Inexpensive Travel Planning
Will is the president of Worldwide Power Products, a company that provides new and used power generation equipment for the industrial, petroleum and marine industries. E-mail Will at [email protected].
As an entrepreneur, I have traveled to more than 30 countries around the world. Throughout my journeys, I’ve learned how to make travel as inexpensive and painless as possible. Here are some tips that help me keep money in my pocket:
I purchase flights when they’re the cheapest. When I know I need to travel to a particular country, I book a flight as far in advance as possible. By booking trips at least two weeks in advance, I can save upward of 50-75 percent. Airlines tend to charge their highest prices within two weeks of a travel date. If I find a cheap airline ticket without knowing my exact travel schedule, I book the flight anyway. It’s worth the risk, even if I have to cancel or reschedule the flight at the last minute. Sure, I’m charged anywhere from US$100-200 for cancelling or re-booking a flight, but the amount I save by booking early far outweighs the cancellation fees.
I book my hotel rooms at the last minute. When booking hotel accommodations, I always book the day before the trip through Web sites like Hotwire.com or Priceline.com. I have found that hotels with low occupancy will drop their rates considerably at the last minute through these discount travel sites. As a result, I wind up saving more than 50 percent off the hotel’s original asking price. A lot of my peers get caught up with racking up hotel points. In my experience, the money I save by booking through these types of Web sites exceeds the amount I could ever receive in points.
I pack light and park economically. By packing light and relying on my carry-on bags, I completely eliminate the chances of the airline losing my luggage. I typically travel with two bags— my suitcase and my briefcase. Both of these bags are on rollers, which makes it easy to zip in and out of airports and hotels. From a parking standpoint, I always park in a value lot near the airport. It’s about half the price of parking at the airport and generally only takes five or 10 minutes longer than parking at the terminal.