Living on the road isn’t cheap, but as missionaries, we strive to be the best stewards of what God has given us through the generosity of God’s people. I have gathered some money saving travel tips from some of the other authors of Women Behind the Scenes. Even if you aren’t a missionary on deputation, some of these tips may help you when you travel.
- Instead of buying travel sized toiletries over and over, try refilling travel sized bottles with regular sized products.
- Pack lunches, snacks and drinks in a cooler to save from having to go to restaurants on the road. This also makes for a nice excuse to stop at a park or pretty rest area to eat lunch and let the kiddos burn off some excess energy!
- We like to Google search free activities for kids in whatever city we will be traveling to or through if we have any free time. We have found great parks, festivals and petting zoos this way.
- Instead of buying water at gas stations, buy a big pack of water bottles to keep in the car. Another option is to purchase a water bottle that has a built-in filter.
- A lot of us missionary wives keep a container in the car that contains essential “just in case” items such as extra diapers, an extra change of clothes for the kids, extra pacifiers, medications, etc…to prevent having to buy them on the road in case of an emergency.
- Keep a change cup in the car to deposit loose change to use at laundromats, if needed. Also keep laundry detergent in the car.
- Coupons! Most people throw junk mail away, but I like to check for fast food coupons before I toss mine. Also, ask friends to save fast food coupons for you if they don’t want them.
- A lot of churches have prophet’s chambers (rooms or houses used for missionaries or guest preachers to stay when they are traveling through the area). These are a huge blessing for missionaries, as it saves from having to purchase a room at a hotel.
- If there is not a prophet’s chamber in the area we are going and we must purchase a hotel room, we like to use websites like Priceline to find discounted rates on hotel rooms.
- Most of us missionaries will attempt to drive home from a meeting if it’s less than 6 hours away. This also saves a lot of money on accommodations.
- One of our favorite places to stop when traveling is thrift stores. By going to so many different ones, we are able to stock up on clothes for our family. By stocking up on future sizes for the kids, we save a lot of money.
- Purchasing Little Caesars pizzas can be a very cheap meal for a family.
- One of our authors likes to split meals with her husband if they have to eat out when traveling.
- Another author buys travel sizes of sugar and creamer and keeps them in a basket in her van.
We are so blessed to be able to travel from church to church and meet those who sacrificially give so that we can serve Christ on the mission field. Since those trips can sometimes cost a lot, we are constantly looking for ways to save. What are some things that you do on trips to help cut costs? We would love your feedback!