Planning a long trip is quite different from planning a short trip. For a short trip, it doesn’t matter if your daily budget is 20 quid higher, whereas that matters lot more if you’re going to be away for 6 months.

Here are some things that I do differently if I’m only going to be away for a couple of days.

1. I don’t buy a local SIM card.

If I’m only on a short trip, I’m not going to be buying a local SIM card so I won’t usually be using internet on my phone. This means I’m a bit more organized about having some podcasts and the like pre downloaded onto the phone for entertainment during flights and at the airport.

I will also sometimes print walking or bus directions, whereas if I have internet on my phone, I just use Google maps while I’m on the go.

Having internet on your phone is very handy while traveling, so if you can sort out a reasonably priced option for roaming then it’s worth paying a little bit extra to do this. You might need to turn auto downloading on podcasts off, or keep your cellular data off except for when you need to use it.

T mobile offer free international data use for people in the US, but unfortunately my current phone isn’t compatible with the band they use for 4G speeds and I have no interest in going back to 2G.

2. I’ll just Priceline a hotel rather than find apartment style accommodation.

Apartment style accommodation usually involves a cleaning fee, and is often much more hassle in terms of check in and check out, especially if your flight is delayed.

For trips under a week, I’d rather stay in a hotel and will tend to just Priceline a hotel (i.e., bid or use their express deals feature), a few days before travel. Since you can’t change plans with Priceline, I usually bid or book very close to my travel day, sometimes day before or even day of.

I use sites like Better Bidding to know how much to bid for Priceline hotels, and use the free rebid tricks.

3. I will sometimes park at the airport.

Parking at the airport usually makes the most sense when you are arriving too early or too late for public transportation and would otherwise have to deal with cabs at night rates.

If you’re only away less than 48 hours, it’s usually cheaper to take your car to the airport and just pay for the parking. Do some comparison online to see if it’s going to work out cheaper for you, factoring in whatever you value your time at e.g., if it’s going to cost you 10 GBP extra but save you an hour then that is an easy yes. Sites like Airparks offer airport parking bookings online and allow you to see exactly what you’ll pay.

If you’re arranging a business trip and you need to consider the value of your boss’s time and comfort and are less concerned about cost, then you can consider some of the “valet” type services available at some airports e.g., Stansted parking, which means you don’t need to deal with taking a shuttle to go find your car. If you research online in advance, you can weigh up the cost vs time questions e.g., if you’re prepared to take a longer shuttle (say 10-15 mins instead of 5), then you can save money.