Since I posted my Travel Guide on my birthday trip, I’ve received a dozen questions about how I travel, where to start and how to do it without going broke. Traveling was always something that intrigued me, so as soon as I started making my own money I made it a priority to make a way to be able to explore. I honestly can’t remember the first trip I took independently but the most memorable was a $900 Spring Break trip to Mexico my sophomore year of college with some girlfriends. Struggling college student + $900 getaway don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but like anything else I really want, I found a way. Traveling really is possible for everyone. If you’re inclined to get away but don’t know where to start, here are a few suggestions on how to do that as cheap as possible, along with some #TBT photos of my 19 year old self on her first vacation out of the country.
Look for Flight Deals – If you know you want to take a trip, put up a couple hundred dollars, sit down, and wait. I check The Flight Deal all the time to see if they have any deals to the places I want to visit. I’ve seen flights as low as $89 roundtrip, NO LIE! If you have flexibility on when you want to travel, I’d sit still until an unreal flight option came up then pull the trigger. The only downside to flight deals is they come and go so quickly that you have to be ready to book them as soon as you find them.
Use Google Flights – If you’re planning a trip with specific dates, use Google Flights. It pulls up a ton of airlines and arranges them by price, allowing you to sort through what will work best for you. I also love the calendar option that allows you to see the cheapest days to fly. Contrary to popular belief, airlines like Southwest aren’t always your cheapest option, so look around.
Don’t Be Afraid of Spirit – Spirit Airlines gets a lot of flack, especially regarding their baggage policy and I can see why – but I’ve flown with them a handful of times and have very few complaints. I’ve gotten familiar with how to pack at a cost I’m comfortable with (usually 0 additional dollars) so I’m not in for any surprises once it’s time to fly. If you’re low maintenance, Spirit flights are a steal and will get you where you’re trying to go with a couple of extra hundred bucks in your account.
Visit Someone You Know Somewhere Else – Have a friend in a different city? Call ’em up and let them know you’ll be coming to visit. If the only traveling expense you’re going to have is a flight, pack your bags and go. One of my best friends moved to Los Angeles a couple of years and I’m able to visit whenever I want since I don’t have to budget in a hotel room. Think about offering to pay for their dinner or gas up their car for being so hospitable and helping you not break the bank.
Partner Up – Everything is less expensive when you divide it by 2, or 3, or 4. Find someone to travel with you so that expenses such as hotels and Uber’s can be split.
Use Airbnb – Hotels can be pretty pricey nightly, especially when the less expensive ones are all booked. This site will give you hundreds more options than any hotel site. You can find some really nice furnished spaces on here for a fraction of what you’d pay to be in a hotel. Airbnb offers options ranging from single rooms for $30 a night to mansions with enough space for you and 20 of your girlfriends, if that’s how you’re feeling.
I based those six tips off of the majority of the recent questions I’ve received. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comments or send them to me via email and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability because honestly, I want you to travel too. You won’t regret it.