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As this year's batch of wedding invitations crawl into your mailbox, you may be overwhelmed with excitement at all the places you'll get to travel to celebrate your friend's big day. But as you begin to block the weekends off in your calendar and look up prices for flights, you may start to find that traveling to these weddings is way out of your budget and you may not be able to justify going. Before you RSVP, here are five things to consider when it seems too expensive to jet set to a wedding.
1. Take a Road Trip Instead
If flying is out of the question and prices seem to be climbing up non-stop, see if you can get a few other wedding guests to agree to a road trip to the wedding. If the destination isn't cross-country, but somewhere that just takes a day or two to get to by car, a road trip can be an affordable option and a fun way to start the wedding off with an adventure.
2. Buy Miles
If you have miles saved up on a certain airline but only need a few hundred more to get a free ticket, look into how much it will cost you to buy miles. Doing this may be cheaper than buying a round trip ticket.
3. Search One-Way
Sometimes you'll be able to find cheaper plane tickets by searching and purchasing two one-way tickets over one round-trip ticket. Search different options and see if it may be cheaper to fly into a different airport and drive from there to the wedding.
4. Check Out the Train
See if there's a train you can take to the wedding. While this option may take longer, it will save you a lot of money and give you some productive down-time to work or relax on the way to and from the wedding.
5. Stay Virtual
If there are no reasonable travel options in your budget, ask if someone can make you a virtual guest at the wedding, Skyping you in (on mute) for the ceremony and even during parts of the reception.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.