All Women's Talk

10 Ways to save Money While Traveling ...

By Jennifer

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to travel more. Another one was to spend money more wisely, and it seems that most of the time, those two resolutions might work against each other. But there are a lot of simple ways to save money for travel, or while traveling, even while commuting! Here’s how.

1 Go off-season

Go off-seasonPhoto Credit: nature55
Money Saved: from $100 up to $2,000
Additional Time Spent: 30 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 8 out of 10
If you love to travel, but have a hard time paying for hotel and airfare, you may want to consider going during the off-season. If you travel when everyone else is at home, airlines and hotels will be hungry for your dollars, and will offer you savings and other incentives. Why would they offer deals to travel to Florida or Mexico for Spring Break, when everyone will be going anyway, regardless of how much it costs? It’s much less expensive to travel there when no-one else is going, say, during the summer months.

2 Shop around

3 Go Obscure

Go ObscurePhoto Credit: lovelydesign
Money Saved: from $200 up to $4,600
Additional Time Spent: 0 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 4 out of 10
If there's a place you'd love to visit, but it’s just too expensive, try a nearby alternative that may be less expensive, because it’s not a tourist trap. Besides, wouldn’t it be fun to send vacation postcards from places no-one’s ever heard of? Again, the internet, or a trustworthy travel agent, can help you choose a unique destination, one that you might have difficulty locating on a map, but that will be the trip of a lifetime!

4 Collect Points

Collect PointsPhoto Credit: 5anche5
Money Saved: from $25 up to $3,600
Additional Time Spent: 30 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 2 out of 10
There are a lot of airlines, hotels, rental car agencies, resorts, and even cruise lines, as well as credit cards, that offer points you can use for travel. Sign up, spend money, collect points, and use them! Some points have expiration dates, and some points can only be used during certain times, or for certain things. Read the fine print, ask questions if you need to, and start making travel plans!

5 Telecommute, when Possible

Telecommute, when PossiblePhoto Credit: limahuli
Money Saved: from $10 up to $100 per week!
Additional Time Spent: 0 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 2 out of 10
Wouldn’t it be nice to take that conference call or plan that budget or develop that proposal right at home in your jammies? A lot of companies are offering their employees flexible schedules with the telecommuting option, when possible. They realize that it makes their employees happier, and it saves us money. Gas money, vehicle maintenance money, even lunch money. If your company offers you a telecommute option, try it one day a week, and sock the extra money away into your travel fund!

6 Take Public Transit

Take Public TransitPhoto Credit: lapoutre2tek
Money Saved: from $10 up to $100 per week!
Additional Time Spent: 90 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 7 out of 10
If you can’t work from home, park your car and take public transit, like a train, subway, or bus. It saves a lot of money, plus it’s less stressful: you get to relax read or catch up on emails or on other internet time wasters while someone else does all the driving. Take the money you save each day driving, subtract your transit fee, and put the rest in your travel account. It will add up fast!

7 Car-pool

Car-poolPhoto Credit: H4NUM4N
Money Saved: from $10 up to $100 per week!
Additional Time Spent: 60 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 7 out of 10
If you can’t telecommute or take public transit (it’s awful here in Metro Detroit), then try to car pool or share rides. There are dozens of car-pooling websites, and you can also spread the word at work through email or on a bulletin board. Your travel expenses back and forth to work will be cut in half, so take the money from your non-driving week and put that in your travel fund, too!

8 Buy a Hybrid

Buy a HybridPhoto Credit: JennKstep
Money Saved: from $600 up to $900 per year!
Additional Time Spent: 0 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 2 out of 10
Whether you decide to car-pool or not, a gas-electric or plug-in hybrid may be a wise purchase the next time you’re looking to buy or lease a car. They’re a little more expensive on the front end, but you’ll spend so much less on gas and maintenance (no oil changes in a plug-in car!) you won’t regret it. Also, it’s much better for the environment and mostelectric cars are pretty hot and stylish, too!

9 Use Lower-grade Petrol

Use Lower-grade PetrolPhoto Credit: bitzcelt
Money Saved: from $50 up to $90 per year
Additional Time Spent: 0 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 2 out of 10
Another way to save money while commuting or traveling is to use lower-grade, less expensive gas. Unless you’re driving a pricey foreign performance car, the low-grade or mid-grade fuel will do nicely. If you’re not sure if you car cab take it, check your owner’s manual. If it says “high-grade fuel preferred,” you can use lower-grade gas instead without harming your car.

10 Plan Your Drive

Plan Your DrivePhoto Credit: Esdras Calderan
Money Saved: from $50 up to $90 per year
Additional Time Spent: 0 minutes
Additional Trouble Level: 4 out of 10
No matter where you’re going, always plan all of your day’s driving to make sure you’re not making unnecessary trips or side-trips. Plan your route, too, to make sure you’re doing your driving efficiently, and also try to see if there’s anyone else that can drive with you to run errands as well. That way, you’re both getting your driving done, and saving gas and money!

Use these tips and tricks and you’ll be able to finally save the money for that week in Europe! That’s my goal, anyway… how do you save money for travel, or while you’re traveling? What’s your money-saving secret? Please let me know!

Top Photo Credit: rivieramaya26

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