In the most polite way possible I am asked often how Ryan and I afford travel. We both have normal jobs, a normal mortgage payment, and all other normal life costs that most everyone else has. Below are some of the ways we are able to afford travel.
1. Make travel a priority. Travel is a passion to us. We get the jitters after we’ve been home too long. We know this and so we make travel a priority. We rather have vacations than a new car, we rather have vacations then that fancy new gadget, etc. When you go to purchase something big think would I rather have this or be able to go on that trip to __________.
2. Savings account specific to travel. Something that is really helpful is having a savings account that is specific to travel. Set up an automatic payment to it however often you want for however much you want. This is a great way to save up some money for a trip. Even if it doesn’t cover the whole cost having a few hundred dollars to go towards a trip goes a long way.
3. Research lodging options. Rarely do Ryan and I stay in fancy resorts or hotels. I spend days even weeks searching out the best deal for a hotel that has high reviews. Using kayak.com is a great resource to find the best deal on a hotel. Booking.com is another good resource as it recently started a price alert where if a hotel price dropped that you were interested in it will notify you. Also, don’t be afraid of hostels. Reviews are your best friend. If I find a place that has 30+ reviews that are all 4/5 or higher I am pretty confident it will be just fine. We haven’t had a terrible experience yet!
4. Watch flight prices. The price of a flight fluctuates a lot. I’ve mentioned this before but using kayak.com price alert is an excellent way to keep an eye on the flight you want. You can set it to email you everyday. This way you get a good feel of how much is the average price and when it drops you know to buy and that you’re getting a good deal.
5. Get a room with a kitchen. Eating on vacation is a big deal to me. I love to try local cuisine and taste new things. But, I don’t need to do that breakfast lunch and dinner every day. Having the ability to make your own meals can save you a lot of money. Go to the local grocery store and pick up some basics and make at least one meal a day and you will save a good amount of money.