How to Travel Cheap: 6-minute read.
Travel is oxygen. How to travel cheap is a whole other high.
During my debt free journey, I knew I didn’t want to give up my love of adventure. There’s something about the anticipation of getting on a plane to a new destination. I always seem to find myself in a new situation, too. Sometimes you get drunk and agree to hop into a small fishing boat with your girlfriends and a few Puerto Rican men in the middle of the night. Sometimes you unknowingly get in line to jump off a cliff into a 50-degree river with your sister.
That’s the beauty of travel. Ya just never know what new memories you’ll make.
According to a Nielsen report, millennials travel more than any other generation and we’ll continue the trend as our incomes and financial standings grow. When I was paying off debt, I learned how to travel cheap. I simultaneously traveled to Colorado Springs, St. Louis, Pensacola, Daytona Beach, Lake Tahoe, and Puerto Rico. All of my trips were paid for in cash, and I was making an average of $1,200 monthly payments towards my debt! Here’s how I travel cheap (and how you can do it, too):
Prioritize your vacation wishlist
Write out all of the trips you want to take within the year and estimate how much your trip expenses will be. I usually break this down into the following categories:
Now, ask yourself, which vacation is the most realistic for you to save up for? Which vacation gets you the most excited? When you focus on just a few trips, you’re more likely to take the steps to make those vacay days a reality.
This is my trip wishlist for 2018 so I could travel cheap. I list all the places I want to visit and estimate costs associated. Noticed I used airline points for the Omaha trip (not exactly an exotic destination–friend’s wedding!).
Allocate a portion of your monthly budget towards a vacation fundOpen up a separate savings account for your cross-country adventures. Look at your monthly budget and figure out where you can cut expenses so you can start contributing monthly to a vacation fund. When you keep the money in a separate fund, you’re more likely to be motivated by how much is in the account.
Travel cheap with friends
The bulk of my travels were either to visit friends or traveling with friends, which helped cut costs tremendously. Instead of spending money on a hotel, stay with friends who live in cities you would like to visit. My best friend lived in Florida at the time, so I was able to crash on her couch which easily saved me $120/night in hotel expenses.
“Stay with friends who live in cities you would like to visit.”
The best way to learn how to travel cheap is to combine forces with friends. The AirBnB my friends and I stayed in during our stay in Guanica, Puerto Rico.