How to Save Money for Traveling When You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck.
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
We've all been there...scrolling down Instagram or reading your favorite travel blog, while drinking the cheapest wine that doesn't taste like vinegar, having a serious case of #Fomo thinking:
"Damn, I wish I were traveling right now, but I can't, I'm broke. How do these people afford to travel?!"
Well, you came to the right place because I'm going to show you how to save up for your #DreamVacation and score the best travel deals!
How to Save
Create a Travel Board
Create a board and put it somewhere where you see it daily. Add magazine clippings of where you want to go and how much you realistically want to save. Seeing your travel board daily will motivate you to succeed at saving!
Clean out your closet! Try selling things on
e-Bay or Poshmark. If you haven't worn it in
1-2 years, it's time to let it go.
Stop Eating Out
This one goes without saying. You can save soooo much money by simply not eating out. Get creative with recipes at home and maybe learn a new cooking technique from the place you dream about traveling to!
Also, skip the Starbucks and make your own coffee!
Many banks have a "round-up" option, every time you purchase something it rounds up to the nearest dollar and that extra money goes into a savings account. An alternate option is the Digit app! This handy app analyzes your spending and automatically saves the perfect amount every day, so you don't have to think about it.
Sign up for airline and/or hotel credit cards to earn miles or hotel points for every dollar spent.
Treat your credit card as a debit card and pay it off weekly so you don't incur debt. I have the Delta Platinum American Express Card and absolutely love it! I constantly get free upgrades when flying and I get a free round trip companion ticket every year. Shop around for credit cards, some might be having a mile bonus for signing up! ThePointsGuy.com is a great resource!
When to Buy Flights
"Tuesdays at about 3 p.m. eastern time. Reason: Many U.S. airlines begin airfare sales that appear on their websites late Monday or early Tuesday; the competition then matches these newly lowered prices and this is generally finished by Tuesday afternoon. That’s when shoppers have the most deals to choose from." - FareCompare.com
Where to Buy Flights
I like to purchase my tickets directly from the airline website after I've done thorough searches on:
1. Skiplagged.com Skiplagged is an airfare search engine for cheap flights, showing hidden-city ticketing trips. For example, If you want to fly to Denver and there is a flight from NYC to LAX with a layover in Denver, you book the full flight and don't get on the second leg of the trip (remember not to check a bag if you're doing this!).
2. TheFlightDeal.com I get their daily flight deals straight to my inbox, they tell you when an airline is having a sale and for how long. This is how I found the insane roundtrip deal with Level Airlines of $430 for my #OriginsTrip to Barcelona!
3. ThriftyTraveler.com Similar to The Flight Deal, however, a lot of their great deals are for the premium subscription only. Never hurts to look in both places!
Staying in the city center might be the most convenient, however, when you want to save money on accommodations it is much cheaper to stay in the surrounding areas of the hustle and bustle.
When booking, search for neighborhoods surrounding the pricier points of interest that are close to public transportation!
Bonus: You will probably experience the "local" way of life by doing this, and the food will most likely be cheaper and better outside of the tourist areas!
Join Rewards Programs
If you're booking a hotel sign up for their rewards program! They are usually free and you get great perks like free breakfast, wifi and sometimes even room upgrades!
I love having AirBnB as an option when traveling because I experience wherever I'm traveling as a local. I also get to cook my own meals, which saves a lot of money if you don't want to eat out all the time. Typically, when I look for an AirBnB I make sure it has: A/C, a kitchen, washer and dryer (I pack lighter when I can do laundry while traveling) and carbon monoxide detector (if not, I bring my own).
Whether you're planning a short weekend trip or a month long international dream vacation, these are some of the tips and tricks I use to save money for travel, because a little goes a long way!