Guest Post: 10 Travel Tips to Save Money and Time

by Dual Income No Kids on February 21, 2008 · 0 comments

Whether you are enduring travel for work or enjoying travel for pleasure, your time away from home can be very expensive. There are plenty of resources offering tools and advice on saving money on your plane tickets, car rentals, and hotel rooms, but these big-ticket items are only the start of your expenses. There are dozens of other smaller expenses associated with travel that can quickly add up to significant sums if you are not careful. Fortunately, most of these can be avoided with the help of a little planning before leaving home.

Packing for a trip is a pain and it is a chore. Most people put it off until the last minute and then rush to get it over with as quickly as possible, only to suffer the consequences of a rush job. However, packing poorly won’t only cause you headaches and frustration once you’ve reached your destination with two dozen pairs of socks and no underwear; it will also end up costing you a good deal of cash. Follow these tips to help you plan ahead for your trip and you will save both time and money once you reach your destination.

1. Plan before you pack. This is a catchall rule that you should keep in mind as your trip approaches. Lay out everything that you will need well before you leave so that you can shop the local bargains for anything that you don’t already have. Start the process far enough in advance and you will avoid forgetting important items and dodge the eleventh hour rush that inevitably results in over-packing.

2. Pack liquids separately. As you plan, make sure that you have a separate bag for your toiletries and any other gels or liquids that you might be taking with you. If you have room and want to keep everything in your main bag, then be sure to put everything in individual plastic bags. There is nothing worse than having to clean or replace your whole wardrobe because of an in-flight shampoo disaster.

3. Don’t pack anything that you aren’t sure you’ll need. While it is a good idea to try and avoid purchasing every day items once you arrive at your destination, certain articles just aren’t worth it. If something takes up a lot of room in your bag and could be purchased cheaply on site, consider making this small contribution to the local economy once you arrive.

4. Save room for presents. Leave some space in your bag or pack an extra duffle so that you can return bearing gifts and appease friends and family who were jealous that they did not get to go with you.

5. Save War and Peace for later. Pack a couple of magazines or compact paperbacks instead of lugging around a big hardcover. Books can be bulky and heavy (and nobody wants to do serious reading on a plane or at the beach, anyway).

6. Wear your jacket or sweater. Unless you’re going to be running around with a crowd into haute couture, there is no reason to bring more than one sweater or jacket with you on a trip. Wear it on the plane to avoid the discomfort caused by fluctuations in cabin temperature and you’ll save room in your luggage.

7. Pack clothes that can be worn multiple times. Some of your clothing can stand up to a couple of outings between washes without looking any worse for the wear, so be sure to bring these gems along. Jeans, khakis, and anything that doesn’t wrinkle or stretch can make multiple appearances in the rotation if necessary.

8. Pack clothes that won’t wrinkle. Unless you want to spend the bulk of your trip ironing, be sure to pack items that don’t wrinkle easily. Anything that you iron or send to the cleaners for pressing at home shouldn’t make the trip.

9. Put your shades in a hard case. Sunglasses can be expensive to replace, so make sure that you protect them from the many hazards of travel. Prescription eyewear should be even more closely guarded as it can be difficult and even more costly to restore in short order.

10. Pack snacks. Unless you’re lucky enough to be traveling business or better, your airline probably isn’t going to feed you much, no matter how far you are going. Traveling can be stressful, so reward yourself by bringing a few of your favorite snacks in your carry-on. You’ll save money by avoiding exorbitant airport prices and you’ll be in a better mood when you arrive at your destination.


Heather Johnson is a freelance business, finance and credit writer, as well as a regular contributor for site for comparing small business credit cards. She welcomes questions, comments, and freelancing job inquiries at her email address:

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