Home Pastors Articles for Pastors How to Travel Smarter, Faster, Lighter and Cheaper

How to Travel Smarter, Faster, Lighter and Cheaper

Jeff Cranston, Senior Pastor
Low Country Community Church

1. I’ve been privileged to travel to over 40 countries and have learned a few travel lessons along the way. Two rules I live by: (1) There are those who pack light, and there are those who wish they had packed light, and (2) checked luggage is lost luggage.

2. Lighter. Packing only carry-ons avoids the luggage fees and frees up waiting time at the luggage carousel. While others are standing around bemoaning the slowness of the airline baggage handlers, you’re already out the door and on your way. For tips on how to pack lighter and smarter, check out Rick Steves packing checklist. Good for five days or five weeks. If you want to get detailed into this aspect of travel, Michael Hyatt has a video showing exactly what and how he packs his carry-ons.

3. Cheaper: No one is cheaper than consumer expert Clark Howard. In this video, he offers great tips on how to find the best and lowest priced airfares.

4. Smarter: Carry a small basic first-aid kit, some duct tape, a copy of your passport in case it’s lost or stolen, earplugs, a water bottle (take it through security empty then fill it on your way to the gate), and some sealable plastic bags. You’ll never regret having these things along with you.

5. Helpful travel apps: Kayak, Uber, Google Maps, airline apps (make sure it’s updated prior to your trip), TripCase and Mobile Passport.

6. And never, never travel without a good book. I always max-out one of my two carry-ons with multiple copies of Second Guessing God and Finding Favor by my friend Brian Jones. They make excellent gifts and also serve well as coasters (hahaha).

Russell Johnson, Regional Vice President
The Solomon Foundation

Here are a few suggestions to help ministry friends travel cheaper:

1. Book your hotel as soon as you confirm your speaking engagement. Lots of factors cause hotel prices to rise (ex. Sporting events, concerts, etc.). You can always cancel, but if you book too late you could pay a substantially higher price because an event came to town that you didn’t know about.

2. Consider everything negotiable—flights, car rental, hotel, up-charges, etc. Always ask, “Is this the best you can do?” You’ll find out if there’s any wiggle room in the price. Often times there is. A coupon here. A discount there. All of it combines to help us be a good steward of the Lord’s resources.

3. Finally, pay attention to even the tiniest costs. Benjamin Franklin said, “Beware of little expenses. Small leaks sink big ships.” For instance, when scheduling hotels many of them include breakfast. Pick those. When ordering meals, water is always free, so make it your habit to only drink water when you travel. Etc.

Brian Dodd, Director of New Ministry Partnerships
INJOY Stewardship Solutions

1. Never remove the fitted sheet or pillow case and get a good look at your mattress and pillow. That is unless counting stains over sheep is your preferred way to drift off.

2. Be friendly to those at the front desk. While you’re talking they are deciding if you deserve a nice room or one that has a history.

3. Never use the glass cups in the bathroom. The health department requires restaurant dishes be cleaned in water that reaches 120-160 degrees. I’ve never seen a dishwasher on a maid’s cart.

4. If you plan to sleep after sunup use the pants hanger with metal clips to snug your curtains.

5. The TV remote wins the award for serving you up with the most germs. If you don’t have something to sterilize it with, use the clear bag from your ice bucket as a slip cover.

6. When the mirror steams up from your shower write an encouraging message (or stalker note if you prefer) on the glass. When the next tenant steps out from their sauna, it’s the first thing they’ll see.

7. Always pack flip-flops. A quick Internet search will provide you with a plethora of test results from UV light room examinations. Having a better understanding of what’s on the carpet, bathroom floor and in the tub will convert you to not leaving home without the coveted foot sandal.

8. When in cities with a history of bed bugs, pull your fitted sheet up enough to check the seams for unwanted critters.

9. Request a room at the end of the hall. The farther away from the elevator and higher traffic areas will lend to a better night’s rest.

10. Request an upper-level floor. The view can be half the pleasure of the room. It also further removes you from the outdoor commotion that could keep you from resting.

11. Never leave valuables in the room. The safe is not as secure as you think and it’s only a matter of time before a maid decides to check out your luggage. Leaving the “Do not disturb” sign on the door while you’re away is a wise choice, but let’s be real, it’s a piece of paper, not a dead bolt.

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I’m the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In 13 years the church has grown from a small group in my home to over 2,000 incredible people. Before that I served in churches of 25 to 600 in attendance. I love church planters and pastors of smaller churches, and totally understand the difficult challenges they face as they try to help people find their way back to God.