Under normal circumstances, traveling to nearly 100 countries will cost you a decent chunk of change. But travel blogger and CEO of TripScout Konrad Waliszewski nearly mastered the art of saving money while doing just that. When asked about the best way to pinch pennies while traveling, he revealed one tip in particular that stood out in his mind: alternative route travel hacking.
"The principle of alternative route travel hacking is that by optimizing individual legs of a flight, the total flight can cost less than if you relied on a travel search engine or airline for your results," he wrote on a Quora post. "I have used it to save thousands of dollars on international flights and to visit handfuls of countries that I might not have had the money or time to visit otherwise."
The basic idea is to split an expensive trip into two flights with a layover at a major airport, rather than spending top dollar on a direct flight. The hope is that the cost of the two (less convenient) flights will be cheaper than the direct flight. He gives a $767 direct flight from London to Tokyo as an example (this is the cheapest option on Kayak, which is where he recommends looking first).
But by consulting this list of major airports, he was able to find a $238 flight from London to Dubai, and another $281 flight from Dubai to Tokyo, effectively "hacking" the price of the trip down just $519 (roughly $250 less than the first option). "I strategically add long layovers to see many new countries when my schedule permits," he adds. The key here is to search for these layover flights yourself, since "the travel search engines are not nearly smart (or nice) enough to do this travel hacking for you."
Seasoned travelers, how do you save money while seeing the world? Share your hacks in the comments below.