Every time you drive away from your home you are spending money. Flights, hotels, gas expenses, you name it, no matter how you travel, traveling can put a big hole through your wallet. Nevertheless, whether you're planning a weekend getaway, or flying abroad, there are easy ways to minimize your travel expenses. I will show you 3 simple ways to save a lot of money on your next trip.

1. Book your hotel online. Top hotel chains and motels alike offer special deals when you book them online. If you book close to your departure date, you can find enormous discounts that hotels with unsold rooms are offering. These exclusively online discounts can be as large as 50%. Another little-known way to save on your hotel booking is by using a credit card rewards mall. For example, if you book a cruise package through ShopDiscover (Discover's online mall) with either Carnival Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean or Viking River Cruises, you can get 5% cash back on your purchase! In order to use ShopDiscover, you must own a Discover it® and use it to make the booking.


Discover it®, issued by Discover Financial (DFS), gives you from 5-20% cash back when shopping through ShopDiscover - which has over 200 brand-name retailers! You can also earn 5% cash back in categories that change each 3 months up to a quarterly maximum if you sign up for 5% Cashback Bonus. These categories include gas stations, dining, movies, etc. You will get 1% cash back on all your other purchases. At certain participating merchants you can redeem your cash back for twice its value! Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (3% balance transfer fee applies) for 14 months, and a variable purchase APR of 10.99% - 22.99% thereafter. This card has no annual fee. Read our Discover it® review here to find out more.

At Discover's secure site

2. Get free checked baggage. Almost all airlines in the US charge a fee for checked-baggage. For the first bag you can expect to pay around $50 per person for a round-trip on most airlines. If you are traveling with your family, this expense can be significant. However, there are ways to get your first bag checked-in for free. Certain airline specific frequent flyer credit cards let you get your first piece of checked-luggage for free, however, If you prefer credit cards that are not airline specific that let you earn miles and rewards on your purchases, take a look at our selection of the best travel credit cards.

3. Save on gas. Gas prices are on the rise according to the AAA’s fuel gauge report released on the 5th of August, 2013. For regular unleaded gasoline, the average price per gallon is 13 cents more expensive than a year ago. However, by simply using the right credit card, you can save a lot of cash on your fuel expenses. To save on your future gas purchases, consider paying with a credit card that offers cash back. Some of the best cash back credit cards are offering from 2%-5% cash back on gas station purchases. Essentially, this is like getting a 2%-5% discount on all your gas station expenses!

Check out our selection of the best travel credit cards to find out how you can save even more on your next trip.