Travel is usually enjoyable and fun. Often it’s a reward for getting through another year at work. However, cheap travel is hard to find. I’ve only recently embarked on my path of effective money management to achieve comfortable wealth and financial freedom. So, I haven’t traditionally sought out cheap travel or been thrifty with money while travelling. In fact, I’ve been pretty good at throwing money away while travelling.
Recently, I went on two domestic trips within the space of a week. One was for leisure and one was for work. On the leisure trip, we were going for a mates birthday, plans and costs were mostly out of my hands. However, for the work trip, I had control over my expenditure. Usually on these trips, I would go out for breakfasts and dinners, and then go to Coles or Woolworths to get some snacks and lunch suitable to take into the field.
Usually, my breakfasts would cost around $18 for a meal and a coffee each day. My lunch and snacks would cost about $12 each day. And then dinner would be about $50 per night for a meal and a few beers.
While at the airport, I’d have at least two beers and buy a bottle of water for the flight, costing about $25. Then, on the flight, I’d usually have a couple of beers and some pringles or cheese and crackers, costing a further $20. Overall, a trip like this for a couple of nights would usually cost about $193 all up… Not cheap travel at all.
However, this time I took more of a frugal approach to the trip. I packed cereal from home, UHT milk, whiskey, apples, sultanas, muesli bars and a noodle cup for lunch in the field. Additionally, I took my own bowl, cutlery, thermos, coffee cup, and water bottle. Additionally, I flew Virgin Australia during their 5-7pm happy hour time period… So, I had booze and a snack covered on the first flight. And, we flew back in the morning, so I didn’t want booze for this flight.
Just by being more organised, I managed to cut costs quite a bit. My breakfasts cost me about $1 each, lunch was $2.50 and my snacks cost about $1.50 for both days.Additionally, my self-made coffees and teas using free hotel condiments and my UHT milk cost about $0.50 all up.
I still went out for dinner each night with a colleague. However, I did try and limit my expenditure a little. The first night cost me $30 for dinner, two beers and a glass of merlot as my colleague shouted two drinks.The next night it was my shout for drinks, so it was a bit more expensive. Dinner for myself and a few drinks for the both of us cost $56. Usually, I’d have a few more drinks, but I limited myself while out and then had a whiskey of my own as a night cap, which cost about $1.50.
All up, this trip cost me $94 in food and beverages, saving me $99 on my usual expenses for these types of trips.
As outlined, I was still able to go out and enjoy a few meals and drinks with a colleague. So, my social networking wasn’t impacted by being a bit more thrifty than usual. Instead, I focussed my attention on organising myself pre-trip to save heavily on the meals that are usually for sustenance rather than networking, so that I could afford to still enjoy myself at the end of each day.
Given that I halved my costs, I will definitely be implementing this practice from now on. If you travel quite a bit for work or leisure, I suggest you give it a go too.