Yep. It’s that time of year again. The time of year when people are booking flights and renting cars so that they can take a much needed vacation, yet no matter what mode of transportation you choose, it’s gonna be a bit pricey this year due to the (will it ever end?) rise in gas prices.
There are some ways that you can save a few dollars while on your travels, though. The added bonus is that the following tips are also eco-friendly. So, not only are you sparing a few trees by not spending so much money, but you’re also doing the environment a favor by cutting down on the use of your resources.
Do you want to know how to make that happen? Check out these ideas below.
Think about your mode of transportation. Now, more than ever, flying is more about convenience. So, if you’ve got a week to spend time in a place that’s over a thousand miles away, flying might be the best route to take. Make sure that you shop for special deals (that’s what HotWire, Orbitz and Expedia are for) and when it’s time to get your ticket, request an e-ticket rather than a paper one. If you’re going to rent a car, there are more rental companies with hybrids available (Enterprise and Budget are two of them). It may cost a bit more to rent the car itself, but with what you save not having to fill up at the gas station, it’s still well worth it.
Pack wisely. There are a lot of tips for this one. First, make sure that you use refillable bottles for your toiletries; there’s no sense in bringing full bottles of things like shampoo along. If you’re leaving for 10 days, you probably only need a couple of pair of jeans because you can interchange them with several outfits. In other words, don’t pack excessively. Make sure to bring along a reusable bag in case you plan on shopping for souvenirs so that you’re not wasting any paper or plastic shopping bags. Take a recyclable water bottle in case you’re thirsty at any time. It’s a lot cheaper and better for the environment than buying bottled water. Oh, and be sure to use a digital camera rather than a disposable one; mostly because a digital camera is one that you can use over and over again.
Prepare to go. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? Even before you leave the house, there are some things that you can do to cut down on electricity. Be sure to turn down your thermostat, unplug any appliances that don’t need to be in use while you’re away (ones that would are the refrigerator, for instance), turn down your water heater and make sure to turn off most of the lights (other the porch and a living room lamp) in the house.
Take a travel lunch. Even though lunch is no longer served on airplanes, if you’re hungry, there may still be the temptation to purchase a meal at the airport and that can be extremely expensive. Whether you’re traveling by air or land, you can save good money by preparing a lunch ahead of time filled with organic goodies like nuts, fruit and veggies.
Research where you’ll be staying. These days, there are eco-friendly hotels and restaurants in virtually every city. Therefore, make sure to do your research ahead of time. The great thing about “window shopping” online is that there are even places that will offer online private tours to help you in making your selection. Just remember that wherever you end up to use the same rules that you would at home when it comes to electricity and water usage. And be sure to ask if there are recycling bins where you’re staying, too!