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Saving Money When Traveling

Updated on April 29, 2007

There are many ways to save money when traveling. How to save money though, depends on how you are traveling. Saving money while driving is going to be different than saving money when flying.

It is very easy to save money while on a driving vacation. The first thought that comes to mind is gas prices. They are high for sure. But they are the highest right off the highway. If at all possible drive a little ways into a town and you are likely to save ten, twenty or even thirty cents per gallon over the prices right off the highway. Driving the speed limit will allow your car to use gas more efficiently, resulting in less fill ups. Don't accelerate suddenly either, this burns a lot of fuel. Driving behind a large semi truck will allow you to draft off the truck, therefore burning less fuel

Another way is to pack snacks in the car, or even a picnic lunch for the first day. This way you can stop at a park or rest area and eat quickly and get back in the car. It also allows you to avoid high priced snacks at the gas station. Packing your own is typically healthier as well.

Hotel stays can really add up. Do you know someone along the way that you could stay with? That would be the cheapest place to stay, and usually include good company. If you are going to be driving late at night and don't have a specific place you have to stop for the night, you can save a good bit on hotel rooms. Find a hotel that looks fairly empty, stop in late at night and ask about the rates. Then ask them if they can do better than that. You would be surprised what they will offer. Hotels would rather have rooms rented, even at half price, than mostly empty rooms. Empty rooms generate no income at all. If the offer is still high, make your own. The worst that can happen is they say no and then you can leave and go across the street and try there. The manager is the best person to talk to when trying to do this. It is definitely worth a shot though.

If you are flying on vacation, you have less time to spend money, but there are still ways to save. Most airlines don't offer meals anymore, at least not meals that are worth paying for. Some airlines don't even offer snacks. Eat before you leave or pack a sandwich to eat once you board. Also be sure to pack snacks. You never know when and where you will be delayed. I was even on a plane that turned around and went back to the original airport because it couldn't land. We were in the air for much longer than we had planned. What was supposed to be a three hour process start to finish, ended up taking nine hours.

Also, if you are flying, take something to do or read. You do not want to end up having to buy a book or magazine that costs double at the airport, just to occupy yourself. It can be awfully boring waiting on planes to board. Especially now that we have to arrive so early at the airport.

If you are taking a train or bus to your destination, the same rules for food apply. Why spend a lot of money on food, when you can bring items from home for much less money. Quick, easy things to eat are great. Granola bars, apples, a bag of peanuts, etc. Filling and cheap.

When traveling you also want to plan for the unexpected. Going somewhere sunny? Make sure you pack sunscreen. Do you have allergies? Pack your medicine and kleenex. You never know when you or a child will get a headache or a cut. Pack a few bandaids and some tylenol. Having to purchase these items at a vacation destination or at the airport or gas station along the way will definitely cost you more money than it needs to.

By thinking things through before you leave and planning carefully, you can defnitely save money when traveling.

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    • profile image

      linda 

      11 years ago

      This was a great article, I agree totally.

      Linda

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