Congratulations! We all survived 2016. From here on out it’s onwards and upwards. Speaking of which, I hope travel made it onto your list of New Years Resolutions because this year is shaping up to be an epic year for travel. So, whether you’re saving up for a summer vacation or planning a weekend staycation, these tips won’t steer you wrong. Cheers to that!
6 Ways to Travel More but Spend Less in 2017!
Invest in a points-earning credit card
This is something I only started doing in the past year and I can’t believe how many miles I’ve earned. After a fellow blogger recommended the Venture One Capital Card, I decided to give it a try. There’s a 40,000 sign up bonus once you spend $3,000 – or, at least, that was the current promotion at the time. Then, for every dollar you spend, whether on travel-related charges or a $5 smoothie, you earn 2 points. There are other cards, of course, but I can only speak from my experience. I’d take a look at your options and plan your sign-up with an enticing promotion that will earn you extra sign-up miles.
Embrace the 4 day weekend (aka be flexible)
This might be easier for some than for others but keep it in the back of your mind. The more flexible you are with both your destination and your dates, the more flight options you’ll have. For those who work a 9-5, take advantage of the 4-day weekend by leaving on a Thursday night and arriving back home on a Monday. Bonus points if you live in a major fly zone like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, because you’re likely to score direct flights for less because there is so much demand. If you have a more flexible schedule, consider traveling during the week to save on high hotel weekend rates.
Travel slightly off-season
It’s no surprise that traveling off-season will help secure cheaper flights and hotels but that’s not all. Many times, I actually prefer to travel during the shoulder season because there are fewer tourists and I have a better shot of snapping photos of major monuments without a dozen tourists in the background. I’ll never forget my October trip to Croatia where our group basically had the entire Plitvice Lakes National Park to ourselves. It literally felt like I had stepped into a Lord of the Rings novel. I had a similar experience when I visited Machu Picchu during the rainy season, albeight it was still fairly crowded.
Earn cash on your trips
If you’re planning to move somewhere long-term or for an extended stay, you’ll likely need to look into attaining a work visa. Don’t fret though; there are other ways to earn cash on-the-go. One of my favorite ways to self-fund your trips is to deliver goods with Grabr (full disclosure – I work for them). The platform connects shoppers seeking unique or hard-to-find goods from around the world with travelers going that way. So, if you’ve got extra room in your suitcase, you can earn upwards of $500 per trip. Alternatively, if you’re starting out as a digital nomad, you can pretty much work (and earn a living) in any city.
Maximize your budget on-the-ground
There are so many ways to maximize your budget on-the-ground without feeling like you’re missing out. There’s also two ways to look at every situation. For example, paying more for a centrally-located hotel may cost more initially but you’ll save money on Uber rides and taxis by walking everywhere. On the flip side, most cities have very reliable public transportation, so staying in a nice hotel or home rental in the outskirts isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. The same goes for food. Try some street food for lunch so you can splurge a bit more at dinner. For students, carry your ID card for discounts on museums and attractions.
Make small sacrifices
I’m putting this last but really, it should probably be #1 because making small sacrifices add up to big rewards. Are you a coffee addict? Invest in a coffee-maker at your home so that you can skip those daily $5 lattes. You’ll save money and probably a lot of extra sugar you don’t need. You can also set up a travel fund. I did this for my first job in the city, which meant that every time I got paid, about 15% of my earnings went straight to my savings account rather than my checking. After a year of saving, you’ll be surprised by how much you’ve set aside for travel. Living off less money also encourages you to spend smartly.
Where would YOU like to travel to in 2017? Tell me in the comments below!
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