I know it’s a little late already into the year, but I wanted to share some ways to travel more in 2018 before even more of it gets away from us! While I love to share my adventures abroad, I also want to share with you how you can start having a life of travel – it doesn’t mean you have to pick up and go all the time but even taking a week vacation twice a year is a good starting point. Some people aren’t taking one at all. Here are some realistic ways you can try to travel more in 2018.
7 Ways to Travel More
The first three steps are going to tell you how you can start planning and saving on flights, lodging, and transportation once you reach. Then I’ll go into how to save on activities and food. Lastly, how you can get some more time to start taking action.
1. Find Cheap Flight Deals
The best $25 I spend each year is for a membership to Next Vacay. I’m sure you’ve seen me write about it over the years. You pay them this annual fee and put in your airport plus a couple other airports you might want to drive to for a good deal, and they email you a few times a week (or day if you live near a popular airport). The email will have crazy low flights going somewhere cool from your airport. They find flights for weekends and holidays, not just random flights that don’t make sense. You can read the review here. But this is the number one way to get cheap flights from YOUR airport on your radar. You can also read blogs like The Points Guy and Airfare Watchdog to see special discounted rates and “accidental” rates if you are ready to book quickly. You can get round-trip fights within the USA for under $100. You need to have alerts for them, though.
You can also avoid the $25 membership (although I think it’s amazing) and go to Kiwi.com and use their everywhere function to see where the cheapest place you can fly to is at any date/time you feel like putting in. It’s genius. Here’s a review of how it works and why I love them. Skyscanner has something similar but you will see in my review, why I personally prefer Kiwi.com.
Definitely can’t afford a flight and staying within a 10 or so hour drive? Consider Megabus. I took this often from Columbus to Chicago in college and it was sometimes $10.
Remember: don’t go somewhere just because it has a cheap flight is A. you aren’t interested in that place or B. it’s expensive to travel around once you reach. Travel somewhere you can afford. Here are the 33 cheapest places to travel to in 2018, according to Forbes.
2. Sign Up for a New Airbnb Account and Get $40 Credit For Your First Stay
$40 might not sound like a lot but on Airbnb, it really can be. I’ve found good deals on Airbnb in big cities all over the world. If you are in a group, you can rent a whole house for $100 in some places – once you take off $40 and split that by the group, you’ll have your accommodation worked out pretty cheap. Often times, renting an apartment for a couple rather than a hotel room can save you a lot of money and Airbnb is a great way to really get into feeling like a local when you travel. Here’s a link to get $40 off. If you sign up through my link, I get $20 in my Airbnb account. That’s not because I’m a blogger! It’s just something that Airbnb does for everyone. You can then get your own link to share with your friends and get $20 every time a new Airbnb customer signs up.
3. The Trick to Saving Big on Transportation
Once you get off the flight to your new destination, it’s always easiest to hop in a taxi – but it’s also always the most expensive. It’s imperative that you get a rental car, use public transportation, or maybe even Uber. It’s even more important that you compare prices for these things. You need to think how much you’ll be traveling each day. For example, is a rental car (split by you and your travel buddy) cheaper per day than if you had to each pay for Metro tickets in London? Add in car parking fines and petrol. Which one is better? If you are a group of four, maybe it’s cheaper to split Uber. Have a think about this and choose your best option. There is one trick to save big on rental cars: book with a credit card that offers rental car insurance (my Chase Sapphire Reserve does) and decline your rental car insurance that they offer. Usually, the “upsales” are where the cost is. Most credit cards only cover you if you decline all other insurance offered. That makes it easy and much cheaper. For example, in Cancun, Mexico, you can get a car for $1 per day. Just don’t let them upsell you and chat with your credit card company before to make sure you are covered.
4. Get into Couponing Your Holiday!
Look for online deals like Groupon for activities you can try in the city you are visiting. Maybe some aerial yoga or SUP? See if Groupon has a BOGO special. Not sure you can afford to eat out? You can do some local diners to try local food and cook the rest of the time at home in your Airbnb. For some, food is the most important so you’ll splurge but for others, you are happy to make spaghetti at home and put your money toward activities. You can check sites like Viator to see if there are tours for the day you are booking. Even more broke than this? Do free walking tours and tip what you feel is appropriate. You can find these in nearly every big city.
5. ‘A Grand Don’t Come for Free’ – You’ve Got to Save
You have to save some money for a vacation. Even if you have a lot of money, still make a vacation fund. If you have no money, make a fund. Start putting $10 a week in it. By the end of the year, you’ll have $520 in there. That’s enough for a flight to many places. What you would spend on groceries the week of your vacation, don’t – use it for the food while you’re there. You can buy groceries and cook in your Airbnb. That’ll balance out. You’ll then just need to use your own non-travel-fund money to pay for your hotels and such. That’s just a small example but you could put away $20 a week and have your whole budget holiday covered. Don’t buy coffee before work. Don’t go shopping for new vacation clothes. Don’t go out to eat and to the bar. You’ll really have to think a little more about how you spend. If you want to put $20 bucks away, throughout the week when you almost buy headphones you need, first ask your family if they have an old pair and then put that $20 into your travel fund! Try to actively save money. Here are some more tips.
6. Don’t Waste Your Vacation Time
Millenials tend to use up their vacation time while anyone older tends to keep working through those hours, feeling some pressure to skip a vacation. Vacation is GOOD for you; here are some reasons why. So many people, especially in America, don’t take a holiday even though they have there mere two weeks off. See if your family can babysit or a friend’s teenage kid who you can hire at an affordable rate. See if your family can watch your pets. Try to avoid paying a lot of childcare and pet care while you are gone. Talk to your boss to see if you can do work from “home” on vacation if you need more time. I don’t love the idea of working on vacation, but I do it all the time so it’s not the worst thing.
7. Plan Your Vacation Time Around a Holiday
Think strategically! If you had a week’s holiday of business-days, then plan that around MLK Day or President’s day – even better, a long holiday where you have even more real time off work which won’t count toward vacation days. While flights can be more expensive during these times, that is where being flexible in your destination can be helpful and booking whatever are the best deals from your airport. This T+L article tells you exactly how to extend different holidays.
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