Savvy Travelling – Ask An Australian

by Christine Sine

At least that is what my husband always tells me.  I have just arrived in Pasadena for the 2008 West Coast Healthcare Missions and Ministry Conference and feel as though I have been nickelled and dimed to death as I travelled.  Now they are not only charging for checked luggage but also for drinks on the flight – soft drinks not alcoholic I’m talking about here.  At the same time we find that conferences are covering less and less of our expenses.  If like Tom and me you live on a shoe string budget than this is probably starting to pinch if you feel called to travel and speak.  Even if you are just travelling for fun it can add a lot to the expenses of a trip.

So what can we do to cut down on the expenses – say no would be one thing.  It would also help cut down on the carbon emissions and that is something to be taken very seriously these days.  This last week we took the train down to Portland which was both much cheaper, less stressful and less polluting than flying, not an option many of my friends in the US even consider because they are obsessed with speed and efficiency.  However to fly to Portland from Seattle takes almost as much time as the airport security and other hassles associated with flying – and guess what you can still use your cell phone and have a place to plug in your laptop.

Packing a lunch or breakfast is another way to save.  I also travel with a small electric kettle which means I can make as many cups of tea at the other end as I want too – another great savings.  Staying with friends also helps and I must confess for me it is a much preferred way to be accomodated.  This staying in hotels on your own gets very lonely.  Crackers cheese and fruit from the local supermarket instead of expensive sandwiches also helps if you have to buy your own meals.  It is amazing how all these savings mount up and they often don’t just help our budget but also that of the people we are working with.

So what helps you economize in these challenging financial times?

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