Travel can be both fun and tiring. But don't let it be financially stressful! Here are five easy ways to save money traveling.
As an entrepreneur, I now get to travel and speak a more conference, which I absolutely love doing! Contact me if you'd like to have me speak at your event!
But travel can be expensive and I choose to live frugally. So here the five tips I use when traveling for business or pleasure.
1. Plan ahead
Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” The less time you have to plan your trip, the less money you can potentially save.
Use flight and hotel pricing tools like Kayak or [bl id=”1121″]Hotels.com[/bl]. But even better, check with your credit card company's website, as you may get bonus cash-back points for using their affiliate link. For example, I use separate Chase rewards Visa cards for my personal expenses and business expenses. Chase offers up to 500% more reward points (on top of the 1% baseline) for certain affiliates. That's a potential 6% savings!
Additionally, mobile apps can help you optimize your travel experience. For example, check gas price on your automobile travel route with Waze or GasBuddy and know where you should stop to fill up at the best prices.
Savings: $200 or more
2. Buy groceries instead of dining out
Food is usually the third biggest expense for traveling, after transportation and lodging. Dine out while traveling and you could easily spend $50 per day per person!
When my wife, Jenny, and I attended New Media Expo in Las Vegas, we got on Google Maps and found local grocery store. A quick (and fun) shopping trip resulted in more groceries than we would actually eat, but for less than the cost of eating out in a single day! We shopped at 99 Market, which is an Asian grocery store, so we found lots of exciting things to try. We ended up saving a couple hundred dollars during our one-week stay.
Another benefit to buying groceries instead of dining out is that we ate a lot healthier. Instead of fattening and oversized meals and drinks, we had fresh fruits, salads, and breads.
Savings: $40 per day
3. Pack light and bring carry-ons instead of checked luggage
Checked luggage is now a luxury on most flights and could easily cost $50 per person roundtrip! Now, I travel as light as possible and fit everything into a carry-on and laptop bag.
I know this one could be a lot more challenging for ladies, as they have more needs. But I don't think it would be impossible.
Guys, an easy way to do this is to bring enough pants to wear three days at a time, a T-shirt for every day, and a dress shirt (for business casual needs) for every two days. If you're attending a conference where T-shirts may be handed out, take a risk and plan to wear a provided T-shirt.
Here's the clothing I pack when I travel for a week (six nights).
- One pair of shoes
- Seven pairs of socks
- Seven pairs of underwear (no reversing here!)
- Four T-shirts (I assume I'll get two free while I'm there)
- Two pairs of pants
- Three dress shirts
Another step to packing light could be in the devices you bring. I have a 17″ MacBook Pro that requires a carrying case, power adapter, and mouse. But I can reduce this to an iPad with Bluetooth keyboard (I recommend the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover or the Belkin QODE Ultimate Wireless Keyboard and Case for any kind of iPad).
4. Use an airport shuttle instead of a taxi
Taxis are expensive, especially in traffic. Find out if your lodging provides its own airport shuttle. If not, make reservations with the local shuttle service. You can usually find a quick trip for less than half the cost of a taxi.
Visit RetailMeNot.com ahead of time to find a coupon code and reserve your shuttle online to save a few more dollars.
5. Walk instead of riding
You may have some leisure time to explore the area. Some hotels provide free roundtrip transportation to local attractions, which can save your legs and money. But for everything else, try to resist taking a taxi or other paid transportation!
If the weather is bearable and it's safe for you to walk, get your blood pumping and your legs moving!
This will not only save the taxi fare, but it will also keep your energy levels and health higher as you probably spend most of the day sitting.
Savings: $10 per day
How do you save money traveling?
Please comment with how you save money traveling. I'd love to see your ideas!