“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton
So many people are extremely overwhelmed by the idea of traveling because travel has a bad rep for being expensive. The key to being able to travel where ever your heart desires is to become a smart traveler and (I know this one is hard especially for me) have patience.
1. Start planning a few months in advance
When you plan in advance you can get cheaper flights and you can start looking into how many destinations you want/can fit into one trip. This will also allow you to look into how expensive certain places will be. At the moment places like Lisbon, Portugal and Budapest, Hungary seem to be pretty inexpensive. The more time you have to plan your trip the more money you will be saving.
2. Utilize student discounts if you are a student
I cannot stress how important this is!!! In July I will be studying abroad for about a month, and originally I was going to book my flight through the program I am traveling with because I wanted to be on the same plane as everyone else. I decided to take a look at Student Universe to see if I could find any other planes that would be landing in London around the same time. I ended up finding the same exact flight (round trip) on Student Universe for almost $500 cheaper. If you haven’t heard of this website, you should check it out because they offer student deals year round for U.S. and international travel. If you’re not a student then Google Flights will give you the cheapest prices and tell you the best days to travel.
3. Try to fit it all in a carry on
I know this sounds like a difficult task, but believe me when I say this will help you out in so many ways. If your trip is less than 3 weeks and you’re planning on checking a lot of destinations off of your bucket list then a carry on is the way to go. If you are traveling internationally it is not uncommon that a full size suitcase will get lost. TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack are all affordable places to buy good quality carry ons. Packing in a carry on will also be lot cheaper if the airline you are flying with does not include a free checked bag. Most importantly, pack in a carry on that has wheels. You never know where your adventure will take you and wheeling a carry on around will be much easier than limping around with a duffel bag on your shoulder or getting back pain from the oversize back pack you decided to pack. I could go on and on about this topic and that is why I will be doing a separate post about how to pack, what to pack, and what to pack it in.
4. Hostels and Airbnb
I haven’t had too much experience will Hostels so I won’t be able to tell you too much about them until I leave for my trip in a couple of weeks (Edit: My brother’s girlfriend recently recommended that I use Hostel World ). What I will be able to tell you is that there are all different kinds of hostels for affordable prices. Make sure you do your research before you stay at one! I am a strong supporter of the Airbnb website and app not only because it offers beautiful affordable locations all over the world, but also because it shows you a list of ” top rated experiences” in the location you’re staying in. The categories you can choose from include: Arts, Classes & Workshops, Food & Drink, History and the list goes on.
A Few Extra Travel Tips
- If you want to save money and enjoy your time abroad don’t over book yourself. This should be a time for adventures, but also a time to unwind and appreciate everything that’s around you.
- Before your trip make lists for everything. A packing list and a list with everything you want to accomplish including prices and a loose schedule.
- Make a budget sheet so you don’t waste money abroad.
- Learn a few common phrases before you reach your destination so that when you’re negotiating a deal at the local market place you won’t get ripped off.
- Be smart, safe and confident!
Start planning and get traveling!!! Reply with some of your favorite money saving travel tips, and also fill me in on some of your favorite places to travel to.
with love, Melissa