Saving Money While Traveling

Day 32 | $31,450 paid | $59,267 till freedom

This will be the last post for a few days since I’ll be in Ann Arbor for the weekend to reconnect with my old friends at teammates.

Since this is the first of three trips in October, I already know I’m going to blow my budget. So it won’t come down to a question of whether or not I do, but by how much. Being vigilant over every dollar will be hyper-critical, and that starts from the beginning of the trip, with parking–a huge, huge waste of money at highway-robbery prices.

I didn’t want to bother my friends for a ride to the airport since they’d need to be available in the middle of the day and I didn’t want to put that on them, so I decided to drive myself. I typically park at the Parking Spot for covered off-site parking at $10/day, including tax. I don’t like exposing my vehicles to the elements such as sun and potential hail, and I always garage them at home. The Parking Spot is a good compromise to the expensive garage parking at Austin-Bergstrom, which is like $20/day or something ridiculous. Surface parking at ABIA is $7/day including tax, but it’s uncovered.

I was planning on taking my Murano to the Parking Spot like I always do, but then I realized that I could actually save a few bucks  each day ($12 total) if I parked at ABIA. I didn’t want to expose my Murano to sun or hail though, so I’d have to take…my motorcycle. I had waxed it earlier in the day, so the paint would be protected from the sun. Also, it hasn’t rained in several months, and while there’s a 40% chance of showers this weekend, a little rain won’t hurt the bike. And if it hails, the plastic bodywork will be fine.

While the trip is not terribly long, it’s not very short, either. It’s three nights, four days (Thurs-Sun), and I’d have to jam the following into my into a backpack to ride my bike:

  • extra pair of jeans
  • two stretch polos
  • long-sleeve t-shirt
  • two short-sleeve t-shirts
  • socks and underwear for Fri-Sun
  • crew team varsity jacket (it’s raining with highs of 55 all weekend in Ann Arbor)
  • laptop & power cord
  • toothbrush, razor, shaving cream, etc.
  • sunglasses
  • phone charger
  • protective case for my helmet

And because I’m going to get in some alumni rows while I’m there:

  • rowing trau
  • rowing UnderArmour
  • athletic sunglasses (can’t use the aviators!)
  • shorts
  • sandals

I had $12 in savings fueling my conservative packing motivation, and I actually managed to do it. The bag was bursting at the seams and actually giving me back pain as I rode the 25 minutes to the airport, but I did it. The rowing shorts and t-shirt will have to serve double-duty as pajamas, but other than that, I really think I have all I need and want. Well, other than my kindle, and my…FLASK. (Yes, I somehow forgot it!)

By doing this, I not only save 12 bucks (and get 40 MPG instead of 20-25), but I have a more enjoyable ride to and from the airport…well, except for the back pain.

As I type this on the plane, I’m still wondering if it’s worth it. $28 for parking, or $40? I don’t know; I’m torn on this one. $40 just feels like so much more than $28. I think it’s just that I hate paying for parking so, so much–whether it’s at the airport, downtown, at a concert, whatever. It’s such a waste of money.

Hopefully nobody throws my bike in the bed of their truck as they leave the airport parking lot.


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6 responses to “Saving Money While Traveling

  1. Sara

    You should try the Super Shuttle. They have it in Austin, and even roundtrip would should be less than or close to $28 I’m pretty certain (if you could get a ride home from the airport, you could have just paid the one-way fare too). It would take a little more time, but you could have taken a normal suitcase and not have had to leave your bike out in the rain/sun.

  2. Rose

    I agree with Sara, Super Shuttle is an amazing way to get to and from The Airport. If you choose to go with a group its bout 24-25 bucks per trip. However if you Google super-shuttle promo codes, you can get up to 15% off per trip. So knock off about 2-3 bucks off each trip.

  3. Was in Ann Arbor for the first time for work this week. What a great town and beautiful school!

  4. Zeona

    Near LAX there are a few lots that let motorcycles park free. I’m not familiar with Austin’s Airport but you should check with nearby hotels, etc that have free airport shuttles to get you the rest of the way. Hope you’re enjoying your trip!

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