Caregiving often comes with increased costs. Travel costs in particular shoot up with flights to see Mom, vacations to connect with family and late night car trips to help with a medical emergency.
In these difficult times extra comfort can mean a lot. A business class seat, a later flight time, a taxi home after a long day caregiving.
Once things stabilize there are opportunities to save money. Travel becomes less last minute and more regular.
The purpose of this post is to provide you with methods to save costs on travel over the long-term.
I want you to feel that you can see your loved one many times without worry. I want you to have the tools to save money conveniently. I want you to have the mental freedom to focus on what matters – love and connection.
I have been traveling a lot recently. Three out of every four weekends a month I’m on the road. I’ve learned a few lessons along the way.
What really matters in travel:
- Freedom to Read – This has lead me away from driving almost entirely. My mental relaxation comes with reading.
- Freedom to Sleep – Sometimes what’s best is to rest. Again, no driving.
- Minimal Delays – I hate delays. It’s something I need to work on ;). I like to leave early. Almost all forms of transportation run more effectively earlier in the day.
- Cheap Travel – For a genuine emergency I have no problem spending $1,000 on a plane ticket. But I cut back in other weeks to save up for this event. Caregiving is often a multi-month / multi-year process.
Travel preferences are personal. Take a moment now and write down the small things that make a big difference to you.
Affordable Travel Strategies
Below are the most effective methods I have found to travel without breaking the bank. Particularly if you have continuous travel plans to help care for someone over several months.
1. Take The Bus
Most trips cost $30 – $100 if they’re under 5 hours on the road. They can cost a lot less if you buy tickets in advance. After trying out a few bus companies pick one and become a member. The benefits are worth it. Bolt Bus for example, gives you a free trip after 8 rides.
The rides are comfortable, air-conditioned, and come with free Wi-Fi. If you’re traveling under 5 hours by road the bus is ideal. The door to door time is often better than traveling by plane.
While they are often regional, the largest bus companies in the U.S. are:
Driving is often cheaper than a flight. If your loved one lives within a few hours consider driving. The gas, food and mileage on the car will be about the cost of a bus ticket.
If you don’t have access to a car for the trip borrow a friend’s car. Friends often ask how they can provide help. This is an area where they can lend a hand.
Having a car also gives you flexibility. When you’re caring for a loved one sometimes a brief trip to take a swim at the gym, running an errand by yourself or visiting an old friend can make a big difference.
3. Membership Rewards
If you consistently travel every week or month use the same company to build up membership points. Over a year you can get several free flights or trips.
Use a travel rewards credit card or debit card. I own a Capital One Venture Card. It’s incredibly simple to use. I regularly get back $50 – $100 a month in cash.
Build a routine with a travel company. Find a flight time or bus departure time that works for you. Find your local sandwich spots nearby. Get there early and rest. Enjoy the new control that you have.
4. Rent Your Place On AirBNB
Long-term consider renting your place on AirBNB while you travel. This is a highly personal decision but if you feel comfortable you can cover 100% of your travel costs.
I rent my place on AirBNB and it provides an additional $1,000 – $2,000 of income a month. This covers a large portion of my travels costs.
Speak with a friend who rents their place on AirBNB and ask them how it’s going. The process is a lot easier than you think. People wrecking your place or stealing your stuff is extremely rare (it’s never happened to me personally).
This can enable you to travel more often, get that upgrade on your next flight or allow you take a much needed vacation.
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September 10, 2015
By: JP Adams