Life is busy, and often things have to happen last minute. Whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat on your ride home from the office on a night you had been planning on cooking, or if it’s paying the $10 late registration fee for your child’s junior baseball league because you simply didn’t get the form in on time, it happens to all of us. And it’s good to be flexible because life can be unpredictable and we need to be able to roll with the punches.
But in some cases where it’s possible to plan ahead, it can really pay off—especially when traveling. Let’s look at few ways that traveling last minute can really cost you and what you can do (when possible) to save yourself some of that hard-earned money.
Book Your Flight Early
Many people who fly often already know that booking a flight early typically saves money; however, when you see the actual numbers, it really hits home. Recent numbers show that, on average, booking air travel seven or fewer days before a flight costs 44% more than if that flight had been booked fifteen or more days in advance. That’s almost twice as much for the same flight! And while it’s not always possible to plan that far in advance, if cases when you are able, it really pays off.
Taking time to think through what you’ll need for your trip may seem insignificant, but can have some real cost-saving benefits. People who pack last minute often tend to pack more than they need. Because they haven’t taken the time to think through what they actually need and don’t need, they just throw everything in “just in case.” If you are traveling by car and have an empty trunk anyway, this isn’t much of a big deal, but if you’re flying, over-packing can really cost a lot because most airlines have now adopted a pay-per-checked-bag policy. Think about a family of four each having a couple extra bags to check simply because they didn’t pack smart—that could add up to several hundreds of extra dollars.
You can also prioritize when you pack. Think about what carries the most value for its size and make sure you pack those things first. Traveling for business? Make sure you have your phone. You will need it and it’s small, but if you forget it, you will need to buy a new one while you are on the road, and that will cost you a pretty penny.
Do Your Research
Especially when traveling for leisure, spending a few hours doing research can save lots and lots of money. Read reviews about great places to eat that don’t break the bank. Find out what day the museum has half-price admission. Find a coupon for theme park admission. A few hours now can save you hundreds of dollars.
At Baymont Inn & Suites in Mequon, we’re always here to help you “travel smart,” and booking a room with us is sure to save you money while still allowing you to enjoy clean, comfortable, and spacious accommodations.