5 Ways to Save Money when Traveling

It’s no secret that travelling is expensive. According to American Express, the average cost of a vacation is over $1,100 per person. For many, this amount just isn’t attainable, so they simply don’t ever take trips out of fear for what it will cost.

It’s possible to take a vacation without spending a fortune, though. Driving is almost always cheaper than flying, especially for multiple people. Road trip expenses can add up quickly though, so it’s important to plan ahead to avoid spending more than expected.

Ready to make some memories on the road, but want to stick to a budget while doing so? Here’s 5 tips to save money on your next road trip.

Pack snacks

Head to the grocery store a day or two before your road trip and stock up on your family’s favorite snacks. Think about things that will be easy to keep fresh while you travel, and plan to eat any perishable snacks (fruit, veggies, hummus, sandwiches) on the first day (or have a good cooler in the car).

Don’t forget drinks – bottles of water, cans of soda, juice boxes, and other drinks are great to bring in a cooler on your trip. If your overnight accommodations have a fridge, chill your drinks as often as you can to keep them cold. If your hotel offers free ice, take advantage of the opportunity to re-chill your cooler for free.

Even if you splurge (within reason) on some of your family’s favorite special treats at the grocery store, you’ll still save money. You can often buy a package of food for close to the same price as an individual serving at a convenience store. It’s tempting to run in for a snack when you’re stopping for gas or a restroom break, but having plenty of snacks in the car will save you money.

Don’t overpay for sleep

It’s fun to stay in hotels when you travel, but it’s also super expensive. With the average cost of a hotel room in the United States during peak summer travel months at around $130, the cost of a bed really adds up and can blow your budget fast. If you choose to stay at a hotel, plan ahead and book your room before leaving for the best rates. Some chains offer deals for staying at their hotels multiple nights in a row, which is definitely something to look into as well.

If you have friends or relatives who live on or near your path, spend a night with them instead of shelling out for a hotel. This might also include a home cooked meal, which can be a bigger treat than expected after several days on the road.

Another option is to rent with AirBNB or VRBO (always ask for a discount!). It’s often possible to find cheaper accommodations than a hotel, and you can book a place with a kitchen and save money by cooking your own meals.

Dine cheaper

Small, locally owned restaurants tend to be cheaper than chains. Ask for recommendations at your hotel, the gas station, or look online for suggestions of the best local restaurants to check out at meal time. You might save money while also supporting small business owners, and who knows when you will find a hidden gem. Eating a large meal at lunch instead of dinner can also save money as many restaurants offer reduced prices on their lunch menu.

If you stay in a hotel, book one with free breakfast. Even if you don’t normally eat breakfast, taking advantage of a free meal in the morning can reduce food costs if you can skip lunch and snack through the afternoon. Don’t be afraid to grab an extra piece of fruit as you leave breakfast to take in the car for later, and be sure to fill up your insulated thermos with coffee to stay caffeinated without a $5+ latte.

Car Maintenance

Take your car in to have it looked over before leaving on a long trip. If there’s any concerns, it will save you a significant amount of money and stress to be able to take care of the issue before hitting the road.

GasBuddy.com is a great way to look for the cheapest gas prices near you. While a few cents per gallon savings may not seem like much, it adds up quickly!

Bring cash

Withdraw cash to have on hand before leaving town. If you find yourself somewhere that doesn’t accept plastic, or end up needing to pay a toll road, withdrawing cash at your financial institution before leaving town can save you from ATM fees on the road. And, while you’re at the bank, be sure to tell them you’re headed out of town to prevent out of state charges from being flagged as fraudulent.

It’s also a good idea to keep emergency cash hidden safely in your car should your wallet get stolen or your credit card get shut down for fraud. It’s always a good idea to travel with more than one payment method, and cash as a backup is best.

Get a $150 Referral Bonus When You Become an Uber Driver

If you’re considering becoming an Uber driver, NOW is the time!

The referral bonus for new Uber drivers has traditionally be lower, at $50 in most cities, but Uber has increased the new driver referral bonus to $150 in many cities! The bonuses vary by city, so it may be more or less in certain cities. For example, right now it’s $300 in Washington, DC, $400 in Boston, and $500 in Los Angeles!Become an Uber Driver

It’s very easy to get started, and there are only a few steps you need to take to get paid your bonus:

  • Sign up here
  • Upload all required documents to their partner dashboard
  • Get vehicle inspected
  • Complete 20 trips (this number varies by city, but should take about 3 hours of Uber driving)

When I signed up, I got paid a $50 Uber referral driver bonus after just the first Saturday night of driving for Uber. It couldn’t be easier to earn the bonus, so sign up now!

The whole process is pretty quick, and if you have any questions about the approval process, leave them below. I’m happy to answer them for you!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to become an Uber driver here and get your $150 bonus now!

Uber Sign Up Bonus

4 Tips For Starting A Dropshipping Business ASAP

Launching a dropshipping business can be the perfect way to own the store of your dream. With low-risk and high-reward, this has become one of the most popular eCommerce models out there, where you don’t have to put up for inventory beforehand. Which, if dropshipping has been something you’ve been considering starting up, then we’ve provided a few helpful examples on how to get started. Check them out below:

Come Up With A Brand That Sticks

The world of eCommerce is a massively competitive industry. Not only are there going to be others that want the same customer base you do, but additionally looking to capture niche markets within each sector. That can be quite the tough draw to get out there and compete with, which is why developing a solid brand that lends itself to developing a core audience.

The core of your brand should start with the reason that you’re in business in the first place. This is your ethos and mission, which is the primary driver as to why someone is going to become a consumer of your brand; because as noted by LucidPress, 64 percent of consumers cite shared values as the main reason they do business with a company. Although this might be tough to decipher at first, the goal is to ask yourself the questions that help decide what type of personality and image you feel like your brand should showcase, highlighting why others should gravitate towards you. It’s okay to revise and possibly do a rebrand later; however, this first shot is going to be what the world thinks of you, so make it count.

Find Your Suppliers

Once you’ve established what your brand is, it’s time to start thinking about who your suppliers should be. This is a primary component as to how successful your dropshipping business will be, especially considering that it’s the biggest determination of price point. Although finding dropship suppliers might seem like a difficult task, with the right initiative, it can be much simpler than you think. It comes from knowing your market and what suppliers are going to serve the best need.

As noted by Disruptive Advertising, approximately 80 percent of Americans have made an online purchase in the past month, which is a pretty staggering statistic considering how much of that marketplace you need to capture to become sustainable. In diving deeper into your industry, one of the first things you need to do is look at what brands or suppliers are most popular right now, as well as how you can develop a relationship with them. From there, it’s all about honing in on getting the best rate you can to deliver to your customers, which in turn, will increase your margins as well. Be patient with this approach, as being able to land something significant will help you out tremendously long-term.

Know How To Market

Marketing is perhaps one of the most crucial elements to performing well as a dropshipping business, especially if you’re looking to grow quickly. This involves a keen sense of what strategies are going to deliver the best ROI, both for the amount of time and money you put in. Marketing is something that many people believe is intuitive, but it can be one of the most significant challenges you’ll face in reality. As a practice that involves quite a bit of dedication and consistency, building out a foundation from the ground up for your marketing plan is going to take some serious legwork.

Take a look at the type of audience you’re trying to develop, including which platforms they’re presently engaging on. For most eCommerce items, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are going to be your primary use cases, with Instagram currently leading the charge; in fact, according to DreamGrow, engagement on Instagram is 58 times higher than any other social media sites. Try to find a consistent pattern for which you can post and track analytics, highlighting what you’re doing right versus where improvements can be made. Although social media might be something we use every day, that doesn’t mean we can’t maximize the marketing potential of it to make our social pages drive some serious revenue.

Customer Service Is Key

Finally, if there’s going to be one aspect that’s imperative for any new eCommerce shop, it’s developing amazing customer service. This is an aspect that while often overlooked, can be the deciding factor if someone wants to keep doing business with you. As noted by HelpScout, 51 percent of consumers say that after one negative experience, they’ll never do business with that company again. Which, if you’re looking to avoid, then being ahead on this before launch is a must.

If you haven’t already, start drafting up an FAQ for your website, as well as common responses to questions to be held internally. From there, establish which mediums you’re going to be contacting customers from, as well as the hours you’re willing to work customer service. While it might take a little getting used to, this is also a practice that will help you determine how you can improve upon into the future, giving your dropshipping company a leg up moving forward.

What are you most excited about in launching a dropshipping company? Comment with your answers below!

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