“I just can’t afford to travel.”
I’ve heard a lot of people say that.
They want to go on a road trip, fly to another state or to another country, but they just can’t seem to afford it.
While travel does take money and time, and those of us with families and jobs and houses with mortgages it can be a challenge, however;
the good news is…
YOU CAN TRAVEL!
It will take sacrifice, some foresight, planning and work, but let me say it again:
YOU CAN AFFORD TO TRAVEL!!
Here are my top 5 tips to help you travel…
1. Travel Local
Stay close to home.
Here are our favorite ways to vacation for a day:
- Drive an hour or two and hang out in that town for the day. Find local parks by searching on google maps. Yelp is a good tool for finding restaurants, ice cream places, playgrounds and parks. If you’re little ones nap, jump in the car at naptime and drive until they wake up, or when you want them to wake up.
- Geocache. In your own town or drive for an hour or two gathering caches along the way. Geocaching is perhaps the cheapest form of ongoing entertainment you can purchase. At $9.9 for app, you can’t go wrong and it spans the ages, states and countries!
- Check out this video for a fun way to vacation for the day:
- If you want to spend a couple of nights in a hotel or resort, find one close to home. This cuts back on the cost of traveling to a destination. We are getting ready to stay 30 minutes away from home on the beach a Thursday night-Monday and Steve, our sole bread winner, can still work Friday and Monday.
- If you live near a cruise port, try a short cruise. Florida ports offer 3-night cruises from under $300.
2. Purchase Trip in Sections
I start with purchasing flights. To make it more affordable you can purchase your flights in one-way fares, sometimes this is les expensive, sometimes more but usually about the same as round-trip.
So to start with book your flight to your destination, then book your flight home at a later date when finances alow. Purchase early to spread out cost. If you plan to drive it may be worth it to look into renting a car, that way any break downs or maintenance is taken care of.
On a recent trip to Colorado and Oregon; I purchased my flights over a 6-week period of time. I first purchased my flight to Colorado, 2 weeks later my flight to Oregon and 3 weeks later purchased my flight home. This made it easier and I didn’t have to save up all the money at once, which can be hard for me.
Smaller chunks make it more doable.
After booking flight,
book hotel, Expedia and other similar sites are great places to seacrh for cheapest hotel rom, read reviews. Once you se your place save up and then bok it; Expedia allows book now pay later options. AirBnb is another great way to stay frugal. On AirBnb.com use code MICHELES54 to save $20
Note on car rentals: book your car rental early or when you see the best price as you don’t have to pay until after you return your vehicle. As in you won’t pay for your car rental until after you have traveled.
Check out these sites for cheap airfare:
SkipLagged – I like to use this to find “hidden cities”; sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a flight to a different destination and get of at a layover, i.e. on a recent trip to LA it was $50 cheaper per ticket to fly into San Diego with a layover at LAX, we simply got off at LAX and saved $150 on 3 tickets.PLEASE NOTE: you can not do this if purchasing roundtrip tickets and must NOT BE checking any bags.
Allegiant Air – as with all smaller airlines al fod, drinks and seats costs extra plus baggage fees can add up, Allegiant is great for shorter trips and also practicing traveling with very little luggage.
Ryan Air – a great way to fly around Europe, sometimes cheaper than the train.
3. Stay Cheap or Free
Stay with family and friends if possible. It’s free and fun!
I like to offer to cook a meal for everyone as a thank you and I always bring my own food to ensure we have what we like. You can pack fod on flights or in checked luggage if you have room, if not purchase once on the gorund.
AirBnB is a great rental site for your stay or for singles and smaller groups Couchsurfing allows for free nights stay. When booking be sure to check reviews of hosts and be safe, if it doesn’t feel right when you show up, leave. Use code MICHELES54 for $20 of AirBnb. We have hosted many a guests via both Couchsurfing and Airbnb as well as stayed in AirBnb while on vacation.
4. Food Budget
Remember you would have to buy food if you were home so use your normal food budget for while on vacation. Small styrofoam coolers are cheap to buy and ice is free at hotels or inexpensive at convience or grocery stores.
Use this Road Trip Kitchen Travel Essentials post to help you put together your own travel kitchen.
5. Cut Costs
Travel can require cutting costs on the forefront in order to afford the actual travel. Try cutting costs in your daily or weekly living to save for travel.
Here are some ways we cut costs in our daily living in order to purchase travel
- Make your own coffee
- Lessen hair cuts or cut your own hair.
- Do your nails at home or forgo the pedicure
- Cook at home, no more eating out- save it for flights
- Put off the new rug, or furniture
- Put off home renovations, we have been under a kitchen remodel for 2 years… I just can’t help but spend the money on a flight instead of backsplash
- Purchase clothing at second hand stores, or not at all
- Skip grocery shopping one week a month and eat what’s in the freezer or pantry, this can add up quick and one of my favorite things to do!
- Get rid of cable
- Cut your gasoline bill by walking or biking
So you CAN AFORD TO TRAVEL!
Stay close to home or spread out your spending.
Visit my Travel Tips Page for more tips.