This post is sponsored by Ibotta. All opinions are honest and 100% my own.
Now that my kids are getting a little older at 4 and 7 years old, it’s been easier to do a little more traveling! I’ve had a few amazing trips already this year –I did Hawaii in April, Bahamas in May, and most recently, Anaheim, California in June. Traveling is incredible for the experiences and memories. But I’ll be the first to say that there are almost always unexpected expenses that come up. Making things a bit stressful on the wallet. In turn, I’ve gotten smart about how to save money on travel and I’m sharing my top 5 tips below!
How to Save Money on Travel Expenses
Note: All offers were valid as of publish date. Don’t forget to check your app for details as offers change frequently and may not be available in all areas!
Have you heard of the smartphone app Ibotta? Ibotta is a cash back app for your smartphone that makes it super easy to earn cash back on your everyday purchases. The app is completely free to download and use on iOS and Android — plus there are never any subscription fees or prompts for in-app purchases!
I actually started using Ibotta when I first heard about it nearly 3 years ago, primarily to get cash back at stores I was shopping at; such as Walmart, Target, and CVS (more on that later). But now that I want to go on more trips, I’ve been taking advantage of all the travel deals within the app!
Tip #1: Fly for a Deal
Flying is almost always the most expensive aspect of the trip. Especially since it’s four seats that we need to purchase for me, my husband, and two kids. Now when I make my reservation, I start with Ibotta and get cash back through their partners such as Orbitz, Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline, and Travelocity just to name a few (e.g. it’s 5% cash back at Priceline, which is huge considering the price of typical airline tickets!). The price I pay isn’t any different when going through the app, and I earn cash back on every purchase regardless of my flight destination! Talk about a great way to save on travel expenses!
Tip #2: Save on Lodging
Next up comes figuring out where I’ll be staying when I’m on a getaway. I love trying out boutique hotels or booking a vacation home for a more unique experience. Regardless of whichever route I end up deciding on, Ibotta makes it so easy to save as I can click through offers at Hotels.com, Booking.com, and HomeAway. With deals such as 6% cash back, it’s surprisingly easy to get a quick $100 back on hotel reservations!
Tip #3: Pack Up & Save
I recently upgraded my luggage as my old set was starting to fall apart. So I love that I can get a deal at eBags through Ibotta! Whether it’s a suitcase, packing cubes, or even toiletry kits, I can earn easy cash back on all the travel essentials!
Tip #4: Eat, Drink, and Get Cash Back
Ibotta also has numerous options if you’re looking to save while dining out! Popular cash back options include Olive Garden, Applebee’s, and Steak ‘n Shake (yum!) by using the Pay with Ibotta feature, but if you’re not in the mood to go out, you can also save on food delivery through services like GrubHub, DoorDash, and Postmates. And if you’re like me and need a little morning pick-me-up, Ibotta lets you earn a hefty 10% cash back at Peet’s Coffee too!
Another money-saving travel tip is to make a stop at the grocery store on your first day. I like to have a few snacks and bottled water on hand wherever I’m traveling and Ibotta makes saving money incredibly easy by simply uploading your receipt to the app. Oftentimes there’s even a cash back offer just for uploading a receipt to the app, with additional offers if certain items that have promotions are also purchased.
Tip #5: Enjoy the Local Scene on a Dime
I’m always up for new experiences when I’m traveling; and Ibotta offers several different ways that I can check out a city while earning cash back. Groupon is one of my favorites as I can search in the “Things To Do” category and get deals on popular local attractions in addition to earning cash back through Ibotta — it’s like stacking coupons! Similarly, if there’s a show that I’m interested in, Ibotta has partnerships with Ticketmaster and SeatGeek where I can go and find tickets. I love that Ibotta lets me be spontaneous and still save money even if I don’t have my entire itinerary planned in advance!
And of course, what’s a vacation without a little shopping? For those days when the guys are off playing golf or wanna do their own thing for an afternoon, I use it as an opportunity for the girls to do a little shopping! In particular, I love hitting up the mall when I’m on vacation, and Ibotta allows me to earn cash back even on my in-store purchases in places such as Old Navy, American Eagle, and Athleta by using Pay with Ibotta!
Let me know in a comment below how you save on travel expenses! And be sure to use Ibotta to save on your next getaway and save extra on just about everything from tickets, lodging, and dining/eating/shopping adventures!
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