Saving money while traveling is something even the most frugal traveler hopes for, whether they save on airfare, the hotel, or just day-to-day expenses. But what are you willing to do to save those extra dollars? Book a 5 am flight, stay in a shared room, or lugging your heavy bags up and down the stairs of a busy train station to save that $20 plus cab (or Lyft fare)? We’ve all made some choices that sounded great in the moment. Here are seven times you might want to reconsider being cheap and splurge on that travel transportation.


Is That Early Morning Flight Really Worth It?


You’re sitting down and comparing fares on Google Flights, the airlines’ website, and other third-party sites and you find the cheapest flight out, but it just happens to be at 6 am. Well, you’ll save $70 and get to your destination early — so it’s a win-win until your 3 am alarm goes off, and you’re struggling to get yourself out of bed and to the airport with enough time to get through TSA. We’ve been there, done that and missed out flight. If funds are tight and that $70 needs to stay in your pocket, then book that early morning flight. But if you have some financial wiggle room, don’t torture yourself — buy that afternoon flight.


yellow taxi cab near white car
Unsplash| ©Yucel Moran


Skipping The Rideshare (Or Cab) Option To And From The Airport


This is one of the things we’ve likely all tried. Why sit in traffic and pay over $20 to get the airport when you can just take public transit? Well, for one, lugging suitcases and carry-ons up and down the subway steps can be a nightmare (shoutout to stations with escalators) and if you’re running late and there are train delays you might risk getting to the boarding door long after its closed. Sometimes paying the extra money to Lyft is worth your peace of mind.



Booking “Basic” Flights


Airlines like Delta are now offering “Basic” flight options which means you can book your flight at a lower cost, but you can’t select your seat assignment when you book your ticket (or know where you’ll be sitting). If you need to adjust your flight after booking you won’t have that option — that includes same-day confirmed or same-day standby travel changes. If you’re okay with potentially sitting in the dreaded middle seat and don’t need much flexibility, this presents a great way to save money, but this is another case that might be worth the splurge.


Missed Connections


You did everything you were supposed to do. You got to the airport on time and even had time to grab a drink from the airport coffee shop only to hear a voice over the speaker tell you your flight hass been significantly delayed. Now this means you’re going to miss your connecting flight, and you had to reach your destination for a special event. We know things happen when we travel, but if you have an event or deadline, reserve a non-stop flight a day earlier than you need to be there just in case.


Unsplash | ©Aris Z.


Train, Plane, or Ferry


Opting to take an alternative means of transportation to a city can be fun especially if you’re taking the Amtrak or a Ferry, but nothing will get you to where you need to be faster than a good ol’ airplane or a car. On my first trip to Santa Barabara, I was stuck for over four hours because of a delayed train. Lucky for me, I had no place to other than back home Los Angeles, but I learned that just like planes — trains have their issues too.