Maximizing Your Travel Budget: Transportation

Opportunity cost: The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action.

Unfortunately, teleportation is still not a thing, making it necessary for us to figure out how we are going to get from point A to point Beach. Personally, this is my least favorite aspect of traveling. I know it’s supposed to be all about the journey and not the destination, but I just want to be at the beach. For me, choosing transportation is all about minimizing time and expenses. The opportunity cost of an extra hour of travel is high for me but your travel values may be different. Be sure to take into account the time cost and monetary costs associated with different modes of travel. Here are my top tips for making the most of your transportation budget:

Be open to less common modes of travel: The US Department of Transportation estimates that 90.7% of the time, people travel by car when they are going on a trip. It’s time we started thinking outside that box on wheels. Buses and trains can be much cheaper options depending on the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. In addition, you get the added benefit of being able to enjoy the scenery as you cruise to your destination. Flights can also be cheaper, particularly if you are traveling alone. When deciding whether it’s cheaper to drive or fly, utilize a travel cost calculator. You can find a link to one at the end of this article.

Book at the right time: Timing is everything when it comes to air travel. Be strategic about booking your flights and you could save hundreds of dollars. While not a hard and fast rule, it’s cheapest to book on a Tuesday between 50-100 days out for domestic flights, according to an Expedia report on travel trends. For international flights, you will want to start planning a bit sooner and look to book between 150-225 days out. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute. Prices spike 14 days out. Bus and train tickets follow their own trends but there is less market research on the subject. My advice is to start looking early and set up a price aler

Bring less with you: If you are traveling by plane, this is a no brainer. Nearly every airline charges you to check a bag and the fees can be hefty. Even if you are travelling by car, removing that extra weight from the vehicle will increase your fuel efficiency. Another plus, you can spend the time you would have spent waiting at baggage claims or unpacking cars doing more productive things, like playing in the ocean.

Check back soon for ways to maximize your travel entertainment budget. If you are dreaming of traveling but don’t know how to fit it into your budget, contact Apprisen to talk to one of our counselors who can help you set up a spending plan.

Travel Resources:

Travel Calculator: www.travelmath.com

Bus & Train Tickets:  www.amtrak.com ;  www.megabus.com

Plane tickets: www.kayak.com

3 thoughts on “Maximizing Your Travel Budget: Transportation

  1. Being from Newfoundland and stuck on an island, our transportation options are limited. I sometimes envy people living on the mainland and how simply (and cheaply) they can scoot around anyone on the continent.

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  2. Hi Brad! It is always nice to have (cheap) options, and we should be remember to be thankful for them! Newfoundland is on my list of places to visit. Do you travel mainly by car or is there a good bus/train system?

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