I am a solo traveler. I have traveled alone, more than a few times, and one myth that I hope to debunk is how expensive traveling is. Now traveling can get expensive, but when you follow a few tricks you can save a ton of money. Especially when you travel alone.
Most of my travel is done for business, but having to travel with time constraints and on the company’s dime, has helped me when I travel solo. When I travel for business I am given per diem so when I travel for personal I always set a daily limit on what I’m going to spend on food. Some other great tips that I’ve picked up along the way are listed below.
- Pack light- The cost of luggage is not covered by some airlines when I travel, so I always have to make sure my luggage is carry on size (preferred), or under the weight limit. I do this by using a capsule wardrobe to make sure I am only packing clothing that I need. For a week long trip, I only pack two pairs of bottoms, three tops, shower shoes, underwear, and a pair of running shoes. I travel in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt with a jacket or sweater, and another pair of sneakers on my feet. Along with my personal hygiene items, which are all travel size, I am usually able to pack everything into a carry on suitcase. By reducing the amount of items I travel with, I am also saving time by not having to wait at the luggage carousel afterwards to pick up my luggage. If I am driving to my travel location, I have a little more flexibility when packing, but I still try to pack light so I am not spending so much time packing and unpacking.
- Pick a hotel with amenities-The IHG hotel brand are some of my favorite hotels to stay at. Most locations offer free breakfast, free parking, a gym, a pool, a business center and some of their hotels even have a laundry center. The free breakfast has been the most beneficial for me. Eating out three times a day will add up quickly. Being able to grab a free breakfast helps to cut down on the cost. I sometimes even grab some extra fruit from the breakfast area, and use that as a light lunch. By doing so, I have two meals for the day covered. IHG also has loyalty points that add up and I am able to use those points for free hotel stays. Which has helped me save even more when I am traveling outside of business.
- Eat an early dinner-When I am home, I try not to eat out more than once a day. While traveling, I end up eating out, sometimes, two times a day, everyday. This will eat away at my budget really quick. Lunch menus are so much cheaper than dinner menus, so just grab lunch twice. I save on eating out at really nice restaurants by eating dinner early. Most restaurants have happy hour specials before 7pm and this can help to save so much money when eating out. I always order more than I can eat then save the extra for a late night snack.
- Sign up for loyalty points-hotels and airlines are always trying to get you to sign up for their loyalty points. Don’t shy away from all of them, some of them have some really good incentives. For my birthday this year I was able to go on a discounted trip to Pigeon Forge, TN using my points from my favorite hotel brand. If you love a hotel or airline and you tend to use the often, it is definitely worth it to sign up for their loyalty rewards. Do your research and make sure the points are with it though.
- Get some rest-this is very important while traveling. Jet lag is a real thing, and lots of water and lots of rest definitely helps to alleviate it. Also resting can save you a ton of money. I had to learn the expensive way that it is not necessary to always do something while traveling. Going to every attraction and buying every souvenir you see will cost you a ton of money. It is perfectly ok to have a day by the hotel pool and just rest. Before I learned this tip, I had to see all the attractions and shop at all the tourist traps. Now I buy a few souvenirs, see a few attractions and rest. This way my body can relax, which is needed while traveling, and I can save some money.
Although I am a solo traveler, these tips can definitely be used for group travelers as well. When you make a plan, place right and rest, traveling can be a very inexpensive and enjoyable experience. Travel safely