Tips for Less Expensive Travel
I'm going to my first ever conference this June. I know, what rock have I been living under, right? Well, long story short, I just didn't think I could afford all of it until recently.
I was right – it is expensive – but not as bad as I thought it could be to travel. So far I've managed to save myself about $1,000 with a few creative solutions.
The first solution I happened upon completely by accident. The conference I'm attending, hosted by FreePress.net, linked up a neat service that helps you find people also going to the conference looking to share a room.
The service is SpaceShare.com and literally saved me at least $600 in hotel room costs. Not only that, all the way up until the conference I get to make friends with my future room mate for three nights.
A couple days ago I finally sat down to look at travel options. From Anderson, South Carolina to Minneapolis, Minnesota on a Greyhound bus would have taken 1 day and 9 hours, but costs only $154 if purchased 14 days in advance.
Not a bad option really. I don't mind the slow travel. I've taken a Greyhound bus on a three day trip from Florida to New Hampshire, and although I really wanted a shower by the end of it, the people I met were really interesting.
Nevertheless, I had a look at flight options. Now, I've never bought a plane ticket before. The first I time I flew, I was 4 and don't remember. The second time was on a pond jumper to Nantucket a couple years ago, and that ticket was bought for me by family.
I knew it was going to be expensive, but I was still shocked to see the $680 price tag attached to a round trip ticket going from Greenville to Minneapolis at Orbitz.com.
Then someone else recommended I have a look at AirTran.com. They didn't have an option for Greenville, so I figured what the heck, may as well look at prices from Atlanta, Georgia. Low and behold, I was presented with a $200 price tag. Wow!
So I mixed the two solutions – got a Greyhound round trip ticket from Anderson to Atlanta for $58, and a round trip plane ticket from Atlanta to Minneapolis for a total of $230 after picking my seats and miscellaneous fees.
Lesson learned – think outside the box a bit. Dates of travel don't matter as much as where you're coming from and where you're going.
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