I haven’t written on my personal blog in a few months but since the weather has reached almost 100 degrees, I find myself thinking about where my next vacation will take me.
In the last few months, I have traveled to Panama, Belize and Paris, France, all wonderful places with their own pros and cons. Prior to those trips, I visited Cuba for the second time and visited some local spots in between. When I say I travel to Live, I truly travel to live.
People often ask me how I’m able to travel so much, how I afford it, how do I choose where to travel, etc. I wanted to spend a few minutes and tell you some of my tips to traveling on a budget and living your best life while doing so. I decided to “interview” myself and answer some of the questions I receive.
Do you use a Travel Agent?
In 2018? I’d never pay someone to do what has been simplified through this thing called “the internet.” Seriously, there are far too many online certification “Travel Agents” who still consider Miami peak vacation. IF I ever used an agent, it would be one who has traveled the world and can provide an experience that I couldn’t provide myself. So, no, I don’t use a Travel Agent. If you choose to use an agent, the first question you should ask them is where they have traveled. If they tell you Miami and a resort in Jamaica, chile, plan your own damn trip.
How do you decide where to travel?
You’d be surprised how many times I’ve found a flight deal and planned a trip around that flight. An example of this would be when me and a girlfriend traveled to Guadeloupe almost two years ago and had to look at the map to even see where it was after we purchased the ticket. Despite the language barriers between us and the natives, driving a car that broke down on us in a busy intersection, taking the wrong bus back into town, this was by far one of the best vacations I’ve ever experienced. Some of the greatest flight deals to experience this type of randomness can be found by following TravelPirates on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Travelpirates/
How Do you Feel About Group Travel?
To each his own. However, I have seen an increase in Group travel companies and I can’t help thinking that if money is an issue in travel, you’re being taken for a loop booking with a travel group. I have seen some of these itineraries and somebody is making crazy money up charging these trips. I understand that traveling with a group is sometimes best for those who don’t travel often. It provides a safety net. If this is something you’re interested in, there are a few companies that I trust are being fair and professional. An example: Up In The Air Life https://www.facebook.com/upintheairlife/ (no sponsorship or affiliation. I have just watched this company for a while now).
Do you prefer hotels or an Airbnb?
It definitely depends on where I’m traveling and who I’m with. I stayed in a hotel for the first time in a while when I was in Panama. The only reason is because it’s what the person I was with preferred. There are some amazing Airbnbs in the US and beyond. They are also often very affordable. I also use sites like Homeaway.com, and Booking.com to look for deals and unique accommodations. Hint: If you’re unsure about commitment, Booking.com allows you to hold a reservations on many of it’s rentals. This allows you time to plan the rest of your trip around your flight, tours and excursions.
Where would you stay if you went to Dominican Republic?
I have personally decided not to travel to the Dominican Republic due to it’s treatment of its Haitian neighbors. I cannot willingly support an economy that oppresses our people when far too much takes place in my own country. Maybe one day I’ll suck it up and change my mind but my conscience will not allow me to at this point. For more information on this concern: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Discrimination-of-Haitians-in-the-Dominican-Republic-Condemned-20170729-0017.html or a simple Google search will bring up numerous videos or stories that facilitates this discussion.
What’s the best cruise you’d take?
I have NEVER been on a cruise. I have this thing about other folk’s kids running all around me and that’s just not a vacation to me. It also seems too “touristy” and when I travel, I don’t like to be a “tourist.” I’ve heard some amazing cruise stories but I don’t have any of my own to share. I’m the type that just wants to fly to my destination and not have time restraints to “get back on the boat.” One day I may consider a cruise. As a matter of fact, I may do a small “Bimini cruise” out of Miami soon but it will be short since I have all kinds of thoughts about my righteousness being on a boat. Like “where y’all taking me to?” 🤷🏽♀️😂
How do you plan your excursions or tours?
It’s 2018. Simple research. I understand some people may not want to take the time to plan an itinerary and that’s why you rely on a Travel agent. My favorite sources for planning things to do is using Pinterest and using the “search” tool on the many travel pages on Facebook. I also prefer to use locals as guides in most Central/South American destinations.
Are you ever afraid when you travel?
I live in the United States. If this place doesn’t scare me these days, I’m not paying attention. So no, I don’t fear somewhere else when there are far too many concerns where I live. Most places I travel to embrace this melanin so I often feel more protected than at home.
Where to next?
The reason I started writing this is because someone asked me this question and “how do you do it?” today. I have blocked out time in my schedule for upcoming travel the end of this month and next but haven’t figured out where I’m going yet. I’m sure the decision will be based on airline fare while I plan future trips throughout the upcoming months.
Any upcoming trips for you? Do tell….