You CAN Travel Well While On A Budget!
The most common myth related to traveling is that it is too expensive. We hear it all the time from our peers, parents, and even random people. I’m here to tell you that not only can you travel somewhere on a budget, you can actually have the same amount of fun as those who spend thousands on their vacations. All you have to do is plan ahead, and here’s how:
Utilize Google Flights Price Tracker and Alert Functions
Google flights is one of my favorite flight tracking websites. You can explore destination prices based on dates you have available, and vice versa! The site also allows you to see what the flight prices are like within an entire calendar month instead of the typical ‘pick your date and see your price’ models that other sites have. This allows you to see all the prices available for your parameters, which of course allows you to pick the least expensive flights!
When you’ve chosen the dates and locations that you want to travel to, you can have alerts sent to your email every few days when the price changes. So in case you are just window shopping for now, set the alert! That way if your plans solidify you will know the most current price points.
Research Ahead of Time and Stay at a Hostel
Hostels typically get such a bad rap since that terrible movie came out several years ago, but some of them are AMAZING! Just do your research on sites like TripAdvisor and Hostels.com, and when traveling alone you can find a great place to lodge for a lot less money than a hotel. They have tons of reviews from real people who have stayed there, and you can narrow down the reviews based on your biggest concerns (safety, social outings, etc). When I stayed in Ireland, I wanted most of my budget to go towards full country tours and food so I decided to stay in a hostel because that is the cheapest way to board. I’ve never stayed in one before and was in all honesty scared like any other person when told to stay in a hostel. I did my due diligence and found a fun #instagramready hostel called Abbey Court, and I could not have been more happy! It was festive and clean, and to top it off it had a DELICIOUS and FREE breakfast spread every morning!
Travel with a Friend
Finding a travel partner is hard-believe me I know! However, if you are able to find a savvy traveler like yourself, sharing the costs of housing is also an option! Go for a coffee together and narrow down what you want from a lodging situation and then find some places that match your wants and needs. Make sure to talk about what lodging place is closest to your top attractions or food places you want to visit. Is it important for you to stay in the city to avoid extra travel, or would you rather stay in the country so you can take advantage of both types of locales?
Travel with Nutrient Rich Snacks!
Typically when I travel, food is on the top of my list of “attractions” that I want to see. I want to eat like a local, dine in the best restaurants they have to offer, and snack on the best treats my sweet tooth can find. But of course that all costs money, and sometimes during my travels I just want a quick bite to get me through that next museum. This is where my prepacked snacks come into play. Before traveling I typically take a trip to Sam’s Club or BJ’s and pick up a case of protein bars or balance bars. They are small enough to stuff into all the pockets of your jacket (this is how you avoid the extra weight being measured in your luggage!) and when you eat them all on the trip you have more room for souvenirs! PRO TIP: Don’t put chocolate in the same pocket as an electronic because when it goes through the scanner it looks like an explosive device! My entire carry on luggage, handbag and jacket were emptied to find the issue and that is what the TSA official told me happened!
Find a Friend in the Place You Want To Travel
Remember earlier where I said to find a friend to travel with? Guess what….finding a friend who already lives in the area you want to visit is an even better option! They will let you stay in their home (no hotel costs!) and will most likely feed you half the time (cut that food bill in half!). It’s also a great way to get a free tour guide, because since they already live there they will know all the best places to visit! When I visited Stockholm, Sweden my friend Victoria (also a debut author of Fever King out in March 2019-So go preorder that like NOW!) lived there while in school abroad, so not only did I get to spend time with a friend I wasn’t able to see since my Israel trip a few years earlier, I got to stay there without paying for some type of lodging!