One of the most common comments I hear when speaking to someone about travel is “I can’t afford to travel” or “I wish we could travel more, but we just don’t have the money”. I believe anyone can afford to travel it’s about planning and priorities that help someone be able to afford an adventure away from home. I want to share my top tips for affording new trips.
1. Kayak.com “flight price alert” is my best friend when it comes to airline tickets. Kayak.com has a feature where you can add a “flight price alert, whenever I am buying airline tickets I set this up. You can have kayak.com email you daily with the price of the ticket you are wanting to buy. If you set it up early and watch it for a few weeks you will come to know the average amount of the ticket and when it drops you will know it’s a good deal. This has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years.
2. Set up a Traveling fund whether a piggy bank or in an actual bank and add to it every time you receive a pay check. Whether or not you have your next vacation in mind or not, it is always good to have a travel fund. Every time you get your pay check take a percentage out and put it into your fund. Make it a habit and soon your travel fund will grow. You can even put it small amounts, maybe $10 a pay check and you’d have enough for a little weekend get away soon enough.
3. Collect miles, I know you’ve heard it a million times. If you ever hear of a good deal when you sign up for a certain credit card, seriously consider it. Recently United Mileage Plus CC had a 50,000 miles sign up bonus, I heard this and signed up! We are hoping to go to Greece next summer and 50,000 miles is a one way ticket there! Don’t underestimate mileage reward programs, they can really save you a lot of money.
4. Be flexible. If you’re like me and just want to see the world, and it doesn’t matter the order, be flexible! Instead of setting your heart on a particular place pick out a couple you would love to go to and watch those flights. A few years ago Ryan and I couldn’t decide between Spain and Iceland. We watched the flights for awhile and Iceland’s flights dropped to $800 cheaper than the flights to Spain.
5. Be strategic with your dates. Ryan and I don’t have all the vacation time in the world. In order to save vacation days and money we try to travel over days we already have off. This can be tricky though, you can’t expect to fly over Christmas week and save money. But, fly internationally over 4th of July weekend, memorial day, or even Thanksgiving and you may save a few vacation days.