3 Simple Ways To Afford Travel
I am a firm believer in the notion that travel is not expensive, or better yet, doesn't have to be. Everyday I see inexpensive flight deals either in my email inbox or shared on social media. Even the places that are on your travel wish list, you can afford to visit if you have an open mind, be flexible, and do your research. Your dream destinations are reachable and here are 3 simple ways you can afford to make it happen.
This is the most obvious option but may not always be the easiest. Unless you have hundreds of dollars that consistently get replenished in your travel account then this step is optimal. And let's face it, if your travel account is always stacked then this post isn't for you! So here is where you may need to get a little creative or be very disciplined. Remember, the end goal to set yourself up for your dream journey. Set up automatic deposits from your employer and put your funds into an account that is strictly for travel. If you already have your destination decided on, figure out the budget and divide that among the amount of time needed to pay for your trip. Include flight, lodging, and spending money (food and fun activities). Decide what you can pay now and what you can pay later. Also, if you have funds in your travel account readily available, then that will allow you to be prepared to hop on flight glitches or amazingly low fares. Trust me, you will be kicking yourself if you miss out on a great deal because you didn't have the $300.
My favorite way to afford travel! I get several alerts sent to my inbox every single day, several times a day. I don't want to miss anything! Also, utilizing social media for travel research has afforded me some amazing flight deals to places like D.C. to Abu Dhabi (2 tickets for $435), D.C. to Hawaii (Honolulu - 2 tickets for $68), last minute from L.A. to Maui (for $378), and D.C. to Paris (for $104 - one way), just to name a few. I wish I had the (work) time to take advantage of many more alerts that venture into my inbox. But when I become a full-time explorer…just wait on it! Anyways, my two favorite sources for travel alerts are theflightdeal.com and airfarewatchdog.com. I wish I could handle more but I am a self-proclaimed email hoarder and a lazy deleter so once I get this disorder under control I will be able to subscribe to more websites that showcase amazing travel deals. Meanwhile, the two I mention above, yield great results. One of the things I love about theflightdeal.com is the share ability. It provides daily deals for your (major) city as well as others. I consistently send deals to my friends back home in D.C. in case they wish to take advantage of the $125 roundtrip flight to Puerto Rico (true story). Sharing is caring! With airfarewatchdog.com, you set up alerts to and from whichever cities you desire. For example, my favorite city to city deals are L.A. to Honolulu, L.A. to Seattle (where I plan to visit soon), and L.A. to D.C. You can adjust it accordingly to accommodate any destinations on your wish list.
Sure we would all love to fly first class on the top tiered airlines, but sometimes your goal is to just get to where you need to be, with spending as least money as possible. For shorter journeys, budget airlines can be ideal. By taking advantage of a sale posted by Spirit Airlines, I was able to purchase a one-way flight from L.A. to D.C. for $34.10. Yes, you read that right! $34.10! I needed a last minute ticket and this deal popped up at the right time. I wasn't looking for luxury, just looking to not spend an arm and a leg for it being at the last minute. Budget airlines will require some flexibility and an understanding that you get what you pay for. You may have to sacrifice leg room, overhead luggage space, and deal with the 'nickling-and-diming' of everything, i.e. paying for what would be complementary on other airlines, such as water and a bag of mini pretzels and peanuts. While I only paid $34.10 for my ticket, I braced myself for any mishaps and prepared ahead of time to avoid any nonsense fees. I know some people shy away from budget friendly airlines that nickel and dime you, but when you are in a time and money crunch, they have the ability to come thru in the clutch. While an airline like Spirit won't be my go-to or first choice to select from, I'll continue to use them to save a coin when necessary.
What are some of your basic or creative ways to save or afford your travels?