Life isn’t always glamorous, and neither is being able to afford travel. Sacrifices have to be made. In a perfect world, we could all receive paid sponsorships and free airfare tickets to Europe. But that just isn’t realistic for us nine to fivers. I get a lot of questions on how to make travel affordable. So here are my 6 unglamorous secrets to affording travel.
Go in the Offseason
I cannot stress enough that this is the main reason I can afford to travel. Traveling in the offseason can save you hundreds of dollars. I usually see prices slashed in half in the offseason, so always check those prices during the more ‘undesirable season’, and see if you are willing to compromise. It may not be glamorous to travel in the winter, but your bank account will thank you.
Go to Unpopular Destinations
This is another unglamorous but realistic way to be able to afford travel. Sure, this may mean that Paris and Santorini are totally off the table, but you’d be surprised at how many great less-traveled cities there are out there. Eastern Europe is a great option if you’re looking to travel somewhere unpopular and less costly, but still want the experience of those cobblestone streets and old world charm.
Get a Miles Card
All hail the almighty miles credit card! This is such a great way to make travel affordable for yourself. I admit it’s a little unglamorous and no one likes to talk about credit cards, but realistically, it’s nice to have a little help. Also, don’t forget that at sign up you are usually awarded bonus miles that can range from 10,000 – 40,000 miles. If you don’t have a credit card that gets you cash back or miles for travel, then looking into it is a great option.
Don’t be Picky
For me, traveling and affording to stay in luxury hotels is off the table. It’s just not happening. Definitely be realistic with yourself and try not to be too picky. Do you really need to stay in a five-star hotel like your favorite blogger? Ask yourself how important that is to you. It might not be super glamorous to stay in hostels and Airbnb’s, but no one has to know, and it’s a great way to afford travel.
Go With a Budget Airline
Budget airlines can definitely be a double edge sword, so do use some caution with this tactic. The best use of them to save money is knowing the right situation to use them in. I rarely use budget airlines anymore to get to Europe, but it’s a great option if I want to visit a destination that is more expensive and very touristy, and a great use for country hopping in Europe.
Skip a Meal
Okay, please don’t starve yourself. But skipping a meal here and there is a fantastic way to travel the world on a budget! Eating in airports can be super expensive, and so is eating out three times a day. I try to either skip breakfast or lunch. If I skip breakfast, I usually just grab an apple and wait until lunch to fill up. Or, I will eat a big breakfast and snack on something light for lunch.
How has affording travel been unglamorous for you, and what are your plans for affording your next big trip?