paying for international fees from ATMs or for any purchases when you travel, well, I am about to save you money with this simple travel hack!

No, I am not going to propose to change banks; you just need to sign up for the Everyday account with ING Direct. We love it so much that we wrote an entire post here – Best Debit Card for Australians.

But in a nutshell, get a new account with ING Direct – it’s quick, and everything is done online. Your card will be sent to your address.

Then deposit $1000 each month and make five purchases each month, and you’ll get a free ATM withdrawal in Australia and up to 5 withdrawals per month internationally.

Travel in 2022 Travel hacks Ing Direct
Best Debit Card for Aussies to travel – ING Direct. No fees!

Essentially you withdraw money and you will see the fee being charged first, then you receive a rebate in the next 24 hours. I have literally saved $1000 in fees per year when travelling.

And I love their savings account too.

BONUS TIP – Consider getting a Wise Account 

3. Consider a different flying route to save big!

Ok. Let’s say you didn’t take up us on that suggestion to apply for AMEX Explorer Card to book a free flight with your points. Or maybe you doing more flights or have already spent your points.

One of the best ways to get a cheaper flight is to consider a different route. Yes, I agree that you might get a great deal from a good travel agent if you are in Australia as they have access to wholesale prices. But trust me on this, you can often find a much cheaper route by simply flying in a different way.

And it has to be one of our favourite travel hacks to save money on travel.

While booking websites such as Skyscanner or CheapOair are now helping to plan trips “everywhere”, this is still a largely manual process and you just need to think outside of the box.

And yes, both websites can definitely save you money as you can often book cheaper flights with them, rather than with the airline directly!

Travel in 2022? 5 Smart Travel Hacks to Save You Money plane
Best travel hacks to save you money on travel in 2022 – Be creative with your flight routes.

Let me explain how you can save more money on your flight:

Maybe you wish to visit Paris and you live in Sydney. 

The flights are expensive and you are going one way. I just did a quick search for a specific date next month and flights were around $1300 one way. 

But when I look at flights from Sydney to London on the same date, I get great options around $850 pp. Great airline, quick connection via Dubai, Doha, or Singapore. 

Of course, I am trying to get to Paris, not London. So I look up flights to connect those two cities – London to Paris costs on average around $100. 

This means I would save $700 for the two of us just by flying from Sydney to London instead and purchasing an additional flight from London to Paris. 

It is a longer way to fly, but hey I would much rather spend the $700 in Paris and put up with the extra few hours in London to connect.

Of course, you need to check if the times would connect well and ensure you are flying into the same airport in London. But flying into Dublin, Madrid, or any other major capital might work.

You get the idea… Be creative

A few years ago, we flew from NYC to Vienna. The direct flights were around USD$800. Crazy.

We searched for flights to every other capital in Europe, and we found a flight with American Airlines to Dublin for $200 pp and a connecting flight with Ryanair for $50 to get from Dublin to Vienna. 

So instead of $800 per person, we paid $250 each and saved a whopping $1100 and literally had 2 hours at Dublin airport. Yes, we had to collect and recheck luggage, but this is also one reason why we do travel with carry-on luggage these days.

We love the freedom that our Osprey 40L backpacks allow us.

Marty has recently upgraded to the new Samsonite Stack’d Quick Entry Carry-On Spinner Suitcase for our continued travels around the world! She loves it! 

There are so many other options you might consider when you travel—using low-cost airlines. Connecting with a train if flying to Europe (Fly to Amsterdam and take the train to Brussels or Paris).

Looking at Open-jaw tickets and sometimes booking a return flight is cheaper than a one-way. There are so many good travel hacks to save money big time.

Ensure you read our more detailed guide on how to find and book cheap flights.

4. Get the best deals on accommodation

Everyone loves a nice hotel for a great price. And how do you find it? Well, from my experience Agoda and Booking.com are the best resources to get the best price. 

Sign in, and both websites will award you too.

Booking.com has its genius level – which means that once you reach it you get 10 – 15% off all bookings, forever. It definitely works as I have enquired to book directly with hotels and they couldn’t beat the price of Booking.com with genius level. 

As for Agoda, they’ve always got super sales on hotels and amazing accommodation options worldwide. Be sure to download their app and watch price drops for the destination you’re travelling to next.

Travel in 2022? 5 Smart Travel Hacks to Save You Money accomodation
Another one of our favourite travel hacks for travel in 2022 is to get cheaper accommodation

5. Stay somewhere for free – Try housesitting

If you are a budget traveller or backpacker and the idea of hanging out with a local and maybe crashing on someone’s couch excites you, then I highly recommend looking at Couchsurfing

But you don’t have to sleep on someone’s couch to stay for free when you travel.

Let me introduce you to house-sitting and exactly how this could see you living somewhere for free! Think London, Sydney, or somewhere on the Caribbean Island.

The concept is pretty simple. People who leave home for a period of time (could be a week or month or even longer) and wish for someone to look after their home or most likely their pets or garden. They join a website to find a suitable house sitter.

You as a house sitter join the same website after paying a fee, create a profile, and then simply pitch/request to house sit according to your preferences. They approve you as their house sitter and you are all set.

Travel in 2022 - house sit
Love pets? How about house sitting on your next holiday vacation? A great travel hack to stay somewhere really nice for free

Interested to learn more? We wrote a detailed post about how to become a House Sitter and travel the world for free.

We have done plenty of house-sitting virtually worldwide for many friends before joining actual house-sitting websites. Now we look back and wonder why we haven’t done this on earth. It’s like a free holiday!

If house sitting around the world interests you, check out Trusted Housesitters, the best house sitting website out there. If you join with our personal invite, receive 25% off your membership fee!

6. Travel these days – it’s back at 100%

There is no doubt that travel now is different to travel in 2019. But we have been here before.

Travel prior to 9/11 looked very different, you used to just walk right in with your big bottle of water, a nail file in your bag, and your oversized carry-on bag had many items that are now banned. 

We knew travel is going to change as soon as the pandemic started and even wrote a blog about how travel will change after Coronavirus and it’s scary to see most of our travel predictions come true. 

Travel in 2022? 5 Smart Travel Hacks to Save You Money - restrictions
Travel – Make sure you research your destination and respect the local laws in place

Get Connected with eSIM

Get connected the easy way when you’re travelling – and buy an eSIM! An eSIM works like an app: buy it, download it, and get connected within minutes! It’s easy, affordable, and convenient. Keep your original phone number too!

Read more about how an eSIM works or click below to see which eSIM data plan you need for your next adventure. Use our referral code: RACHEL5045 to get $3 off your first purchase!

And that’s it! Six helpful points for travelling cheaper, smarter, and hopefully with a free flight!

Get a new debit card with no ATM fees internationally, score some free accommodation when you house sit, or snag a great deal with one of the online websites mentioned in this post. 

And don’t forget to send a postcard to your mum when you get there – that’s always priceless.

More Travel Tips & Inspiration

We love to share our knowledge of traveling, and you may enjoy reading our top 6 travel hacks to save you money and our ultimate packing list for travellers.

For the food lovers out there, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for foodies! And, if you’re more interested in history, these 30 amazing historical places in the world will fascinate you! 

Perhaps you’re travelling on a budget? These 10 cheapest countries in Europe to visit may be just the tool you need to start planning an epic trip.

But, here are 8 things to know about traveling to Eastern Europe and it’s good to know these 7 misconceptions about Eastern Europe too.

Or, perhaps these 21 Cheapest Countries to Visit Right Now is just the thing you’ve been searching for. 

We’ve got a bunch of tips for how you can save money to travel the world, and even when you’re out there travelling, maybe these 20 jobs that PAY YOU to travel the world will help you travel longer. It worked for us, and we bet it can work for you too.

And, if you’re planning a new trip, whether it’s for a week, a month, or even a few years, consider buying an eSIM to stay connected. This is our favorite travel product, and you can read more about what is in eSIM and why eSIM is so convenient for International Travel.

Check out the travel gear we use on the road, and for the products and websites we recommend to plan new trips, head to our Travel Resources Page.