5 Travel Hacks for Startup Founders

March 28, 2015

8:00 am

Startup founders have a lot on their plate at any stage of their endeavor, and traveling is one of them. You will have to attend startup conferences, workshops, and seminars – not only for networking but for learning as well. You may have to go pitch to VCs, too.

Whether you travel within the country or abroad, expenses can easily pile up; and you know very well that saving money as much as possible is more than welcome. Especially if you do not have as much funding as you would like.

The next time you set off on a trip, remember these ways you can save money.


  1. Plan in advance. The chances are that you know well in advance when you will be going to an event or pitching to an investor. This could be weeks or months ahead. As such, don’t leave things till the last minute. Check airlines for promo fares as often as possible. The same with lodging. Alternatively, go for cheaper accommodations such as hostels instead of hotels. You will be saving a lot by doing this.
  2. Take advantage of technology. If you need to book tickets in the country of your destination, you might have to pay more if you book while in your home country. This is due to the fact that some online merchants charge more depending on your location. For example, if you are in the U.S. and you need to book local train tickets in the U.K., you might have to pay up to 20% percent more. How to get around this? Use a VPN or SmartDNS service that will give you a U.K. IP. That way, you get rid of the extra, unwanted charges.
  3. Remember to turn off your cellular settings. This obviously applies to overseas trips and it may seem like a no brainer, but it is often overlooked. Even by techies. Before you even leave for the airport, make sure that your data service is turned off. Else, you might find yourself facing a humongous bill at the end of your trip. Rely on Wi-Fi instead, which, in all likelihood will be available where you stay and at the event location. If you do want to use cellular data, do your research so you know what you’re getting into.
  4. Take only essential members of the team. As tempting as it may be to take everyone with you, it really isn’t practical. Even if you’re flush with cash. Sure, you may want to do it to boost the team’s morale. That’s a valid enough reason, but is it really necessary at this point? Can’t you use the money for something else that is essential to the startup’s development? Isn’t there another time and place you can hold a team-building event? This can be a hard decision to make, but you’ll have to do it nonetheless if you want to save money.
  5. Have a budget and stick to it. This is the most repeated word of advice for people who want to save money, and it applies to you when you travel. You may have a plan, but you never know what may come up. People may ask you to go out for drinks. Actually, scratch that – they will ask you out. You might see something you want to purchase. You might be tempted to go on a side trip. That’s all well and good, but to make sure you don’t spend more than you ought to, make a budget before you leave. Identify the essential expenses, and set aside a reasonable amount for extras.


Traveling for your startup is essential at times, but you don’t have to blow more money than you have to. Be a smart traveler, and you’ll have time for some play as well.

Image credit: Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker

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Victoria Heckstall is a professional writer who specializes in internet marketing and business topics.

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