A Smattering of Cheap Travel Tips and Tricks

Hi Pocketchangers!

Quick English lesson – A smattering is a small amount of something, which is exactly what you’ll get today! Welcome back, and today, we’re looking at some cheap travel tips in case you have a business trip to go on or a quick vacation! I’ve had the privilege of using several of these tips and tricks this past week as I went to Grand Rapids, Michigan for work. Let’s get started!

1 Plan your stay by a grocery store

No doubt, one of the biggest benefits this past week was finding a hotel that was conveniently located close to a grocery store. This gave me the opportunity to save a bit of cash on food, buying food that lasts longer than one meal. I bought some veggies, some water, and some snacks. Over the course of the trip, it helped saved me money.

2 Track Your Expenses with Expensify

I spent a little bit of time doing some research to find an easy and free way to track my expenses while on this trip. Enter Expensify! This free app allows you to snap pictures of your receipts for tracking and even features a SmartScan feature. The expenses can be added to a report and then can be sent via email (with PDF attachments) to whomever you wish. It’s also accessible via web, but I primarily used the app on my phone.

There are categories to sort your expenses (i.e food, lodging, etc), and you can connect your credit card and bank account information if so desired. I opted to simply use this app to track my expenses in case something happened to my receipts during my travels. What’s nice is that the app will track the total dollar amount pending for your trip. Pretty neat!

Note – you only get 5 free SmarScans a month for the ‘free’ version, then you have to manually enter details. Since I made a few small extra purchases, I primarily used the manual entry feature so I could specifically allocate and control my entries, descriptions, and amounts. They offer the SmartScan feature with unlimited scans if so desired.

3 Stretch your legs

In addition to finding a hotel close to a grocery store, I had the privilege of finding a place that was fairly close to my end destination. Each day, I had the chance to not only walk to the grocery store for food as needed but also walk to my destination and got some exercise to boot! 

I originally planned on taking an Uber or Lyft but felt it was close enough to walk. Other than the 5-10 degree weather, I had no issues. I even considered trying to ride the bus to get closer, but I was within a route so no bus stops were available.

4 Be Flexible

I’ve spent the majority of the afternoon today sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight. Due to some inclement weather, many flights have been canceled or delayed. No joke – I just heard one airline offering $950 vouchers PLUS a seat on the next plane as I was walking by. Of course, these aren’t guaranteed, but it’s nice to benefit from what some would consider a ‘bad’ situation.

In fact, we have benefited before from a delayed flight in the past – when we returned from our trip to Maine. We were given vouchers as compensation due to an airplane malfunction and weather.  Be flexible, and you just might come out ahead!

Have a great Wednesday, and stay warm!

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