How to Save Money While Traveling Domestically

I know a person who traveled just 150 miles away and spent $500 for the weekend. That amount of money is a massive amount of money to spend in just a few todays in a medium-sized Midwestern city.


To keep others from spending this amount of cheddar, I thought I’d offer up this post. The following post describes things I do when I travel from city to city around the US. These are tips and tricks I learned while traveling for work. Let’s get started:

Sit with One Seat Open at the Bar

Go into any bar at a hotel, airport or anywhere you think traveling business people will be. Sit down at the bar with just one seat open before the end of the bar. A single traveler will no doubt ask if the seat is taken. After you say ‘no’, the opportunity for a friendship will ensue.

What usually happens is you end up swapping business cards. This means you can do business together in the future. That means you’ll make money with this exchange. Furthermore, you can save money as well. That’s because these travelers usually have a corporate credit card. They often offer to pick up your tab as well because it’s just their company’s money (that’s usually their way of thinking). Most corporate credit cards won’t allow alcohol to be charged but your acquaintance may cover that aspect him/herself when submitting the bill to payroll. Or, to be safe, don’t order alcohol.

Don’t do this trick just for the money aspect. Do it more for networking. Who knows, you may feel obliged to pick up their bill.

Use Uber or Lyft

These services are cheaper than using a typical taxi cab. They are usually more enjoyable and convenient as well. Simply get on either app and start using. Google promo offers to get your first ride free. Note: Be good to your drivers. Everyone exchanges feedback. If your feedback is too low, some drivers won’t pick you up.

Use Airbnb

I absolutely love Airbnb. It’s a fantastic way to save tons of money. The last place I stayed was Charlotte, North Caroline. I stayed at a house for just $35 per night. A nearby hotel was charging $129 per night. What a difference! The guy I stayed with even gave me a ride to the airport in his brand new BMW 3-series. Pretty awesome experience.

Use Yelp

The worst thing is spending money on a lackluster experience. Use Yelp to review a restaurant before trying it. You needn’t be disappointed. In this day and age, ignorance is no longer an excuse.

Leave a Little Earlier

Leave a little earlier than needed. This means you won’t be rushing and making mistakes at the airport. This includes things like having to go back through security because you forgot you had a canteen filled with water on you (this has happened to me 3 times). If you’re driving, leaving a little early means you won’t have to drive so fast. This means better fuel economy and less stress. Stress almost always results in more money spent. So remember this the next time you want to wait to pack until an hour before you should be leaving.

Have Plenty of Data Left before Leaving Home

When traveling, you’ll burn through a lot of data… Uber, Google Maps, Airbnb, lots of small purchases, etc. etc. Make sure you save extra data for your time traveling. Buying additional data is very expensive when comparing it with what you normally pay.

Think about It This Way…

When you save money on trips, you get to travel more often! Or you can add your savings to a different spending category such as shoes, makeup, dresses, cars – you name it. Always spend as little as you can while still having a great time.