5 Spending Habits to Travel on the Cheap
February 2, 2018
Yes, I am fully aware that not everyone has expendable income to travel.
Some people, like myself, make it a priority and will make sure to adjust their lifestyles to be able to. I started traveling when I was 20, back then I had no job, and my parents could barely help me pay my college tuition. I paid for it all myself and applied for scholarships and aid to study abroad. After my study abroad trip, I caught the travel bug that I used to live-saving up for the next trip. I’ve worked hard to make sure that I have a career in tech that allows me the flexibility and income to travel which is why. I had the time but no money but now I have a stable job but not enough time #Adulting #MillennialStruggles. So these are some tips I’ve learned both from being a broke girl with wanderlust and (semi)adult now with bills and responsibilities (by that I mean loans, car payments, and trying to feed myself). I love apps and tech and have tried a million different things to maximize my travel. I have found by doing this I don’t have to fully deprive myself of my everyday life just for the next trip and I hope this will help you find balance as well.
- Start multiple saving streams
- Setting money aside for travel is essential, but it’s good to be smart about saving in case of emergencies. I am a very out of sight out of mind person and with money all being in apps and online sites it’s harder for me to keep track I have found to be the best strategies is automating my savings. It’s crucial also to set up more than one savings method, so you always have cash stored away.
- Ally Bank. Set up an Ally Bank account, there is no minimum, and they offer one of the highest savings rates at 1%. Check out more here
- Digit.co. Set up a Digit.Co account and set up different goals including travel! I love this app because it sets aside money automatically and lets me withdraw when I need it. Check out my referral here.
- Track your spending
- Tracking your everyday life will help you notice your spending patterns. Do you need an iced coffee from Starbucks every morning? Yes, the answer is yes if you work in NYC and commute 1.5 hours each day #guilty. It’s okay to have your things you can’t live without but you may notice you don’t need expenses elsewhere say that Amazon Prime you never actually use #guiltyagain.
- Logging into apps and tracking your patterns is a great way to notice where you can make some changes.
- Mint.com. Make a Mint account; it’s the best way to be alerted to your bills and see your spending patterns. Check it out here
- Clarity Money App. It will show you the recurrent spending and help you cancel, it’s essentially a combination of the others, but I prefer a combination of all. Sign up to get the app link
- Online banking. Log in to your bank and check your accounts the old fashion way to make sure it’s accurate!
- Flight deals, flyer miles, and points !
- Take advantage of the free frequent mile clubs and email notifications. Lots of search engines might have deals with only certain airlines; therefore, other airlines who don’t have a partnership, ie, SouthWest & JetBlue will send you emails on flight deals first.
- I absolutely love Southwest and used this a lot while I volunteered with Americorps in the US, so I racked up tons of points. They let you cancel flights as well so if you’re impulsive, you can switch flights at no cost.
- I loved them so much I got their credit card through Chase and took full advantage. Remember not to spend more on your card than you can afford and to pay off the full balance. If you can do this it’s a great way to accrue points, I’ve acquired four round-trip flights on my points so far and accrue a new round trip about every four months. You can also get deals for extra points on restaurants and book car rentals! Be sure to do your research BEFORE signing up.
- Sign up for the frequent flyer mile clubs. They are free and you can collect points!
- Pick your favorite airline and sign up for their card. For SouthWest Get 50K points with my referral link.
- Take advantage of your cards and sign up for all bonus point referrals.
- Do a quick search for promos and events
- The best thing to do is do a quick search to see if there are any promotions to where you want to go. Deals can include group discounts, check for discounts on yelp, and free tour hours in museums and popular attractions.
- If you are alone, make some new friends and sign up for tours and excursions together to lower the cost for everyone. I listed some apps I like to use to find events below, and you can check out my socializing post too
- MeetUp.com . Lots of events get put on here, and you get to meet other travelers, classes, and maybe even try something new.
- Instagram ! Yes, the ‘gram. Search by location and hashtags to see pictures other people have been. You can check out places I’ve been on mine @PartTimeExploradora
- Le’ Google. Good Ol’ Google will always be a decent source. Just google the location + promo / free hours/discounts, and this will load links to any ads and promotional offers there might be including Yelp check-in and groups. Basically, will load all the things!
- Everything is up for negotiation
- Travel relies on the money, and that means it’s business. Everything is up for negotiation this means hustling. One of my favorite things about traveling is being able to barter. Even if you are not in places where you can easily bargain you can always try to sweeten the pot even in your everyday. I shamelessly ask waiters for any specials or promotions they have, or if they’re offering any discounts at the time. You have nothing to lose cause prices can only go down.
- Ask in person for any specials, the servers and workers there might tell you of any deals going on.
- For tours and souvenirs try to haggle down. The more people you bring or are buying, the more likely they will lower the deal.
- Be Shameless! I know it’s scary to ask straight up but do it you have nothing to lose.
BUT also remember that your US dollars will go a long way so do you need to haggle over $0.10 when it’s someone’s lively hood maybe not… over $20 yea I mean that seems like its worth it. Be reasonable and get & pay a fair price.