Ready to Travel in 2022? Top 6 Travel Hacks to Save You Money
It is time to be excited! If you love to travel, then you must be thrilled to get on that plane and travel again in 2022. With Australia opening up its borders and many countries around the world achieving high vaccination and letting off restrictions, one thing is obvious:
Travel in 2022 is back baby!
Are you ready to travel in 2022? But not sure where to start or what has changed? There is nothing like a good plan when it comes to travel and after seeing almost 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 some additional perks. Most credit cards with points have a condition of minimal spending, however, with Christmas fast approaching us, this is easy to achieve to enjoy your free flight in 2022.
The great news is, we have done all the research and this is the best credit card to get for travellers from Australia and the USA.
A. If you are from the USA the absolute best travel credit card isThe 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 in 2022 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 and it is THE card for travel in 2022. Sign up through our AMEX friend referral link you will get not 100,000 but 150,000 points!
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 2021!
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.
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 in 2022, 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 in 2022 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 in 2022.
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!
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 5 purchases each month and you’ll get a free ATM withdrawal in Australia and internationally.
Best Debit Card for Aussie to travel in 2022 with – 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.
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 in 2022.
While booking websites such as Skyscanner or Expedia 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!
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 maybe flying into Dublin or 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.
There are so many other options you might consider when you travel in 2022. 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 actually cheaper than a one way. There are so many good travel hacks to save money big time. Make sure 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 honestly, from my experience checking Expedia 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% 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 Expedia, The Expedia Rewards Program lets you earn points and save on everything you book. The points can be used to offset your booking price in the future.
Another one of our favourite travel hacks for travel in 2022 is to get cheaper accommodation
5. Stay somewhere for free – Try house-sitting
If you are a budget traveller or even backpacker and the idea of hanging out with a local and maybe crashing on someone’s couch excites you, then I highly recommend taking a look at Couchsurfing.
But you don’t have to sleep on someone’s couch to stay for free when you travel in 2022. 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.
Love pets? How about house sitting on your next holiday vacation? A great travel hack to stay somewhere really nice for free
We have done plenty of house-sitting virtually across the world for many friends before joining actual house-sitting websites. Now we look back and think why on earth we haven’t done this before. 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.
6. Travel in 2022 is different – Covid-19 changed a few things!
There is no doubt that travel in 2022 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.
Travel in 2022 – Make sure you research your destination and respect the local laws in place
So how to travel in 2022 and be prepared?
This might not save you money before you go, but it will most likely do so once you are there, as you will be prepared. Being denied entry because you didn’t get a PCR test or have the wrong mask to board the flight can make your trip stressful.
Research your destination and the condition of entry: Do you need a visa? Valid PCR test? Proof of vaccination? What about the airline you fly with – do they have a vaccination policy for travel in 2022?
What’s your destination like? Are there still restrictions you need to obey? Maybe they have a night curfew? Are masks required? If so when and where?
Most importantly do some research about the vaccination rate in that country. As a rule of thumb, you will probably be free to do more things and also feel comfortable as a tourist in places such as Iceland, Denmark, Portugal, Canada, Chile, or UEA as these countries were leading with their vaccination rate at the end of 2021.
Countries with lower uptake might scramble to restrictions to control cases in the future. Let’s hope this is not the case, but knowing what to expect is key.
And that’s it! 6 helpful points for how to travel in 2022 cheaper, smarter, and hopefully with a free flight, a new debit card with no ATM fees internationally, free accommodation when you house sit, or a great deal with one of the online websites.
And don’t forget to send a postcard to your mum when you get there – that’s always priceless. :)
A coffee lover, history junkie, former tour guide, and endless optimist. The mastermind of logistics and chief navigator for Very Hungry Nomads, two women on an adventure to visit EVERY country in the world. Marty is a social butterfly who describes her life as “just livin’ the dream".