Hey y’all! As you’ve noticed, Logan and I LOVE to travel and are always on the go. People always ask us how we do it and how we can afford it, which is why I wanted to share some tips on how to budget for travel. (Disclaimer- we don’t have kids or a house, which means we can be selfish and spend money on ourselves.)
Last year we made it our resolution to travel often and we definitely achieved that. We pretty much had a trip planned every month. From Bora Bora to Mexico City to Paris and others, we really went all out and explored so many different places. I’ve gotten the hang of booking travel that fits our budget, and still continuing to stay at hotels 4 stars and above (tbh hotels is one thing I don’t mind spending the extra cash on). Tips on booking hotels can be found here.
If you’re hoping to travel more like us, I hope these tips are a good starting point.
Be Flexible– I written before about my favorite sites to book cheap flights, and my number one tip is to be flexible. Some of the deals that get sent out are for a specific time period, airline, etc. It’s important to already have in mind how many days you want to get away and around which months, so you can just bite the bullet when the time comes. Some of these offers only last 24 hours so you gotta commit before you miss out!
Set Alerts– One of my favorite apps to track costs on flights is Hopper. If I have an idea of where we want to go and when, I’ll set an alert and watch flights for the price to drop. Hopper monitors prices and alerts you when to expect them to drop and when prices have dropped. I am traveling to Madrid in April and flights were crazy expensive- $1700 roundtrip per person. I watched the flight for a while and I got an alert as I was driving that prices dropped to $560 roundtrip. So we went for it!
Take Advantage of Credit Card and Rewards Programs– Our airline of choice is Delta, which is why it makes sense for us to have the American Express Delta Skymiles card. When you sign up, you get a number of miles that basically equals up to one roundtrip ticket. My husband has the silver card, which gives you a companion ticket every year. Do your research and make sure you get a credit card that works for you and your spending habits. Also make sure you’re making the most out of your benefits!
Consider Nearby Airports– Whenever you’re planning a trip, it’s easy to search for flights from the most well known airport. Try something different and check other non major airports, whether it’s a smaller airport or in a nearby city an hour away- it’s worth the try. Obviously consider the extra travel time and weigh out your options. Laguardia and JFK always have specials to Europe. We have considered booking a roundtrip ticket from Atlanta to NYC and then booking roundtrip from NYC to Europe. It might take more planning and coordinating but worth it if you’re saving money!
Buy Tickets in Advance to Tourist Attractions– It adds up when you’re trying to check out every tourist attraction in a new city and purchasing tickets to get up close. When you’re planning out your trip, always check online if you can buy tickets ahead of time. Not only does it save you time from standing in line at the ticket office, but more than likely you’ll save some money from booking in advance.
Treat Travel as a Bill– Treating travel as another bill can help you save money over time. With each paycheck, set aside a specific amount on money into a savings account. Get in the habit of doing this regularly and it’ll grow before you know it. Use that money to book that awesome last minute travel deal or for expenses once you’re on your trip.
Hope these helped! This year, we’re hoping to visit Tokyo and Bali as our big trip so I’ll definitely be searching for some good deals- let me know if you come across any!