7 Tips for the Tech Savvy Traveler

Tech Savvy Gay Travel Tips

Walk into a room filled with a gaggle of gays and the conversation will turn to travel within five minutes. Gays and travel are synonymous. How do we afford it? By bcoming a tech savvy traveler with tips like these.

Whether it’s the middle of summer or winter, we have a penchant for escaping and taking a vacation. It doesn’t matter if you were stuck in the sweltering traffic or scraping the ice off your car windows, aren’t you wishing you could click your heels and ride the rainbow to a sunny beach and refreshing drink? Forget Calgon. Technology, take us away!

When bath salts just won’t do the trick, tech can help you get away. Below are seven ways; websites and apps (16 in all) that can lower your travel costs. The best way to travel to the envy of your friends is to do it money conscious so you can do it more. Who doesn’t like doing it more? With planning, you can time that beach body you’ve been working on and your new sexy Andrew Christian square cuts and glisten.

Tech Savvy Alerts

Just like notifications from Grindr, Scruff and yes, Facebook, travel sites have gotten in the game with an attempt to lure you into their lair. The exception is you can get what you are hoping for in the form of deals and savings. Sites like Airfare Watchdog and Jet Setter keep you posted on hot deals on places and airfare you’re lusting to travel.

Work it and don’t hop on the first guy offer you get. Do a little digging and make sure you fill out the options to get exactly or as close to what you want. Let them find you rather than you scouring the internet.

This app is amazing for help saving money for future travel.

Discount Codes

The word “coupon” scares most of you as much as Coach saying, “hit the showers!” In this case, though, couponing can be done in the privacy of your own bedroom.

When booking hotel rooms, airline tickets or rental cars, there’s usually a field on the site to add a discount code near where you provide your credit card information.  Instead of wondering how anyone gets a code, get one yourself.

Sites such as Retail Me Not provide discount codes for all sorts of things. For your pending vacation, find one for your hotel stay, airline ticket and car rental. Discounts range from a few dollars to 40% off. Retail Me Not also offers vouchers for free meals at hotels and bonus reward points and miles for hotels and airlines. If the stars are aligned, you may be able to use your existing hotel and airline rewards with the discount code.

Swap or Stay With Someone Else

Sounds crazy, huh?  House swapping is all the rage in travel. We all have friends and family spread across the country and even the world. Of course, you love to visit with them, but what if you both want to get away? Swap your homes with each other on the same dates and enjoy being a tourist without the tourist expenses.

If that sounds too weird or if you don’t have friends (j/k), register with Home Around the World, which is exclusively LGBT, Home Exchange or LGHEI, also exclusively LGBT. These sites make home swapping or staying with strangers easier. They expand your destination options and provide the benefits of a free place to stay. Plus, with Home Around the World and LGHEI, you get the security of staying with or in a home where you feel safer.

Home Around the World has a 1-year fee of approximately $60 and a 2-year fee for $75. The site is British and you will be charged in Pound Sterling. Home Exchange charges a fee of $150 per year, which is considerably cheaper than staying in a hotel or vacation rental. LGHEI has an annual fee of $35. LGHEI is designed as a way for travelers to stay a short period, one to three days, with a host at minimal or no cost.

If you have a second home or vacation home, sign up at The Vacation Exchange and swap houses with others who also have a second home or vacation home. The Vacation Exchange Network has a membership fee, too.

Finally, there’s Misterbandb. This isn’t a home exchange site, but it doesn’t easily fit into our other categories. Misterbandb is like Airbnb but with a rainbow twist and possibly great touristy advice from a landlord. Misterbandb is not related to Airbnb.

All of these options are especially beneficial if you’re traveling with other families or in a large group. Pull out your apron and chef’s hat and use the kitchen to whip up brunch, lunch or dinner to cut costs a bit and relax at “home.” We went to Breckenridge for a long weekend with other couples to go snowshoeing and snowboarding. Each couple was assigned a different meal and this helped us save a lot of money, as opposed to eating out each meal. Between splitting the costs of the home and the food, we had a very nice money conscious vacation.

Pay in Advance

We know you have a “must see/do” section on your vacation list. Many locations now sell tickets online or on your phone. After you save in advance, pay in advance and you’ll have a better idea of how much your vacation will really cost.

Another slick money conscious move is to use apps such as Groupon and Living Social. All you need to do is change your location and you can start locating nearby deals. Both sites are great for you “ladies” looking to relax with a spa treatment or massage because both have a huge selection of offers in most cities.

Not the Coupons

That’s right, the real deal is still the real deal when traveling, especially with friends and family.

With the proper planning, you can download coupons for groceries and restaurants to which you want to visit. Sites such as Coupons.com and The Krazy Coupon Lady offer more coupons than one needs. Some coupons are text to your phone. That is more convenient than lugging an envelope of coupons.

Another option is to download The Coupons App. The Coupons App offers discounts to stores, gas stations, and restaurants.  If you’re shopping or driving, you’ll have valuable coupons at your fingertips.

As a side note, a very very scientific study done in a Facebook group of 45,000+ gays, over 60% said they didn’t mind when a first date uses a coupon. If they don’t why should you?

Gift Card Discounts

Tech savvy travelers are always looking for the angle and here’s a sneaky trick you can use anytime, but it’s really good for keeping vacation costs down. No one says you can only gift gift cards. Sites such as Gift Card Granny and Card Cash offer a wide variety of discount gift cards including gift cards for clothing and other retail stores, movie theaters, spas, airlines and car rentals. Buy gift cards at a discount for yourself to use when you travel.

The key is planning ahead and being flexible. Just as shopping at Nordstrom Rack is hit or miss, these sites are, too.

Is That a Phone or Are You Happy to See Me?

Use the powerful mini computer in your pocket. There are zillions of travel apps. Apps such as Travel Zoo offer hotel and airline discounts, entertainment, and local attractions. Travel Zoo offers discounts in other countries including the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Canada and more.

Larky is like Grindr for discounts. Larky tracks your loyalty programs and membership benefits. It notifies you when you’re near a place offering discounts because of your participation in a loyalty program or membership. For instance, if you’re a member of a union, AAPR, USSA, American Express or professional or collegiate group and you’re near a store offering a discount to one of these groups, Larky tells you. Like Grindr, with self-control, Larky can be a good experience.

Put this app on your phone and start saving money for travel today!

Finally, most major cities and destinations have apps that share discounts to local events, attractions, and popular hot-spots with travelers. Download your destination’s app and benefit from the discounts.

If a vacation is inevitable, become a tech savvy traveler and start saving money. They’re easy and convenient. Most importantly, they will help you get away more and not spend more.

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Comment List

  • MoneyBaconGuy 13 / 07 / 2015 Reply

    Yes! It’s all good. My top two takeaways are to plan ahead and to scan mobile sites for discounts for activities you plan to do anyway. If you don’t have a plan then you can’t possibly have a budget and that’s going to cost extra. Those travel apps can save a lot of money. Why pay full price when its priced 1/2 off with a coupon. I wish bacon was 1/2 off!

    • John Schneider 14 / 07 / 2015 Reply

      I like what you said about not being able to have a budget without a financial plan. It’s so true. When we don’t have a budget and pay attention to it at every step, we suffer from budget creep and that thwarts our long-term financial goals. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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