My genius way to save on flights — vacation on a budget

Taking a beach vacation shouldn’t mean burying your head in the sand about your finances.

It’s natural for summer jet-setters to want to save a few dollars here and there — but often that’s a task easier said than done.

Thanks to TikTok, hacks for by finding affordable flights or scrounging cheap meals you never knew were available are easier than ever.

Making payments when your phone is dead

We’ve all been there — you go out for the day and the battery on your phone is dwindling, when it completely runs out of juice.

While it may be no help to make calls or use the maps function, TikToker Anastasia Koss has blown the minds of her followers after revealing you can use your phone to pay for things — even when it has 0% battery.

The 28-year-old actress and content creator lives between Hong Kong and New York with her fiancé and often posts videos of her experiences traveling — with one recalling the time she was catching public transit and realized she had no way to pay, as her phone was dead, her wallet was at home and she didn’t carry cash.

Blonde woman holding up phone.
Frequent traveler Anastasia Koss shared newfound information with her TikTok followers.
Jam Press

“In a panic, I thought maybe someone could help scan me out of the turnstile with their card, so I turned to a man walking by and asked him if he could scan me,” she recalled.

“He then told me if my Octopus card is connected to my Apple Wallet, I could still use it even if my phone died,” she said in amazement, adding, “It worked.”

“The NFC chip in the card stays active if you have something called Express Mode set up,” she explained. “All this time I had no idea!”

Saving money on flights

Ahh, vacation — but sometimes getting there is the most expensive part.

While airlines offer deals and discounts, those flights can be overwhelming to book, so one TikToker shared her method of shaving off a few dollars.

Queenie Tan, 26, posted her clip explaining if you are reasonably flexible on what dates you can travel and where you go, you can save thousands using Google Flights.

Woman with map in background.
If you have no destination or travel preference, this woman has the hack for you.
Jam Press Vid/@investwithqueenie

“The first step is to go to, then pick the city you’re traveling from,” she explained. “Make sure to leave the destination blank, then … the map will give you a wide choice of destinations with low prices!”

She also uses the Google price graph to see if flights are more or less expensive than usual.

“I’ll create a price alert for myself so it will alert me when the prices for the flight I’d like to take change!” she added.

Airport meals

Some food for your thoughts? Why not.

A thrifty mom shared her secret to getting a McDonald’s burger and fries for only $2.50 — revealing your opinions can pay.

Maddy Alexander-Grout, 39, from the UK, was visiting the fast food joint with her children Ben, 7, and Harriet, 3, when she found out about the trick.

Woman with two young kids.
The money-saving mom shared her trick on social media.
Jam Press/@madaboutmoneyofficial

“If you go into McDonald’s and keep their receipt, there is a website on there called,” Alexander-Grout said.

“If you go into that website and you enter the code that is on your receipt and the amount you spent, then you get a voucher just for filling in a really quick survey,” she explained.

“If you fill in the survey, it means that next time you go to McDonald’s you can get either a McChicken sandwich or a Big Mac and fries for just $2.50.”

The average price for a McDonald’s Big Mac in the US is now estimated at $5.15, and fries are $2.05.

Box of pain killers side by side.
Tiffany Shiru shared her hack to saving a few dollars on common painkillers.
Jam Press Vid/@tslondonn

Cutting costs on airport essentials

Fancy medicines aren’t more effective.

Frequent traveler Tiffany Shiru, 22, shared her painless technique for purchasing pain relief while traveling, suggesting trying the store brand of medication rather than buying the brand name version.

On the back of the packets is a product license code, or PL number, which can be identical across different brands, meaning the active ingredients are the same between generic and branded versions of a painkiller.

“I’ve saved quite a bit using stores’ own medication, which I think more people are opting to do,” she said. “I’ve literally told everyone I know about this – save money where you can for the same product!”