Travel

Budget Travel 101

budget-travel

While we’ve all heard the siren call of new places and experiences, but sometimes our less than ample bank accounts simply don’t support our champagne dreams. Never fear! If you are willing to put in the time to research, a holiday abroad could be in the future sooner than you think!

GETTING THERE

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The first and usually the greatest cost of travel is airfare. Trans-Atlantic and Pacific flights are sometimes laughably pricey, and enough to scare anyone away from the destination of your dreams. Here are a couple of cost-saving options available to you.

Airline credit cards and miles

Opening credit cards can be a scary thing. But rewards cards used exclusively for travel can be a great way to cut costs. Major American airlines like Delta and American Airlines offer up to 50 thousand miles just for signing up for the card. Have a jet setting family member? If you are both part of the same airline rewards they can gift their personal miles over to you. Skip asking for gift cards this year and ask for some miles instead.

STA

For those who are both young at heart and young in age, STA is a travel company that offers lower fares for students and/or those under 26. You can also sign up for discount cards for people under 31, students, and teachers that get you discounts on things like transport and hotels. STA is a one stop shop offering tours and info on budget accommodation.

Budget Ticket Sites

There are of course sites like Kayak and Sky Scanner that simply present all available flights based on your criteria. But planning far in advance is usually your best bet in saving on flights.

Budget Airlines

Once you get to where your going, there are dozens of budget airlines around the world that travel within regions like Spicejet in India or intercontinental ones like Ryanair in Europe. Also once on a continent like Europe there are tons of budget travel options at your disposal. Just check out our post on Traveling Europe by Coach for ideas!

ACCOMMODATION

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Now that you’ve booked a ticket to your dream destination you need a base of operation before exploring to your heart’s content. Finding a hotel, hostel, or other lodging can be another big expense. Here are a few options to save on accommodation.

AirBnB

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No longer a secret, but still incredibly convenient and well-priced; AirBnB offers both private residences and hostels for short term stays. Most commonly you are staying in someone’s home while they are away. You can specialize your search based on location, number of rooms, price range, and dates. A host can offer advice on what to do in the city and give you a local’s perspective.

Hostels

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One of the oldest budget accommodation options while traveling is the Hostel. Hostel World is another great site that allows you to search for hostels with your specific dates. The ratings are usually a good indication of how good the hostel will be. With tons of hostels to choose from in some of the hottest cities in the world you are bound to find what suits your budget and your style.

Couchsurfing

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Really want to save on accommodation? Don’t pay at all! Couchsurfing is a site which allows you to search for hosts and stay with them for free short-term. The Couchsurfing Community is full of interesting people looking for a cultural exchange. They are often excited and proud to show off their home and city to you, and only ask for your curiosity interest in return. If your uncomfortable staying at a strangers home, you can always travel with a friend. Couchsurfing hosts can usually take more than one person. And it’s always a good idea to let someone back home know your general whereabouts, whether your Couchsurfing or staying at a Ritz Carlton.

World Packers

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Much like Couchsurfing, World Packers matches you with hosts. In exchange for room and board, you work at their establishment, usually a hostel, bar, or small business.

Workstays give you the opportunity to in all types of environments. Wwoof matches you with organic farmers the world over. Australia and New Zealand both sponsor year long working tourism visas, which gives you the freedom to work and travel anywhere in the country. Work Away also provides a platform for matching hosts and travelers. Both wwoofing and workaway require a small one time fee for using their sites.

We wanderlusters are a rare breed. We’re endlessly curious about where we’ll go next, but this doesn’t mean our bank accounts must suffer! So do your research then go forth and explore!

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4 thoughts on “Budget Travel 101

  1. I’m lucky to have a husband who works for Marriott hotels but the flights always kill me. I have no problem flying budget. Took my whole family of 5 to Costa Rica on Spirit from Fort Lauderdale for less than $1000! Sprit flights are often cheaper if you go to the airport and book them.

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