I LOVE to travel! Any and EVERY chance I get. To me it is the ultimate happiness. Being able to experience new culture, go on an adventure, try new food and make unforgettable memories!
Mike and I often get questioned how we are able to travel as often as we have. How can we afford it?
Now I want to preface this by telling you all that we don’t travel luxuriously. We look for a bargain and if we have to rough it a bit we do! To some this isn’t ideal but for us it has allowed us to see more and do more!
SO… I wanted to share some tips and some of the reasons I can think of that help us afford to travel as often as we can.
- Travel off season. We love to book trips during the low seasons. So avoid summer, march breaks all long weekends, Christmas and so on. Flights, accommodations and activities are almost always cheaper during off season.
–Examples: When traveling off season in Nicaragua we were able to get many free excursions by booking stays in some accommodations!
We booked a cruise a week before Christmas break came out. The same cruise the week of Christmas break was $400 more per person!
2) If you want to go to multiple locations look into ‘open jaw flights’ instead of multiple one way flights. Type into google open jaw flights and take a look! You’ll more than often save quite a bit!
–Example: I booked an open jaw flight: Toronto to Beijing. Hong Kong to Vancouver. Vancouver to Toronto. $850 CAD. That can often be the price of a flight from Toronto to Vancouver alone!
3) If you’re okay with not staying in a fancy schmancy hotel… then opt for a hostel! We LOVE to stay in hostels. A lot cheaper. The opportunity to meet fun people, find awesome tours and save a lot of money!
–Example: We never paid more than $8 a night per person for hostels in Central America. We stayed in some lovely guest houses for only $10 each per person in Thailand!
4) We choose not to eat out often. This can eat up a lot of funds that you could be using to travel with. We opt to cook at home more often. We probably go out to eat every 6-8 weeks or so.
5) We DON’T drink! Alcohol can eat up a ton of your money. This is more of a lifestyle and health choice for Mike and I BUT if you are trying to plan a trip cutting back on the booze could help you to save some extra cash for your travels.
6) We both are just not big spenders. We prefer to put away our money. We don’t go shopping often or do many very expensive activities here at home. If we’re not working we are probably at the gym. Not saying to cut out all things from your life. BUT this is one of the reasons we do have money that is set aside. We just aren’t blowing our money on things we don’t need or see value in. (NOTE: Other than Disney collectibles. We have some of those 😉 ). If this is something that you struggle with I would suggest putting away a certain amount each month for the trip you are trying to go on, and keeping some for your spending habits. A bit of both worlds!
7) Mike has signed up to all the major and budget air line email lists so if there are seat sales we get notified right away.
8) When we go away we have a STACK of coupons we have found online. For activities and places to eat. This is more beneficial for a trip in America or Canada, not so much a back packing trip.
9) For our friends here in Canada: We like to fly from the states! More often than not find a better deal flying from Buffalo. Unless you’re going to Europe or Asia… then we tend to find better flights from Toronto.
10) Price Line!! We have gotten some AMAZING car rental and hotel rental deals through Price line!!!
On International Drive in Orlando we always stay in a hotel for around $30-$35 USD per night! Such a steal!
We were just in Florida and had a car rental for 8 days for $180 CAD.
11) Eat at the whole in the walls. That is where you’re going to find the best prices and the best food! The little make shift restaurants in Thailand were always our favorite and we would walk out of there with a meal for 2 for $4 CAD.
12) If you can befriend locals DO IT! Every time we have become friends with people that live where we are (most often through the hostel we are staying at) they have been able to show us an even better time, the way the locals do it… so cheaper and more fun!!
13) Do your home work. Extensive amounts of research goes into every trip we go on. We go in with a ball park of how much this trip is going to cost with a buffer just in case. We know a lot of the main big things we want to do how much they should cost and how to avoid the scams! If you do enough research you should be able to find the cheapest way for you to do things.
Example: When we were in Thailand we knew we had a really late (or early depends on how you look at it!haha) flight home. We didn’t want to pay for a hotel to basically just house our bag. So we did our homework and found it was only $1 to leave our bag at the airport.
-Instead of paying the pricey cab fair to the temples from our hostel (like everyone else) we had brought a print out of the walking directions and it was only a 20 minute walk! We found the best spot for coffee on the way too. So extra bonus!
So those are some tips that help Mike and I to travel often. We are fairly frugal at home and we plan plan plan when we travel to find the best bargains!
And we all lived healthy and happily ever after <3