There is a misconception that traveling the world is expensive and something that can only be done by the wealthy. Well, as long as you keep thinking that way, this will be the reality for you. It’s time to change your mindset about exploring the world, because it has become easier than ever to meet your goals. As an experienced traveler, I’ve learned amazing ways to travel on a budget and do it in style.
1. Change your mindset
When you want to travel the world, but you have a budget, you have to believe that it’s possible. You have to make up your mind that, no matter what, you are going to see the world and meet all your goals. My little brother always says, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t.” It’s so true: If you believe that traveling is way out of your reach, than that’s going to be your reality. First believe that it’s possible, then it can manifest itself in your life.
2. Create a travel fund savings account
One of the easiest things you can do to accomplish your travel goals when money is tight is to save, save, save. Start putting aside money every week or from every paycheck that comes in. Determine not to touch the money unless it’s for your dream trip. For my travel goals, I started a Digit account that automatically saves money for me every two to three days and is based on my spending habits. Money is being stored away even when I’m not thinking about it. This is a great tool for travelers. You are able to access your savings at any time, making this system safe and easy. In addition, you can get a part-time job to help pay for a trip that’s planned.
3. Watch for deals
Sign up for airline newsletters or sites like Skyscanner to get updates on travel specials that may be available. Orbitz is another great site to score discounted flights and even save on hotels and car rentals. What’s interesting and awesome about Orbitz is that, if another customer happens to book the same flight as yours at a lower price, you’ll automatically be given a refund for the difference. Pretty cool, I would say! There are times when an airline will have a two-for-one travel special that you can take advantage of in a certain amount of time. These deals allow you to save lots and provide extra spending money for your trip. Also, there are off-peak travel seasons that allow you to explore the world at a much cheaper cost. After spring break and “back to school” season are both times that airlines, hotels and cruises are usually discounted.
4. Flying matters
The days you decide to fly on can determine if you spend more or less. Days like Thursday, Friday or Sunday are peak times, and cost more. Growing up, and even to this day, my family usually books flights on a Tuesday because it can mean hundreds of dollars worth of savings for a large family trip. Another perk of flying on a non-peak day is avoiding the long airport and Transport Security Administration lines!
5. Budget your lodging
One of the best ways to stay in a nice area while on a budget is to use AirBnB. This service gives you the opportunity to stay in homes or on a rental property for less than the cost of the average hotel room and offers a lot more room space. HomeAway is another site offering homes and properties at an affordable cost for travelers wanting to save.
6. Enlist help
You can accomplish a lot more when you ask for help. Hiring a travel agent can be very helpful, especially when you are traveling abroad and are not familiar with the location. A good travel agent will work with you on your budget and travel needs. Seek out agents who respond well and listen to your requests. Their job is to make sure you are pleased and safe.
7. Secure transportation
Factoring in transportation costs while traveling is very important. When traveling to big cities, I have calculated that you’ll need about $70 or more per day in taxi fares. That can add up when you are also paying for a hotel, food, sightseeing and, of course, some shopping. Renting a car has been a much easier way for me to save money on a daily basis. It’s reliable, but make sure you ask your hotel if they have free parking before you arrive.
8. Convert before you go
When traveling abroad, I always make sure to convert my money to the proper currency before I leave, usually at an international kiosk in my local mall. Though you can get great rates from exchanging your money in a local ATM in the country you are visiting, there is no guarantee that there will be one in the airport once you land. This can be really difficult if you have to pay for cabs, car service or if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Being stuck and stranded is never a good idea, especially if you are traveling alone, so be prepared by having money on you at the best rates.
9. Get a rail pass
If you are going to European cities like London or Paris, the Eurail Pass, Metro or Tube cards are a great way to save money while exploring the town. When I recently visited London for a work trip, I used an Oyster card to hop on and off the Tube because I wanted to do a lot of sightseeing around the city. This allowed me to save money while capturing great memories.
10. Travel with a friend
Two or more is always better than one. Traveling with others will not only save you time, but will make the trip a lot more affordable. You all can split hotel, transportation and dining cost. It’s a fun and reliable way to travel the world on a budget!
Ariana Pierce is a fashion, lifestyle and business expert, helping millennials and beyond achieve their dreams and look great doing it! For more on Ariana, visit www.Arianastylebook.com or follow her on IG at www.Instagram.com/AriTheHeiress