I travel quite often throughout Eastern and Central Canada. I spend on average 4-6 months a year away from home. Sometimes more depending on the given year. This has given me critical knowledge when it comes to saving money while traveling. Hopefully these tips will help you save money traveling as well.
These are some tips I use on a regular basis while I travel:
1. Drive - If you have a fuel efficient car and you are within 1 days drive (normally 6-10 hours) of your destination I highly recommend you drive. Plane tickets in Canada are expensive. For example upon a quick search through Air Canada to get a round trip from Montreal to Halifax would cost me $607.36. That price does not include getting from Quebec City to Montreal, nor from Halifax to wherever I would want to go. Yes – I agree it would take 11.5 hours to drive to Halifax from Quebec City but I could do it on one and a half tanks of gas. A little under $100. We will round that up to $150 with food – one way. So $300 round trip. I think losing two days of vacation/trip time is worth $300 (at least) of savings.
Side note – Only recommended for those who can handle long drives. People who have children can skip this tip as it is pretty much void when young children are involved.
2. Leave chemicals at home – I personally prefer hassle free traveling. When I am required to take an airplane I do not like getting my shaving cream confiscated because it is over 100mL and in my carry-on. Nor do I like how I was asked to remove my shampoo from my checked baggage because it was over the 500ml limit (yes these examples actually did happen to me). I lost not only the money I spent on my shaving cream and shampoo but then had to re-purchase these items when I arrived at my destination – effectively making me pay double. ‘Oh but MyCF you should have known better’. Yes – Yes I should have.
Side Note – If you choose to stay in a hotel most of these items are provided for free anyways, so why bring them?
3. Go to a motel and haggle – Do you really need to stay in the nicest hotel when you will only be there to sleep? No you don’t. The trick is to find a shitty (excuse the language) motel that only has 1 or 2 cars in the driveway when there are many units. Do this after supper when people are normally back in their rooms. Go to the front desk/office and haggle a price. Make sure to state how long you will be staying. And if possible pay for the entire stay the first night there. This is added security so they cannot boost the price up later. The best I have done was $30 a night for 5 days. This definitely beats $100-$200 a night some of the nicer hotels cost. Yes you lose all of the luxury you have when staying in a nice hotel but the price speaks for itself.
Side Note – I am paranoid and so I always travel with an extra blanket. You should too. Do not trust motels or hotels.
4. Be conscious of where you spend money – Do not buy anything but gas from highway gas-stations. They charge an arm and a leg for everything else. If you are looking to stop for a bite to eat, I suggest you drive further into a town as prices tend to get cheaper.
Side Note – Do not buy ANYTHING in airport stores. They charge excessively high prices. Because they can.
While traveling can be extremely stressful hopefully by following these tips you can slightly reduce your worries.
Do you have any tips to save money while traveling? I would love to add them to the list!