Hello! This is Shazie from The Shaz Diaries and I’m going to be sharing with you how to travel on a budget.
We’ve all been there. We all lust for travel, and we all have that sense of urgency to see things beyond the fences of our own home. Wanderlust is no stranger to us, but when our paychecks pale in comparison to travel enthusiasts on Instagram, we set our lusts aside… but should we? I mean, I’m a huge advocate for taking a break from our everyday routine in order to explore. Just because we don’t have the funds to do so doesn’t mean it should stop us from craving adventure and see what the world has to offer (because there is so much more remained to be seen!)
How to Travel on a Budget
Download Travel Apps
Some of my favorite travel apps are Skyscanner and Hopper. These apps, among other travel websites like Expedia, are search engines that help you compare flights, hotels, and car deals. Hopper, for instance, provides a neat color-coded calendar, which I LOVE, as it gives an idea of what the best times are to travel and get yourself the best deal. It also notifies you when flight prices are at an all-time low and sometimes, they even predict that prices will go down even lower! Planning ahead also helps since it gives you an overview of pricing patterns allowing flexibility.
If flight prices still aren’t within budget and your car is in great shape, why not try driving? Not only will it save you tons of money, it also makes for a good excuse to go on a road trip! Having friends with you will make it fun and allows for rotating drivers! Plus, not only will you be touring your original destination, you get to explore the scenic route as well (and make for more photo ops!). As long as you get an oil change beforehand and of course, compile an amazing playlist for the road, you’re in good hands!
Travel During Down Time
Needless to say, traveling during the summer can get pretty pricey with such a high demand. Try to avoid those and/or long holiday weekends as not only are prices heightened, you’ll be in areas swamped with tourists which may at some point deter you from having a good time. It can also be refreshing to steer away from your typical tourist “go-to” places by looking up unconventional spots. Not only will you omit strangers photobombing your dreamy vacation pictures, you will definitely have a new sense of appreciation for the aesthetics.
Opt for a hostel or AirBnB instead of a hotel
I don’t remember the last time I stayed in a hotel. I remember this past summer actually when I accidentally ended up at some random hostel. I thought it was a bad start to my vacation in DC, but in all honesty, it was one of the best decisions (one I did not make – ironically) of my life. I met so many independent travel-lusting millennials ranging from Spain to Germany. Hostels make for such warm bonding experiences – one you can’t get at a hotel.
As for AirBnBs, these are a wonderful cheaper alternative. If you’re going as a group to Lake Tahoe, for example, you can all split the cost of renting a home for the weekend. If you’re traveling solo, you can simply book a room in someone else’s home. It’s quiet, cozy, and comforting on the bank account!
Take advantage of those all-inclusive travel packages! I remember going to Cabo Summer 2014 for just $500-$600 flight, hotel, and meals included! I highly suggest calling a travel agent (what… they still exist?!) or going on GroupOn or LivingSocial for those all-inclusive packages. Most of these packages on GroupOn, for instance, have blockout dates, but trust me, the prices are SO worth the airfare, accommodations, AND food. If your schedule permits flexibility, why not take this opportunity to explore? While funds are a huge determinant of where we are able to go, it’s important to realize that travel is probably one of the most valuable investments on its own.
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