5 Thrifty Travel Tips

October 27, 2014 - Christie C
Vacation season may be over for some now that school is back in session, but I recently took a cross-country trip that involved planes, trains, automobiles, and bicycles. I learned a few money-saving tips along on the way — savings I can now direct toward my retirement account.
If you’re still planning a getaway this year or even planning ahead for next year, maybe these tips will help you save and boost your retirement savings, too.
  1. Make the most of flying coach by booking early. Some airlines allow you to select your seat when you purchase your tickets, and if you make your reservations early enough, you’ll have a variety of options (e.g., window seat, aisle seat, front or back). For me, seeing the landscape slowly shift or watching a fiery sunset makes up for a smaller seating space, so I always choose the window seat. 
  2. If you’re renting a car, bring your own GPS device. Some car-rental agencies charge extra for GPS when you rent a vehicle without this feature built in. A portable GPS device is fairly small — it doesn’t take up much room in your luggage. You may also have a GPS on your smartphone or can download a free app.
  3. Skip paying for hotel Wi-Fi — Facebook can wait until you get home! Vacation is the time to break away from your normal routine, see sights you can’t normally see at home, and be open to new experiences. Explore your vacation spot. You can write a travelogue and create online photo albums when you get back, making it a great way to relive your vacation.
  4. Complimentary continental breakfast anyone? Some hotels include this with the price of your hotel room, so take advantage of it. Fuel up on scrambled eggs, toast with jam, cereal, pastries, orange juice, yogurt, and other free options.
  5. Instead of buying souvenirs, take photos. It can be tempting to buy a T-shirt, snow globe, or keychain to commemorate your visit to an exciting locale. But how much more will these souvenirs clutter your home? With a digital camera (or smartphone), you can take a lot of photos at little or no cost. Plus, what better way to crystallize a moment than with an image you captured on your trip?
What are some ways you save money while traveling? Have you applied the savings to a retirement account such as a 457 plan or IRA, or a 529 education account?

AC: 1014-7428

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