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Learn How to Save on Travel Expenses

How to save when planning the trip

  • Research trip options. Do you really need to travel? Would a video or Web conference meet your needs instead?
  • Do a preliminary budget of all your anticipated expenses (air, hotel, transportation, meals, entertainment). Estimate how much you will spend and try to stay within or below that budget.
  • You must use the university’s contracted travel agency. There’s power and negotiation leverage in numbers, so our travel agency is your best bet for cutting costs.
  • Be flexible with your departure and return flight times. Sometimes, three hours can make more than $200 of a difference. Consider including a Saturday night stay or leaving the day before your meeting to take advantage of lower airfares.
  • Double-check. Confirm all trip details, such as dates, times, services, etc., before ticketing. Avoid making ticket changes.
  • Consider alternative airports and low-fare carriers. They are not necessarily less convenient. Ask our travel agency for options.
  • Re-evaluate the need for ground transportation. Can you use one rental car together with other passengers? Can you take a multi-passenger shuttle or taxi? These types of transportation might be cheaper and faster. Also, consider having someone drive you to the airport rather than taking a car service.
  • Be flexible with your hotel preferences. Use negotiated properties and mid-range hotels rather than first-tier hotels.

How to save while traveling

  • Ask the hotel clerk if there is a lower rate available. Often times, they may lower the rate if the hotel is at low occupancy.
  • Avoid using room service. Many cities have dine-around or order-in programs from outside restaurants. Check with the concierge for additional information. The meals are usually better and less expensive than room service.
  • Always check your bill (hotel, restaurant, transportation etc.). Dispute any items that should not be on the bill. You can dispute before and after you pay so don’t just assume that since you have paid for it, you are stuck with the expense.
  • Take advantage of hotel courtesies. Use the “freebies” provided as part of your stay, such as health club facilities, continental breakfast, newspapers etc.