GUEST BLOGGER: TASHA KILLIAN
As a single person, traveling to spend time with family during the holidays is one of my biggest expenses. Between gas for driving, plane tickets, hotel/ lodging (if needed) and all the travel meals, it can really add up. To save on costs, there’s a few things I do...
1. Download apps & shop around for prices. It used to be that you spent hours, days, even months, looking for the best deals, and cheapest prices. In today’s technology world, there are apps that do that for you! If you are flying, even doing a simple google search of the days you want to travel will come up with multiple options, so you can get the most for your money. If you are driving, my favorite app to use is Gas Buddy. You just type in your current location and it tells you where the cheapest gas is. Use the apps and tools built to help you shop around for the best price.
2. Bring your own snacks. Airport food is SO expensive. Even a meal at a normally inexpensive place can be more than normal. Packing your own snacks is one way to save money. Did you know TSA guidelines allow you to bring your own food on planes? As long as the food is a solid and not a liquid or gel over 3.4 ounces, you can pack it away! My personal favorite to bring is all the fixings for a sandwich. I use a Tupperware with multiple spaces for food, put my bread in one, and my toppings in another. Then, when I get to my gate before my plane takes off, I make my own sandwich. Easy, inexpensive, and tasty!
3. Take advantage of reward programs. There’s a lot of reward programs that can help ease the burden of travel costs. From joining a rental car rewards program, to a hotel loyalty program, you can sometimes get a better deal. It’s also easy to use those programs to earn extra points. For example, the Marriott Hotels rewards points system gives you extra for skipping housekeeping one day you are there, or eating out at local restaurants. Even if you think you don’t travel enough to earn points, some rewards systems don’t have expiration dates on their points, so eventually you’ll earn enough just by traveling home for the holidays!
Traveling during the holidays can take a bite out of your budget. But, if you spend less, you’re more likely to experience less stress and have a better experience!
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