This is a guest post by Dan Dumas. Dan promotes creative and transformational ministry by serving Southern Seminary as the Senior Vice President for Institutional Administration and Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership. You can read his blog and find him on twitter.
If you’re going to travel, you might as well travel smart. Being a gospel road warrior often takes you off the road and into the air. When you are traveling by air, remember flying is a great opportunity to get stuff done, but you’ve got to know how to do it. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:
Before You Leave
Not all days are created equal when it comes to air fare. Know when to purchase your flight, and choose where you want to sit–this really does matter.
- Domestic flights are cheapest 50 to 100 days prior to departure. After 50 days, prices steadily increase.
- International flights are cheapest between 100 and 250 days prior to departure.
- The Hopper app helps you compare flight prices on different airlines, projects trends, and sends notifications when prices start to change.
- Purchasing flights on Sunday, Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (in that order) generally provide the best prices.
- Using sites like Google Flights or Expedia allows you to compare flight times/pricing for multiple airlines at once.
- Seatguru.com allows you to view the aircraft equipment, seat configureation and which seats are premium.
- My personal preference is aisle seats so I can get in and out.
- If you are an XL traveller, then strive to get exit row seats or preferred seating to have more leg room, a.k.a. a poor man’s first class.
Rewards and Upgrades
A gospel road warrior is always sensitive to being a good steward with other people’s money. If someone else is going to pay (or at least reimburse) your travel, then saving money should be a priority.
- Find a credit card with travel rewards. Pick one that offers the rewards that best fit your lifestyle.
- Use reward points for future trips. I try to use my personal rewards for family travel!
- Take advantage of cheaper special offers and last minute cheap upgrades. A lot of comfort for minimal cost.
- Don’t only consider the price of a ticket, but also the fees that come through that airline. For example, Spirit airline tickets come with just a seat, and everything else is an extra fee – carry on, luggage, snacks, drinks, boarding passes, etc. Southwest offers lower airfare, bags that travel free but you don’t have a guaranteed seat unless you purchase the “A” list.
It’s good to save money, but it’s good to save time, too. We all get a measly 24 hours to use every day.
- Sometimes paying a little more for a shorter flight is worth the money.
- Getting TSA Pre Check will shorten wait time in airports and the headache of disrobing in public. This is a game changer and the best $85 for five years that you will ever spend!
- Embrace the no interruptions of flights. Load up your Kindle to read, turn your seat assignment into a mobile office or come ready to finish some writing tasks that you can do in flight.
- Download mobile boarding passes within the Airline App or on your Iphone Passport App.
Make It A Gospel Flight
Use your time at 30,000 feet to do some good.
- Pray for an opportunity to share the gospel – Colossians 4:3.
- God sovereignly controls who will sit beside you, so be sensitive and empathetic.
- Be kind to those you interact with.
- Carry a gospel tract with you or the Two Ways To Live App on your Ipad.
- Carry a small Bible with you to potentially give away.