There are ways to go on a trip and not spend any money (or at least not spend much money). I knew it could be done, but I surprised even myself with this latest go at penny-pinching.
Get the Trip for Free
- Take a trip on the company dime - or whoever is willing to pay. A couple of years back, our local Christian radio station had some trouble with the transformer (or whatever that big metal box was that we carried across five states in the back of our truck). Instead of paying for shipping, they paid me and my husband to drive it up, wait for the repairs, and drive it back. We took the kids and made a mini-vacation out of it.
If the price is right then stay at a hotel with complimentary breakfast. Even the “continental “ breakfasts are adding treats like waffles. Recently, I stayed at a place that had "make your own waffles," loads of muffins and bagels, and enough fruit to open a stand. I ate like a king.
Take full advantage of all the resources available. The conference I recently attended offered canned drinks and bottled water during the break. At the end of the meeting, I got a couple of extra waters to put in the mini-frig in my room.
Don’t be afraid of happy hour. Many of the local bars and lounges have a happy hour with free appetizers. Instead of paying a fortune for an entree, fill up at these gathering spots. If you are lucky, like I was this go around, one of the conference sponsors will host a cocktail hour. Not only do you get free food and drinks, but you get to connect with all the others in your field.
If you have to have a real meal then walk down to the restaurant instead of ordering room service. You can still get the food to go, but you will save a small fortune by getting it yourself.
Trips don’t have to cost a fortune. Be creative (always a good start when trying to save money) and think outside the box. You may be able to get your trip for free