Have you ever been sitting on your sofa at night, stuffing your face with Ben & Jerry’s while scrolling through your Instagram feed only to notice how many of your friends are posting travelgrams of all of their amazing adventures? How the HECK are they affording this? They’re the same age as you and you feel like you’ve got a pretty impressive job, but there’s no way you could afford all of these vacations with bae. Bills will be bills and it’s impossible to stay afloat with your financial situation.
Yep- we’ve all been there. FOMO is real, and it sucks. Don’t worry though, you can fulfill your own travel dreams without putting yourself into major debt. Follow these eight tips for traveling on a budget below and you’ll be the one posting the envy-inducing Instagrams in no time.
Have an Open Mind about Your Destination
While everyone has their dream destinations (umm… hello Italy and Hawaii) there are countless places across the world that are worth visiting. Instead of having your heart set on a specific location, be willing to visit whichever location is the most affordable at the time. Check sites like Skyscanner for the cheapest locations from your hometown.
Avoid the Biggest Tourist Traps
Sure, it’s great to hit up the hottest restaurants in town with the best reviews from tourists or the big museums that everyone talks about, but those places really add up. Instead, pick one or two of those places and keep the rest of your locales to the restaurants recommended by the locals or the free attractions.
Live Like a Local
In addition to eating like a local, you’ll save a TON of money if you avoid the hotels and stay in an apartment or home. We hardly ever travel without booking through Airbnb but we’ve also had good experiences with VRBO. It actually feels way cooler when you can walk into a brownstone instead of the Holiday Inn at the end of the day.
Stay in the Know with Email Subscriptions
Jessie spends hours just looking at flight prices for fun and daydreaming of the next big adventure, but after signing up for some free flight alert emails she’s been saving a lot of that wasted time. Scott’s Cheap Flights and Dollar Flight Club do the research for you and send email blasts with the greatest deals. You can save hundreds by getting on one of these email lists.
No More Taxis
Taxis or Ubers can be a major drain on your bank. Avoid the surge-charge and instead plan on walking as much as possible (also great for keeping off the pounds as you feast on the local foods) or using local transportation. It’s actually really fun to try out the various public transit options (trams, subways, and double-decker buses, oh my!). Of course there are times when an Uber will be necessary, but avoid as much as possible.
Become Part of the Frequent Flyer Club
Although it’s great to check out the best rates, it’s also a good idea to fly with the same airline on repeat. You’ll rack up more points this way so you aren’t getting a few with JetBlue, a few with Delta, and a few with American Airlines. Frequent flyer rewards are so worth it.
Be Flexible with your Dates and Times
Just like you need to be willing to broaden your horizons when it comes to a destination choice, you also need to be willing to move the dates and times of your travel around a bit. The difference between leaving on a Friday verse a Tuesday could potentially save you hundreds. Leaving earlier in the morning or taking a red-eye flight instead of the easier flight times could also reduce the cost of your flight. Moral of the story: shop around before making any decisions.
Work for Your Travel
If traveling still seems like a bit too much, there are ways to save some money on your wanderings. Become a house sitter and you can get PAID to visit new cities. Many other jobs can be done as you travel the globe: nanny, waiter/waitress, bartender, or translator to name a few.
Have you found any great ways to save money and decrease the financial burden of traveling? Share your tips below or shoot us an email!