If there’s one thing I know, it’s travel. I’ve acquired some great money-saving tips over the years, and decided I can’t keep them to myself any longer. So here are Jim’s Tips on How to Save Money While Traveling.

1. Just stay home. If you still feel the urge to travel, go spend a day watching the Travel Channel. Then cook a meal with some kind of sausage that doesn’t taste like any meat you can identify.

2. Sometimes we travel because we think it’s important to meet people in person. If it’s so important, why are we doing the traveling? Why don’t they do it?

3. Small children don’t need a vacation. They are already on vacation. Maybe you’ve noticed: They do exactly what they want, whenever they want.

4. Teenagers do not need a vacation. Remember, they get three months off each summer. Don’t spoil it for them. Leave them at home. No, not alone, but with some caregiver who doesn’t cook or clean as well as you do. The worse, the better. Boy, will those kids be glad to see you when you get back.

5. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up, and you might be tempted to travel to Grandma’s house. Here’s an idea: Go to Grandma’s house today, instead. Or sometime not during the holiday rush. Start a new tradition of not traveling over the holidays. You’ll finally be able to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas.

6. For the money you spend traveling to a wedding, you could send a very nice gift.

7. If you still insist on traveling, remember that you’re not saving any money by taking the cheaper flight at 6 a.m. First, it means you have to be at the airport by 5 a.m. And unless you live next-door to the airport, you’ll have to leave the house at 4 a.m. If you want to take a shower first, we’re talking about setting the alarm for 3:30 a.m. So instead, you’ll rent a hotel room next to the airport the night before your trip, costing you $200 -- which is exactly how much more money the 9 a.m. flight cost.

8. Visiting the family? Rent a car and stay in a hotel. Make up some story about why you can’t actually spend the night at their house, like, “My doctor says I have to sit in a spa for at least 40 minutes twice a day,” or “I don’t want to bother you with my giant sleep apnea machine.” They’ll insist that you stay with them but, alas, you’ve already rented the room.

Contact Jim Mullen at mullen.jim@gmail.com

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