Money Saving Tips

Coupons, Vouchers, Promo Codes & Other Stuff

 

There is an old Scottish saying that goes “any fool can spend a pound, but it takes a clever man to save a penny“. None of us like to spend more money than we have to when on vacation.

New Orleans Coupons and New Orleans Online are great websites, with lots of ways in which you can use promo codes when booking excursions and activities on-line, including the Aquarium, Steam Boat Natchez, Gray Line and Mardi Gras World. They also have downloadable coupons to print at home for freebies at restaurants and bars.

Tour company Viator usually have some type of deal when you sign-up to their newsletter. At the time of writing (May 2018) it’s a generous 10% off activities.

Before you click the check-out button on any website, look to see if there is a promo code box.  If so, before paying the full price for your purchase, open another window in your browser and search Google to see if there are discounts up for grabs. Vouchercloud and similar websites may just save you some cash. Many businesses also offer discounts for senior citizens, students, serving members of the military or veterans.

You should also check out this website & this website which give additional great tips on saving money on vacation.

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2 Steps to Save Money when Booking Airline Tickets

Airline ticket prices go up and down on an hourly basis, depending on a number of factors, including how full the flight is and the proximity to the departure date. Generally, it is cheapest to book your flight as far in advance as possible to secure the cheapest deal. However, never book a flight until you have used the Skyscanner Price Comparison Website to check for the cheapest fares for your route.  Skyscanner will search and compare fares across all airlines for either your exact dates, a range of dates, or indeed find the cheapest date,  to suit your budget. You can even use Skyscanner to set-up price alert emails to notify you of any increases or decreases in the fare.  To further guide you in deciding whether to wait a while in case the flight price decreases, check the Air Hint Website  which will give you its recommendation to either buy at today’s price, along with their probability analysis of the fare becoming cheaper.

5 Steps To Save Money When Booking Hotels

Generally, hotel prices become cheaper during the month leading up to your check-in, then rise sharply in the week before. Believe it or not, there are actually days of the week when it is cheaper to make hotel bookings, even for vacations planned many months ahead. Booking a room on a Sunday is the cheapest day of the week to make a reservation. Bookings which are made on a Monday or Tuesday tend to be much more expensive.

Room rates in New Orleans reflect the fact that many party-goers come to town on a weekend. Therefore, if you can avoid staying on a Friday or Saturday night, your average nightly rate will be cheaper than if your stay includes a weekend.

STEP 1 (optional) : You can save money by hiding your geographical location on the web. Believe it or not, the same hotel booking website may offer different prices, depending upon which country the website thinks you reside. You can hide your country of residence by using an anonymising VPN system, which “cloaks” your exact geographical location.  Most are really simple to use. Test this for yourself, using a VPN intermediary search engine such as opera and see if you can save extra money !

STEP 2 : Identify your vacation dates. If possible, try to avoid Friday or Saturday night stays, which are the priciest nights to lodge in New Orleans. Then settle yourself down, on a Sunday, and book a room at one of the 4 or 5 star hotels in the “Safer Zone”, using one of the many “Book now, Pay later” deals available on Expedia or Booking.com . These deals allow you to cancel, without penalty, until quite close to your date of check-in. You don’t ordinarily even need to pay a deposit to make the reservation. This Step 2 reservation is your ‘safety-net’ –  which you always have available, in the unlikely event that you don’t find a cheaper comparable room, using Step 3 below.

STEP 3: In the month leading-up to your vacation, shop around on a hotel comparison website, such as Trivago and get yourself a bargain price at another (or even the same) hotel – as all unsold rooms for immediately forthcoming dates are sold-off at discount prices.  Trivago lets you compare suppliers to get the best deal.

STEP 4: You then cancel your first booking, from Step 2, without penalty. (Be sure however to double-check the terms and conditions, to ensure that you have the ability to cancel your original booking free of charge).

STEP 5: Lastly, after making your final booking, in Step 3, should you be celebrating a special occasion, such as a birthday or wedding anniversary, email the hotel ahead of arrival and say that you’d be delighted if they could offer either a complimentary upgrade or any “extras” on arrival.  To get the best results, email the General Manager of the property (find their contact details on Linkedin or call the hotel).  If you are a contributor to TripAdvisor mention that you’d be pleased to leave very favourable feedback for any special favours which the management could provide. Even if you only get an upgrade to a slightly larger room, a free bottle of wine, or chocolates on arrival, it’s an extra way to make the trip more memorable, without having to pay.

We followed these 5 Steps on our trip to New Orleans in April 2018 and saved 50% on the price quoted for exactly the same room, at the same hotel,  compared to when we first booked it at Step 2 –  and we got a complimentary upgrade to a huge executive room !

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Check out my essential “how to” guide

Check out my 12 Best Things To Do in New Orleans

Discover New Orleans Cuisine

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