Travel costs can add up in a hurry, even when you’re an experienced travel saver. I grew up with parents who were good at saving while on the road and I took a number of lessons from their example to apply to travels with my own family.
While sometimes necessity breeds extra and often unexpected expenses when you’re traveling, and the number of people in your travel party can increase costs as well, there are ways to minimize the effects of travel upon your wallet. As travel destinations, costs, and distances can vary, and certain other travel variables are beyond my control, I tend to look for certain constants in my travel where I know I can cut costs.
Knowing My Destination
Knowing just a little bit about your destination can pay off big time. I tend to travel on vacation to the same places year after year; therefore, I get to know these spots pretty well. Nearby drug and dollar stores, where to pick up sundries cheap, and knowing the local transportation systems, can reduce costs.
Getting a map of your location online or from the area’s chamber of commerce or tourism board can help you plan out ahead of time where to stay in relation to certain amenities for which you might be looking. This could have you saving plenty of time and money in the process.
Knowing My Destination’s Transportation System
Getting around once you’ve arrived to your destination can be expensive. Renting a car could cost you hundreds of dollars, and taking cabs can get expensive too. But unless you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort or an area where you can walk everywhere you need to be, you’ll likely need some way to get around.
This is where knowing your destination’s transportation system can come into play.
When my mother goes to Las Vegas, she often makes use of the monorail system they have. We, on the other hand, often vacation in Florida. Knowing that there is a trolley system in the area in which we stay that is very affordable and can get us to the grocery store and other places we need to be cheaply helps us to avoid costly cab fare or worse yet, having to rent a car. Had we rented a car on our most recent trip to the area, our cost would likely have been well over a $1,000 for our extended holiday.
Just a few minutes on the Internet, exploring a destination before you arrive could make for significant savings and help avoid costly mistakes not only when it comes to spots to eat, shop, and play, but the ways to get to them as well.
Clothing and Cleaning Considerations
Packing the right clothes and considering your location’s clothes cleaning amenities could save you costs on cleaning services as well as extra luggage fees.
I tend to pack darker colored outfits when I travel. I do this for several reasons. First off, such clothing is often easy to interchange, mixing and matching it in various combinations, and secondly, it hides dirt easily if I happen to slob something on it.
I also try to travel in layers, which means I can wear more of my bulkier clothing so that I can save room in my suitcase. This helps me avoid having to pay checked luggage fees, which for my wife and I would be about an extra $100.
I also check ahead to find out about clothes cleaning options of the location at which I’m staying. When we travel to Florida, we stay at a place with a washer and dryer. This means I can launder clothes on site and don’t have to pack as much.
Some hotels offer washer/dryer services or irons and ironing boards in the hotel room, which means I can again do laundry on-site and save on hotel laundry or dry-cleaning services, which can be quite costly. While it might at first seem of minor consequence, such savings can add up over time and make your travels easier in the process.
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The author is not a licensed financial or travel professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, travel or financial advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.