But It’s So Expensive to Travel…

Flights, hotels, food… it all adds up quickly. So when it’s time to travel, whether, for business or pleasure, it takes some planning ahead to make sure your travel is smooth and affordable. Follow the steps below to cut costs and maximize your travel experience!

Book your flight in the sweet spot: According to a CNBC study, the prime booking window for U.S. domestic flights can range from three weeks to 3 and a half months in advance. USA Today cites January as the cheapest time to fly. Right now, you can get a roundtrip flight to Las Vegas from Cleveland in January for under $100. Roundtrip flights from Orlando to Atlanta are just over $100. If your trip is further out, check sites like Expedia often to see if flight rates are fluctuating. Jump at a good price when you see it!

Pack smart: Skip the luggage fees by packing everything you need into your carry-on if you are going on a short trip. Pick basic, versatile clothing to mix and match. Wear your extra jacket or accessories onto the plane, so it doesn’t take up space in your carry-on.

Prep your technology: Another way to save space while packing is to digitize as much as you can. Download movies and books onto your smartphone, so you don’t have to carry any extra entertainment. Download apps for your airline and hotel so you don’t have to take travel documents with you. Apps like Yelp and OpenTable are handy for finding restaurants in a new city. Look into event apps if you’ll be searching for things to do while you’re traveling. Just make sure you have these downloaded before you leave the house to avoid data fees on the road. And finally, don’t forget your charger and a power bank!

Take an Uber to the hotel: Speaking of apps, most people are already taking advantage of Uber. But if you find yourself funneled to the taxi line after getting off the plane, now is the time to reconsider your ground transportation. Unless there is a free shuttle service available, Uber often the least expensive ground transportation option. For example, the estimated cost for an Uber from McCarran International Airport to Mandalay Bay is $11-14. A taxi service will most likely cost closer to $20-25.

Visit the Convention & Visitor Bureau websites: Check out the Convention & Visitor Bureau websites to find local deals, low-cost activities, and a variety of restaurant and entertainment options. Also, look for Groupon deals in the cities you are traveling to, especially for an affordable way to add extra entertainment or spa experiences to your trip.

You can’t afford to miss it: The opportunity to travel is often an invaluable experience. Memories with family and friends will last a lifetime. There is nothing that builds relationships in business, like meeting face-to-face, whether it is at a conference or client meeting. If you want to take your business, your life, your dreams to the next level, then you truly can’t afford to pass up the chance to travel.

Wishing you safe and happy explorations!