As you already know, Josh and I travel a ton. Whether it is a work trip, luxury or just a weekend away, there is tons of planning and saving involved. I have compiled a list of tips that help Josh and I travel as often as we do. I will be the first to admit, that traveling out of the country or even to another state can be expensive. Between the flights, hotels, food & drink plus excursions in the new town; the spending adds up quick!
Decide where you want to go & do your research.
The first thing Josh and I do when we don’t know where to go is Google it. We spend so much time searching key phrases like, “Best beach destinations,” “Most inexpensive 5 star hotels,” “Bargain Vacations.” After we come up with a list of potential destinations, the research for that area begins. Things to keep in mind when you are researching a new destinations are things to do, places to stay, price of excursions, car or not and how far is the airport. There are a ton of other things to consider when traveling but you get what I am trying to say.
The best website to search for flights is Skyscanner. You can search for flights from your closest airport to anywhere. If you are undecided, you can search “Everywhere.” (Josh and I always do IAD to Everywhere to start our search) You can also search by the cheapest month as well, which can help plan your trip!
Get an Airline credit card.
Josh and I both have American Airlines credit cards. Generally when you sign up for a credit card there is a huge amount of miles you automatically earn to use toward a trip. We use our credit cards for everything to earn miles. It’s also awesome when we use American to travel, book it with the card & fly with them, we are basically getting double miles! There are perks when traveling with the credit card too – no international fees, discount on food/booze in flight and club benefits. If you don’t want to get an airline credit card, many other cards allow you to earn points for travel.
Josh and I went to Italy round trip almost entirely on miles!
Obviously travel costs money. If it didn’t I would be in a new country every week! Saving can be hard. Easier said than done, for sure! I honestly am not the best, which is why Josh handles the finances. If you don’t have a ton of extra money, there are some things you can do to cut back.
Skip the coffee – Starbucks or wherever you get your morning coffee adds up. Imagine going to Starbucks twice a week and spend $4 on a coffee. That’s $8 a week, $32 a month and $384 a year! That can purchase your round trip flight to some destinations.
Eat in – Josh and I were eating our 2-3 times a week at one point. Spending $50-$100 each dinner adds up…fast. An alternative we tried was Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Yes, we were still spending money but it was kind of like eating out. We were cooking meals we may not normally cook. Eventually, we just started eating a home 99% of the time.
Cut where you can – Have cable but only watch Netflix? Cancel your cable. Have monthly subscriptions? Cut them back or out entirely. Go out to the baron the weekends? Bring the alcohol and your friends to your place.
Don’t be afraid of Airbnb
Hotels can be expensive. Luckily there are other options, like Airbnb, VRBO or Home Away. These websites are apartments, rooms or luxury homes available for your vacation stay needs. Josh and I used Airbnb while we were in BVI and also Italy. At first I was hesitant, especially in another country. But, the reviews helped me determine where I wanted to stay and also eased my mind.
Josh and I went to BVI for 10 days in 2017. The first few days we stayed on Tortola at an Airbnb. The cost was around $80/night. That is cheaper than hotels in our hometown!
If you don’t get a lot of time off work or want to go somewhere close so you don’t have to purchase a flight, a long weekend trip may be your thing. Every once in a while Josh and I will plan a little weekend getaway to DC, Annapolis or even Myrtle Beach. Friday -Sunday or Monday is a perfect amount of time to visit a new spot. Also, some places like Vegas, Phoenix or San Diego only need a few days to see the main attractions. Plus, the flight is reasonable for a long weekend!
Maybe a spontaneous trip?
If you don’t have any time constraints and can go somewhere on short notice, prices generally get cheaper for hotels, cruises and flights to be fully booked. One website I love checking out is Vacations To Go. This website has a 90 day ticker for cruises all over the world. From 3 days to months! They also have sister sites that are for all-inclusive trips as well!
I hope you enjoyed reading our quick and easy tips for affordable travel. If traveling is a priority of yours, you will find a way to make it happen!
Where are you planning/saving to go next?! Let me know in the comments or on Sarah In Small Doses Facebook page.
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