NEWSFLASH: I can’t.
Seriously, it’s one of the biggest comments I get in my DM’s: “are you always traveling???” “how do you afford to do that!?!?” “i wish i was rich” hahahahhaha SAME GIRL. same. i live in New York City in an underpaid industry with no trust fund and no help from my parents, i’m definitely not rich. So we’re all clear here.
I get it though, I do love to travel and I try to leave NYC once a month if possible. Last year I flew over 15,000 miles on over 15 trips (22 flights) and i would do it all again tomorrow. I’m just a traveller, i’m good at it and I love it! I would live out of a suitcase tomorrow if I could always be hopping from city to city! (This might be the only similiarity I have with my sister if you know much about her lifestyle). Granted, a lot of last years travel was work related and this year less so, but i still plan on gettin outta dodge as much as possible! At the end of 2018, i’ll have gone to (and written travel guides for!) Denver, Vegas (3x…oops) , San Diego + LA again, my homebases of Raleigh and St Louis, Newport RI, Hamptons, Portland Maine, maybe Napa? and of course ITALY!!
No I don’t have kids or a pet, which definitely changes things and wouldn’t allow me to travel as often maybe but i’ve rounded up all of my travel tips below so you can also afford to go on big week long trips or weekends away.
So how do I travel as often I do without charging it on my credit card and going massively in debt?!?! ITS ALL ABOUT PLANNING and i hope these tips help!!!
i know, i know. duh. take this Italy trip for instance. did i have a few thousand dollars chillin in my savings for me to wake up one day and book flights, accomodations, tickets, trains, entry fees, etc. all in one day? HELL NO. i don’t even have a savings account if that says anything about the state of my financial being. no way.
what really happened is last year i realized that since my mom and i have the same birthday and i was turning 30, i wanted to do something special together – aka, go to Italy!! as with anything, it’s always the easiest to knock out the most difficult part first which is almost always the accomodations, then the flights, and so on.
TO DO: Pick a day you want to travel, preferably 6 months in advance (aka at least 6 paychecks) and count backwards how you can little by little work to book things, so you also don’t financially put yourself in a bad place. Try to plan it where each paycheck you know what bills you’re paying for your personal life and also what you are able to book for your trip. I personally try to double up on some bills so that my paycheck before i leave is ALL spending money (so i dont have to save for it!).
CHIP AWAY AT THE BOOKING
ever heard of opportunity cost? ok 2 second lesson: opportunity cost is basically the price of a missed opportunity. in essence, if you think of an $850 flight, you’re not going to go right? who has $850 just sitting around?? can you give it to me? my point is- you wont go – you will miss that opportunity. HOWEVER what if you booked 2 separate flights on 2 separate paychecks for $450 a piece? A lot of people think “i’m not going to do that because i’ll end up spending more money!” …ya but you’ll also miss out on this trip! by the time you save that extra $400 dollars, the total price of the flight will be $150 more. guaranteed. i’ve been booking all my flights like this for years now and it’s allowed me to go on SO many trips!
TO DO: Buy a flight to your destination on one paycheck, buy a flight back on your next paycheck, third paycheck is for accommodations, fourth paycheck for any additional fees (rental cars, admission tickets to attractions/museums) and that 5th paycheck can be savings!! a little bit can go a long way. I’ve booked something for this trip on almost every paycheck for the past year and has allowed us to get to italy with everything paid except for food!!
GET A CREDIT CARD – BUT DON’T USE IT FOR TRAVEL
…ok fine or use it for travel but 1) only if you are responsible enough to pay for it appropriately and truly can afford the trip you’re going on and 2) if you get crazy points from doing so! i suggest getting a credit card with really good points usage so every time you buy groceries or gas – things you’re going to pay for regardless – you’ll get points towards hotels or flights or bumped up to first class – who knows!! sidenote: don’t call me if you ruin your credit. i’m still trying to rebuild mine.
TO DO: Research different credit cards (through airlines or hotel companies or even your bank!) that you feel will give you the best bang for your buck. Consider the interest rates though – credit cards are not here to allow you to do things that you cant afford, but to help you with credit and to help you pay for things if you need to book it a few days before you get paid!
USE. GOOGLE. FLIGHTS.
OKAY i almost didnt include this because it’s my best kept secret but I CANT EVEN TELL YOU HOW MUCH I USE GOOGLE FLIGHTS. it’s actually my most used website, which Google Chrome likes to remind me every 2 seconds. kind of sad since i have a blog right? anyway, why do i love it? i will tell you. let’s say you have a 4 day weekend and want to go away and don’t want to spend more than $500 for a flight. Go to Google Flights, move the price meter to $0-$500, and the dates you want and it will show you EVERYWHERE in the world that you can fly! Once I found out it was cheaper to fly to Stockholm than home to St Louis!! Another example. Let’s say you know you want to go on a beach vacation, but you don’t know when exactly but you want to go in October. Simply click “October” and click “Beaches” and it will show you all of your options WORLDWIDE at the lowest price first and suggest the right time to go. IT’S AMAZING and these only scratch the surface of how helpful it is.
TO DO: Utilize Google Flights to help make educated decisions about your travel! it will also recommend ways to make it cheaper (maybe leave a day early, or fly into a closer airport!) but please know they are not at all partnered with Southwest Airlines so you may have to go a different route if you use that airline.
in essence, this comes down to 2 things: PLANNNNNN LIKE A PSYCHO and don’t be afraid of the pricetag, i assure you that you can make it happen and – just so everyone can have some help traveling – send me an email or an Instagram DM and i will guide you through the process to help. SWEAR! i’d love to get you guys out into the world easier, especially if you feel overwhelmed! i got you, boo.
NOW GO BOOK A FLIGHT YA SILLY GOOSIES! geesies? gause? goose? bye.