Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on,
deep and permanent, in the ideas of the living
At this point in my life I can say that traveling and exploring absolutely everything that I can is by far one of the most important things to me. I know that this will not always be the case as I grow older but for right now I know that experiencing everything I can is not just something I want, but something I need. Now I know many people may wonder how it is possible for me to travel as much as I do, trust me I do not have a money tree growing in my back yard, here are some of my answers for how I am able to travel on a budget.
For me traveling is a priority and if you treat it as such you will be surprised by how many great deals you can find and how affordable it can be. However, it is important to have a little bit of a spontaneous nature to capitalize on some of these last minute deals, a lot of which also have specific time lines for when you can travel. Here are some of my favorite sites to watch for cheap flights: www.momondo.com, www.kayak.com, www.studentuniverse.com, www.ryanair.com, www.travelzoo.com, www.skyscanner.com.
Also when booking flights, especially in Europe through ryanair, it is important to pay attention to the baggage fee’s as well as the layover times. I was once able to fly from Italy to Spain for 10 Euro by making sure my luggage was a carry on was no larger than a small backpack, and agreed to a 12 hour layover. No the flight was no picnic but it was cheap and I had an amazing trip that cost me next to nothing in travel costs.
It is also important if you want to be able to travel often on a budget to not be very picky about where you stay. Now I am very much a clean fanatic and would never stay in a dirty establishment, however it is important to remember that you really don’t spend very much time in your room. Dropping $200 for a four star hotel which you are only going to be sleeping in may not be the best way to spend your travel money. On my most recent trip to Ireland I booked three very comfortable and clean bed and breakfast’s. I wound up spending hardly anything on accommodations and loved the character of each and every one of them.
Now I understand that there are certain vacations and special occasions when you want the over the top experience. I completely understand and have booked vacations like this myself. However, when trying to plan a lavish trip try and book either last minute or in the off season. Then you will usually be guaranteed to save some money while still being able to experience the top of the line accommodations. For example I traveled to Ireland in January for about a third of the price it would cost to go in June. We had great weather, well as great as it gets in Ireland, and got to experience an amazing destination for a fraction of the cost.
Some of my favorite sites for booking accommodations or combined airfare and accommodations are: www.travelzoo.com, www.cheapcarribean.com, www.hautelook.com, www.gilt.com, www.rulala.com, www.groupon.com, www.buywithme.com, www,vacationstogo.com
My final advice on traveling often would be to keep the souvenirs to a minimum. No I am not saying to travel the world and never bring your mom, dad, sister, or best friend any thing back, but try to keep the presents small and under control. Especially if you are traveling often these souvenirs can really start to add up and in most cases wind up getting tossed or lost by the person receiving them. If you do want to purchase presents for family or friends back home while traveling try to buy presents that have meaning to them…no one needs a million shot glasses from around the world
Now start exploring!