Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How I'm Saving Money the Next Few Days on Travel

This is me after plowing through a snow
bank last Christmas while being pulled
behind my father-in-law's tractor. 
This is, literally, how I roll.
Based on the number of posts that I write about it, you would think that I travel a lot.  While I suppose this is true, I certainly don't feel like I travel that much (of course, I spent most of the last two years making weekly flights to and from grad school, so perhaps I don't have a good base reading on just what constitutes "a lot" of travelling).

Nevertheless, over the next few days, the wife and I are taking another trip.  For this one, we'll be leaving our beloved San Diego sunshine to face the icy, frozen northern tundra that is Fargo, North Dakota.*  My wife's family lives in North Dakota, and we're making a trip out there to visit and see our new nephew. 

Here are a handful of ways that we're fortunate to be able to save money over this time.

1)  Staying with Family - While this is not as exciting as getting a hotel, it's also much less expensive.  We are flying out of LAX tomorrow morning, and, fortunately, my brother lives pretty close to LAX, and he's offered to let us stay at his place AND take us to the airport in the wee small hours of the morning.  Additionally, we are able to stay at the home of the relatives that we're visiting in North Dakota, so we'll save there too.  This leads right into...

2)  Saving on a Car Rental - Because we are able to stay with family, we will not need to rent a car to get from our hotel to our family.  This is awesome, because, as much as I like fish-tailing all over the road, I'm not the hugest fan of driving on snowy roads.  You might argue that this makes me a sissy, and I agree with your assessment.

3)  Saving on Flights - One of the primary reasons we chose this weekend to fly north for the winter (birds got it all wrong, man!) is that the price for our flights was so low.  While the airline that we're flying has stiffed us before (at least they pass on the savings incurred from treating customers badly!), we're flying Allegiant Air again.  Our tickets were approximately $250 round trip, per person.  This is almost unheard of for flying from California to North Dakota, as flights can easily be that much just one way.  However, apparently the weekend before Thanksgiving is not prime travel time, so we were able to take advantage of the cheaper tickets offered through the website.

How do you save on travel?  Let me know in the comments.

*Here's hoping nobody puts me through a wood chipper.

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