Floyd Pierce (ApMath, Econ '17), a contestant on the 29th and 31st seasons of CBS's The Amazing Race, shares his tips on how to travel cheaply … when you're not on a reality show.
Join Travel Loyalty Programs
Joining a travel loyalty program is one of the easiest ways to cut down on travel costs. Especially if you travel for work, you should be able to use your loyalty account number to accrue points for your personal use. This could eventually lead to free tickets, rooms, cars or upgrades on your personal trips. Here are some recommendations for the best loyalty programs.
Track the Price of Your Flight
Google Flights' Price Alert tool will send you email alerts whenever the price of a flight you are following falls to a lower price than average. So, if you have a trip planned in the distant future, begin tracking its price now so that you can save on airline tickets. You can track prices through Google Flights.
Take Advantage of Work Travel
If you travel for business, check with your company about adding extra days onto your business trip. The company is likely already covering your flight, so you might be able to stay for just the cost of lodging and food. If you don't travel for work, do you know someone that does? Consider going along with them, if you can. Their job is likely already covering their hotel room, so you might be able to tag along while eliminating certain expenses.
Convert Your Currency
Even though you can use U.S. dollars in a variety of foreign countries, it would be in your best interest to convert your money into the local currency. This is especially useful for transportation because sometimes a taxi driver will ask for more money than the meter reads if you have U.S. currency. Or some well-intentioned drivers will accidentally ask for too much because they don't know the conversion rate off of the top of their head.
Break the “Tourist” Mold
Many times, locations off the beaten path give a more genuine and interesting experience. Not to mention, they're often a lot cheaper. Ask locals for dining and experience recommendations.
Floyd Pierce (Econ '17, ApMath '17) is a CU Boulder Alum that traveled the world on the 29th and 31st seasons of The Amazing Race. He currently works at Colorado Financial Management as a Client Service Manager and is studying to earn the CFA designation.