10 Ways to Keep the Cost of Long Distance Visitation Under Control

10 Ways to Keep the Cost of Long Distance Visitation Under Control

The topic comes up over and over on long distance parenting forums. Travel is expensive and every dollar counts when you could be spending thousands a year on travel. Here are 10 ways to keep the cost of travel down.

  1. Consider using extended stay hotels or renting an apartment for long visits. Not only do they tend to be cheaper than regular hotels, for long visits, they also have a homier atmosphere with more long term stay amenities like a kitchenette which will allow you to go grocery shopping and eat in your room rather than eating out.
  2. Stay with family and friends in the area when possible. Although perhaps not as private as one would hope, it has the added benefit of providing a less sterile home environment to visit with your child(ren) in. Ply said friend or family with dinners and outings while you are there.
  3. Buying plane tickets at least 3 months in advance can cut a lot of the cost out. Too far in advance, and you’ll get a pretty standard rate across the board. But as the date gets closer, flight rates go down in order to attract passengers – and then as flights get full, the rates go up again.
  4. Look for a program that gives you a price guarantee so that if the flight price drops, you are guaranteed the lower rate.
  5. Sometimes on value, economy or discount travel sites, you can get a steal on flights and hotels.
  6. Some of the smaller airlines like jetblue, alaska airlines, southwest etc have better deals than the bigger ones… and of course, keep a frequent flyer account on every airline.
  7. If the child is travelling, some airlines will let them travel alone at 5, some at 7. That cuts out the need for a companion ticket.
  8. Grocery store cards and credit cards sometimes have programs where they give you frequent flyer miles for making purchases. For instance on my Vons card, every $200 I spend at vons, I get a couple hundred airline miles.
  9. Collect coupons for hotels, restraunts etc. Ask family and friends to send you coupons if they run across them.
  10. Make sure your cell phone plan covers that area without charging you an arm and a leg. It was cheaper for us to get a national plan than paying all the roaming.

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