7 Ways we Saved Thousands on our Trip to Alaska
Me and my wife Nicole (from 2BudgetBabes.com) recently got back from a trip to Alaska. It was an amazing experience and we want to show you 7 easy ways you can save money, and still have an epic vacation.
CAR RENTAL | Public transportation is surprisingly good in Anchorage, but with so much to see outside of Alaska’s biggest city, you’re probably going to want a car. We spent a grand total of $473.21 using Turo.com for an 8 day rental of a Nissan Altima; that’s about $59 a day after taxes, fees, and insurance. This was peak tourist season in Alaska and traditional rental car companies were charging over $850 for the same time frame.
Not only that but the experience was actually better using Turo. I used what Turo calls an All-Star host and it was a much better experience than a traditional rental company. They were actually waiting at the airport for us with the car running. Turo may not always be the best option or even the cheaper option, but you should definitely check it out before you hit the buy button at your traditional car rental place.
TOTAL SAVINGS: $400
VACATION RENTALS | Nicole and I love Airbnb, whether it’s a condo by the beach or a basement apartment in Alaska, if you take the time to look through the reviews you’ll usually find something much better than a hotel. During our trip to Alaska we found an amazing place for only $930 for 8 days… it had a garage and “full” kitchen.
Holiday Inn Express was $200 a night, so it easily would have been $1600 to get a hotel that wasn’t as nice, and after taxes and fees… who knows? It’s safe to say we saved at least $900 by using Airbnb.
Help support us by using this link to sign up: Airbnb
Sign up with that link and get $40 off your home booking and $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more.
Example Airbnb’s we’ve stayed at:
TOTAL SAVINGS: $900
GROUPON’S COUPONS | Groupon is a great place to find deals catering to the tourist. One of the highlights of our trip was our journey to Whittier where we went on a cruise to see the glaciers. We wouldn’t have even thought of it if we hadn’t seen the Groupon ad.
We didn’t actually save any money on the cruise by using groupon because this particularly company sells out basically every cruise and doesn’t need to offer an incentive. But often you will save at least some money, and it’s also just a good way to see all your options as well as stumble onto new ones.
TOTAL SAVINGS: $0 (but not always)
COMPANION PASSES | Alaska Airlines has a credit card that offers $99 companion passes. Basically with this card you can bring someone with you on a trip once a year for $99. At the time of our trip a flight from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska was about $850.
So my ticket was $850 and my wife Nicole’s was only $99! And Alaska Airlines doesn’t just fly to Alaska… Hawaii anyone?
Learn How from Lee Huffman
TOTAL SAVINGS $750
CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES | Sign up bonuses can save you a lot on a vacation. I opened up two credit cards that promised $200 cash back if I spent $1,500 in 90 days. I instantly saved $200 by putting my rental car and Airbnb on one.
And after putting everything else trip related on the other I got another $200 back. We paid them off the next month so we wouldn’t pay any interest. $400 for basically just filling out a credit card application.
Learn How from Lee Huffman
TOTAL SAVINGS $400
FOOD | Eating out can be really expensive when you’re travelling. By getting an Airbnb with a full kitchen we were able to eat a majority of our meals for the same price as we did at home.
Typically we ate out once a day somewhere nice, and the other two meals we cooked for less than $10 to feed both of us. If you’re in Alaska you want to get your groceries like the locals… at Fred Meyers. We easily saved $40 a day on food this way.
TOTAL SAVINGS $320
FREE STUFF | The best part about Alaska is the outdoors, and the best part about that is much of it can be enjoyed for free, or at least very little. We hiked up mountains, we explored waterfalls and creeks, we went to the beaches, we went to the rivers… we did all of these things for $0.
There’s no way to price that out, but we easily saved $500 doing these things vs trying to entertain ourselves with activities that required money. Honestly I think the number is more like $1,000,,, but I’m going to be conservative since it’s so subjective.
Speaking of free… Did you know there’s no sales tax in Alaska. When you buy things at the store….. That’s the final price!
TOTAL SAVINGS $500
Grand Total Saved
What an Alaska Vacation looks like: Our Trip
C.J. is the blogger behind the Vow of Practicality. “Let’s grow your wealth, increase your productivity, and maximize your happiness.”