Saving $1,000 on Our Trip to Ohio

Today, we are departing Florida for a six-day trip to Ohio to witness the marriage of two of our good friends.

While travel costs for a simple trip can get out of control quickly, we managed to save about $1,000 on our trip by being smart about the structure of our trip.

Here’s how we did it:

  1. We’re driving: Although it’s an investment in time and tear & wear on the car, the out-of-pocket costs for our drive to Ohio are minimal. At 1,200 miles each way, we can expect to spend about $250 on gasoline. Between the four of us in the car, that’s $62 a person. Where can I find airfare that cheap? Estimated Savings: $400.
  2. We’re packing lunches: Rather than stop at every restaurant along our route, we’re saving time and money by pre-packing our lunches and bringing along a big cooler filled with food. It will last us the trip there, and we’ll prepare the same arrangement on the way back. That’s at least 6 meals we don’t have to eat out. Estimated Savings: $250.
  3. We’re arranging accommodations: Rather than booking an expensive hotel mid-way in each direction, we’re going to make use of the generosity of a friend and stay at their home. Estimated Savings: $150
  4. We’re not renting a car: A great perk of driving up ourselves is that we won’t have to rent a car for more than four days, and can come and go as we please. Estimated Savings: $200

In four easy steps, I’ve managed to shave $1,000 from our trip budget. Granted, $400 of these would not exist if we weren’t driving up in the first place (places to stay and eat mid-way). But it’s nice to know that we’ve compounded our frugality.

Do you have advice from recent travels or tips that saved you a lot of money?