Wednesday, 17 June 2015

How to Travel 4 Less



Before I was a traveller I always assumed that people who traveled were rich. Vast assumption I know, but I had never been exposed to traveling and all of the different ways that people make it work. Once I began to travel, I discovered how it is all about priorities. Once you begin to travel you discover all new ways to save money or find deals to travel whenever and wherever possible!

Throughout my travelling experiences I have had a few opportunities which I call "once in a lifetime", where the stars just all aligned to make it possible. Whether it be an amazing deal, being able to travel with specific people, or finding a free place to stay. Here are my top tips to find the money to escape and explore 4 Less:

1. Be open to traveling anywhere:

No I don't mean pick a dart and throw it (although we all dream of actually doing that). What I mean by this is to not search for a specific destination. Look for travel deals to any destination for the dates you have available. My most recent trip booking experience is for a trip in October to the Azores. Although October seems so far away to book a trip, it was too good of a deal to pass up. Before booking the deal the Azores weren't even on my radar. Now that I have researched I am thrilled at the idea!

2. Use your friends and family:

I mean this in the nicest way possible of course. For instance if someone you know has relocated to a specific city or country and you think you will be able to stay with them - don't be afraid to ask. I have moved overseas twice and would never turn down a friend or family member if they asked to come stay. Most often they will say yes! Free accommodation will take a huge chunk out of your trip costs - just remember to treat them to a meal or fill their fridge!

3. Know your Websites:

Some websites will send email alerts if a destination you are interested goes on sale - or even better websites like Travel Zoo will send you their top 20 deals every week. Here are some of my favourite top travel deal sites:

www.travelzoo.com --- top 20 weekly deals
www.redtag.ca  --- particularly the "Last Minute" section
www.groupon.com  -- Getaways
http://www.yyzdeals.com/  --- specifically for deals out of Toronto
http://www.gate1travel.com/

4. Decide where you can make cuts in your budget:

The quote "Collect Memories Not Things" really made a huge impact on me. The obvious cuts can include eating out at restaurants or fast food, getting coffee everyday, shopping, etc. On the other end you can also try getting extra money by selling things you don't use or need, work over time, and do extra odd jobs.

5. Travel Cheaper:

- Skip destination searching - Try searching deals
- Skip the hotels - Try Bed and Breakfasts, Hostels or AirBnB's or even Expedia "Secret Hotel"
- Skip eating at restaurants while on Vaca - Try street food, or go grocery shopping
- Skip taxis and car rentals - Try trains, buses and walking

6. Plan/Book Yourself:

Travel agencies definitely have positives; such as worry-free travel but they also have negatives. If you are going to book with an agency I recommend doing your research first just so you have an idea of costs. I had an experience booking plane tickets with an travel agency where I had just happened to search the prices the day before so I had an idea what to expect. When the travel agency gave me prices that were almost double I has to ask why, it turned out that they don't deal with the budget airlines. So I went back home and booked it on my own.

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