Want to live the American dream but don’t have the budget to match? Check out our tips on how to save money on your next trip to the USA.
Be flexible with flights
Trying to figure out when to book flights – what day to fly on and which airport to depart from – is your first challenge, but also your first opportunity to save big bucks. The Telegraph rules out purchasing tickets on a Friday due to price hikes and the likelihood that discounted seats are all sold out. If you’re looking for something a little more specific, check out Skyscanner’s ‘best time to book’ tool which allows customers to set up alerts for when their chosen route is at its cheapest. Be flexible with dates if you can, consider flying mid-week and investigate prices from airports further afield as some larger airports – especially those in London – offer better deals.
Avoid Visa scams
Most tourists entering the USA will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) Visa prior to arrival. You can do so through the official website for around $14. Be wary of fake websites with misleading deals that offer ‘support’ with your application – the process is simple and takes minutes to complete.
Book with your hotel direct
Check out the room rates on official hotel websites as well as those offered by booking websites; secondary websites often charge booking fees so supposed ‘discounts’ are often more expensive than booking direct. What’s more, you might even be even to get additional perks by joining the hotel’s reward programme. It’s often free and includes perks such as free room upgrades, so it’s worth checking out especially if you travel to the US for business and like to stay somewhere you know and trust.
If you travel to the USA frequently with work make sure you record your air miles with a frequent flyers programme. All major international airlines offer their own personalised scheme, which rewards loyal customers with flight discounts and deals based on how often they fly. Check out Huffington Post’s ‘5 Frequent Flyer Programs To Join in 2017’ to weigh up your options and find out which airlines offer the best rewards.
Alternatively, if you can’t yet afford frequent business flights overseas but are thinking about opening an office in the USA or are looking for a way to reach out to a US audience remotely, consider purchasing a toll-free number from Capital Telecom to monitor international engagement.
Your business contacts and customers can contact you directly without a connection fee, and a local number creates the idea that you already have a USA-based office. The package also includes free call reporting, which summarises volume and call patterns, meaning you can closely monitor the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and evaluate whether opening a USA office would be worthwhile.
Take advantage of free travel apps that offer guides, maps and top tips to make the most of your time in the USA without blowing the bank. There are apps for everything from weather and events to restaurant reviews and free Wi-Fi finder, as well as handy currency converters and language translation to make your travels that little bit easier.
It would also be useful to download a comprehensive map of the cities you’re visiting, including an offline version so you don’t have to use up phone data if you can’t find a Wi-Fi hotspot. Maps.me is a great option as it’s free to download and covers smaller, lesser known villages as well as large cities.