Hello everyone and welcome to my darling friend, Amy’s, post for my Salute To Summer guest bloggers series. Amy is the author of the blog, An Ambivert Lifestyle, and it is AMAZING so definitely take a look and give it all the love. As you guys know, my life motto is “ballin on a budget” so, naturally, Amy’s post about embracing a travel lifestyle while being smart with your cash speaks to me on a spiritual level. Take a look at Amy’s how to guide on how to make the most of your moolah on your summer vaca:
Summer Travels On A Budget
Traveling isn’t an easy task. Planning and preparing for the trip is one of the most stressful things that you can do to yourself. From working more hours and skipping nights out to save up to unexpected costs before your trip also contributes to this stress. Personally, as a full-time student and a full-time employee, it is extremely hard, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to traveling on a budget and finding great deals. Being a college student and a frugal spender, I like to explore deals on flights on the internet, books, personal experience, and word of mouth.
Finding Deals on Flights
- Student Universe – This company provides less expensive flights for students. They work with 80+ airlines to get cheaper flights listed than anywhere else. This site is truly magical. Not only do they provide deals on flights, but they also offer deals on tours, hotels, and group travel. For members, they provide even more deals for special rates.
- Private Browsing – This is super important! Whenever you are searching for flights, go on “Private Browsing” on whatever internet browser you use. Airline companies pay big money to know what consumers are searching, so if you visited a certain flight over and over again, they increase prices so you can buy faster.
- Skyscanner – This helps you scan flights of your choosing through all the different airline companies. You can also see prices on different dates, as well, for convenience.
- Booking flights on Wednesdays! – This is such an easy trick. Almost all of the time, flights will be consistently lower than the rest of the weekdays since they consider this day to have the most amount of seats available, so prices are lowered to fill the planes.
- Check social medias and your email! – Usually, airline companies will email deals and promo codes for flights for a period of time. These have saved my bacon many times.
- Get a refund! – No, really! If you purchased a ticket and the fare has dropped since you bought it, call/email them to ask for a refund for the difference. It may not always work, but the fact that it has worked with certain airline companies is amazing! Websites such as Yapta and Orbitz track your purchased flights and let you know. Easy.
- Champ through several stop flights – It isn’t easy and most of the time it isn’t fun. The majority of the time these stops are red eyes. It sucks, but being able to spend a couple hundred dollars to be able to buy that souvenir for you girlfriend’s cousin’s mom is worth it.
- Airfare Errors – This is your best friend. Websites such as AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying can be used to allow you to beat the system and stalk for mistake fares.
While Traveling Do’s
- Research ahead of time – If you travel to a foreign land, it’s best that you research where you want to go first instead of winging it. I have spent so much more money than expected when I have winged it.
- Look up places that do not charge admission – You’d be surprised at how many museums do not charge admission fees throughout the world. I always do this when I go on vacations because it gives you something to do that’s fun, while keeping money in your pocket.
- Foreign Exchange at your bank – Some people don’t know this but some banks will actually let you exchange currencies right there. Sometimes the rates are cheaper than when you’re traveling and it’s convenient to have the currency of the destination before you even get off of the plane.
- Carry cash & don’t use your card – Having a fixed amount of cash on you helps BIG time with budgeting on a day-by-day vacation. It helps you not over spend and prevents binging on those miniature Eiffel Towers or flower shaped gelato. Plus, if you use your card, chances are that your bank will charge you an international fee.
Places to Stay Without Breaking the Bank
- Air BnB – This is already a given, but I love them so much that I had to put them on this list.
- Hostel World – Hostels are the cheapest way to travel. You get to meet different people traveling that will probably become your international long term friend. Hostel World allows you to look up every single hostel in the area that you’re traveling to. You get to compare between different hostels, prices for a private room and dorms, and amenities. They have a Best Price Guarantee as well, so they will provide the cheapest rates for every hostel.
- Home To Go – Not too many people know about this page. It’s a very user friendly site where you get to look up Bed and Breakfast type places. They provide last minute deals and discounts up to 75% off for their members for certain places.
- Tripping – This is a sight that lets you look up vacation rentals, hostels, rooms for rent per night, hotels, etc. Similar to Air Bnb.
- Lonely Planet – Unique site that provides travel books and videos about different countries and their activities such as beaches, food and drink, art and culture, and adventure travel. They also provide services such as travel insurance, adventure tours, car rentals, flights, hotels, sightseeing tours, and airport transfers and shuttles. Another perk of this website is that they provide tips, as well.
- Like A Local – This company is so great! This site allows you to be able to contact locals in the area that you’re traveling to be able to get suggestions, tips, and even ask to meet up. They provide suggestions for tours, food, nightlife, shopping, and sightseeing all at your fingertips. On top of that, you can also pay a local to be your tour guide for CHEAP. I’m going to be traveling to Munich at the end of May and a local posted that they charge 2 euros an hour to be your guide. I’m SHOOK. But it gets better, you are also able to download their phone app and purchase an offline, no internet, and no roaming charges map for $1.99 per city that can also use your GPS to locate where you are. If you’d like to be a guide as well in your home town, you can also sign up with them and be paid!
The most important part of traveling, of course, is that you have fun and enjoy! Only be on your phone to take pictures and make a new friend and take in every opportunity that you can to soak in and appreciate your new surroundings.
Wow! Thank you so much to Amy for such fantastic, invaluable tools to use while traveling on a budget. For more on Amy’s upcoming travels, be sure to check out her blog! How do you ball on a budget? Where are you traveling to this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah