(New York Times) – Interested in 37 newfangled apps that will save you 0.01 percent on travel for the coming year? I didn’t think so. At some point, you have to stop trying to find every new tool for and shortcut to bargains as they appear and just wait to see which ones stick. By now, you surely know some basics: You probably use meta-search sites to compare airfare and hotel prices; you’ve either tried or consciously avoided “sharing economy” services like Uber; you know that most domestic car rental reservations can be canceled with no penalty should you find a better rate even on the day of the trip.
So instead of offering wacky tricks, here are eight ways to take strategies you already know and do them better — with, O.K., a few new appealing tools thrown in.
Get Paid to Park
Uncomfortable with strangers living with you? Equally unexcited to bunk with strangers? Or simply hesitant about Airbnb’s legal struggles? Take a baby step into the sharing economy by renting out your car while you’re away and get free airport parking to boot. Or rent someone else’s car for less than most traditional companies and forget about monitoring the ebb and flow of daily rates as your trip approaches. FlightCar.com is now operating in Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles, among other cities. If you’re leaving your car at an airport, you will get between $0.05 and $0.20 per mile driven, plus that free parking if you are renting out your car. Savings can be significant: As of late December you could rent from FlightCar in Boston in January for as low as $19 a day (including tax and insurance), more than 40 percent less than the cheapest listing I found on Kayak (not including insurance).