Heading to a Conference? How to Save Money on Travel

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

I recently returned from the Financial Blogger Conference. It was held in St. Louis this year, and it was a lot of fun. When I travel for business, I offset some of the cost with tax deductions. However, there are other ways to save money when you travel to a conference. As long as you are willing to reach out to other conference-goers, and engage in a little extra planning, it’s possible to save money as you travel.

Fly at Odd Times

The first rule of getting the best airfares is fly during “off” times. This can mean testing to see which days are cheaper to fly. You might fly in a day early or leave a day late. Perhaps you miss the first part of the conference in order to get a better rate.

Another option is to look for red-eye flights. These are flights that leave early in the morning or late at night. Some of them require overnight travel. They are very inconvenient, but they are also much less expensive. You can save anywhere between $100 and $300 (or more) on your round-trip airfare just by adjusting when you are willing to travel.

Split Your Ground Transportation Costs

Contact other conference-goers and figure out when they are getting in. If there are a few of you coming in at the same time, you can split a cab to the conference location. This worked quite well when I went to FinCon. About six of us arrived within a two-hour timespan, and we all shared a cab. I felt a little bad for the first guy to arrive, since he waited for everyone, but he seemed to be in good spirits. I also split a cab on the way back. This significantly reduced the amount of money I spend on ground transportation to and from the conference venue.

Share a Hotel Room

This is something I will not do. I’m willing to pay for the convenience and privacy of my own hotel room. However, I know several other conference attendees who split rooms. Many conferences offer forums or spreadsheets that provide a place to find roommates. This can be a great way to get to know someone better while you save money. Sharing a hotel room with one other person cuts your cost in half. Share with a third person, and you save even more.

Of course, you have to be willing to put up with others’ quirks, and there has to be a certain amount of trust. I have a hard time sharing because I like my own space, and because I get a little messy. I’ll fling my stuff all over. Plus, it’s rare that I make it back to my room before 2 a.m. when I’m at FinCon. It’s rather inconsiderate to come busting in at that time when you have a roommate.


There are other costs you can split. At dinner one night, I split a dessert with one of my fellow diners. I also saw other attendees splitting entrees and samplers with each other. Not only does that save you money, but it can also save your waistline!

How do you save when you travel to conferences?

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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