It's no secret that traveling these days can be relatively affordable. With the widespread availability of Airbnb, Couchsurfing, and lower prices of plane tickets, it's not unheard of spending a few hundred dollars on an extended weekend getaway. We all know the feeling of having our batteries charged after exploring a new location is well worth saving for. However, more often than not we end up spending more than planned while on our trips. Typically this isn't because we bought too many souvenirs (People still do that?!) or from splurging on priority boarding for your plane ticket. It's usually from the little things that tend to add up in the end. And more often than not, these little things yield little happiness or add to the adventure!
1. Forgetting an (empty) water bottle
Sure, you can't fly with a full water bottle but luckily for you, all airports have water fountains available. Besides, do you really want to be buying bottled water throughout the duration of your trip, when you could be spending that money at the new taco shop with raving reviews? BYOB - Bring your own bottle is what all the cool and environmentally aware kids are doing these days. So, join the club!
2. Paying for parking
This is assuming you buy a rental car because you'll be exploring the surrounding areas of your destination. Is that parking garage a half-mile closer to your restaurant really worth it? You could've spent that $20 for parking on some kick-ass coffee from the hipstery spot around the block. The best way to understand a city is by foot, bar-none. It took humans hundreds of years to learn how to walk upright, show evolution some gratitude. Ladies, bring a bag big enough to fit some walking shoes if you need to rock some heels for your night out.
3. Overpaying for a rental car
With the recent expansion of Turo, you can get rental whips for less than 45 bucks a day in almost any city. Sometimes, rental agencies can be even cheaper. Especially with a USAA discount! Now you may be thinking I don't have a USAA membership so I'll skip over this non-applicable section. Well, perks of being a previous employee there I know it's open to everyone, member or not! So be sure to click on this link before booking your rental car to score some sweet discounts.
4. Flying on peak travel days
This should come as no ground-breaking Abandon Comfort tip. Flying on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings are more often than not the most expensive. Try to take off an extra day of work to adventure more and you'll probably end up saving money by flying out on early Tuesday morning, as opposed to Sunday night. Also, with the new Hopper app, you can track prices for months in advance and it'll tell you exactly when's the best time to book! Be sure to check out mid-weekday flights to score the most bang for your buck.
5. Eating out every single meal
Boooo! Who is this guy who is telling me I can't be a foodie? Knifing through the local restaurants is half the reason I even travel! Well, check out your credit card statement from your last trip. I'm sure you went to some lame chain restaurant or Chipotle. You've eaten there before and it's available at home, why not just pack a lunch one day or cook some breakfast at your Airbnb? Check out the local market to get some fresh bread, meats, and cheese to create yourself something tasty for lunch. Think about it, if you and your adventure buddy don't eat out for a total of 3 meals you will have saved half of your plane ticket price for your next bucket list stop.
6. Paying $$$$ prices for an expensive restaurant
Here we go again, condoning me for wanting my belly to be happy! Ask yourself this, do you really need to eat at Morton's or Capital Grille in LA when you've had it in NY before? No, you don't. Once is more than enough at those exorbitantly priced chains. Go check out the local Ramen or Thai place which shows $$ or $ on Yelp. I bet it'd be a far better experience and show you how the real locals do it there.
7. What actionable tips can you share that'll reduce our travel expenses?