People often reach out to me for travel ideas or questions about how I find the deals I do when I travel. Though I’ve written numerous times about travel deals, I can’t help to wonder if it’s catching on. I wanted to share once again some creative ways I manage to travel and also introduce ideas I haven’t mentioned previously. Besides using your credit card points, hopefully you can use some of these ideas to plan or finalize your dream trip.
So, you want to travel overseas. What you need before planning a trip outside of the United States:
- Your passport. You should always have a passport. If you’re always ready to go somewhere, you don’t have to get ready. Ya heard me?! You can apply for a new passport or renew your current passport by visiting https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport.html and beginning the process. If you are planning a trip at least two months away, you can receive your passport for $115 (adult). If you need your passport expedited, follow the simple instructions and get started applying immediately.
How to Save Money When Planning a Vacation:
- Go during the Off-season. Most Americans travel during Summer months, as if that’s the only time islands are open. Imagine going to a warm place in the dead of Winter in America. THAT is when it’s off-season in other places. THAT is when it’s cheaper because the only other people traveling during our Winter months are Europeans on holiday. Since the US is peak vacation for them, while they are here, we should be able to experience places like Mexico and the Caribbean at rates much cheaper than US Summer months.
- Have flexible dates. Sites like Kayak.com allow you to search with no date in mind. Many times I use this tool to search, find the cheapest fares, then say “yep, that’s where I’m going.”
- Ditch the travel agent. You read that correctly. Why pay a middle man to plan a trip they’ve never been on? Technology makes it real easy to search online for travel destinations and deals. Consider using Pinterest for ideas and travel sites like kayak, GoogleFlights, and travelPirates for flight deals to multiple destinations.
- Consider staying in an Airbnb with daily housekeeping and chef services vs an All-Inclusive. Use my code and create your Airbnb account (we’ll both get a discount). Then, start saving potential homes and plan your vacations around those. Code: https://www.airbnb.com/c/cherronl?currency=USD
- Go somewhere others aren’t going. If everyone on your timeline is going to the same place, chances are, far more people are going to those same places, including Myrtle Beach. Pick less traveled beaches, less traveled countries, and less visited resorts. It’s a huge world out there. Go discover it for yourself.
How to Save Money While On Vacation:
- Stay away from places that are too “touristy”. Eat and shop Locally! When traveling outside the United States, you’ll have a greater experience when you engage with the locals and immerse yourself with them. Venture outside of your resort, hotel area, or places that cater to tourists. Trusted locals can show you where they eat and shop so you can usually pay what they pay vs what tourists are normally charged.
- If staying at an Airbnb, save on grocery shopping by packing non-perishable items, including bacon! Whaaaatttt?! Yes, if you have a chef or access to a kitchen, you can check a suitcase of snacks, certain meats, pancake mix/syrup, and other items you may want while there. If you are going with a group, consider organizing for certain people to bring certain things in their checked luggage.
- If traveling out of the country, purchase liquor in Duty Free before you exit the airport into the county. You can drink as much as you purchase without spending so much while out partying. (You’ll also be able to control the safety of your drink). You can also use the alcohol you purchase for your in house bartender (if staying at an Airbnb).
- If taking a road trip, pack your snacks and fill your cooler with things you’ll need while away, including your liquor and a flask for carrying your drinks and sneaking a pour. (what, you’ve never done that?)
- Visit Airbnb for excursions offered in their “experiences” section. You’d be surprised finding things to do with locals for half the cost of paying larger companies. As with anything, do your research and read reviews before committing.
Have questions or need some help planning your own trip? Leave me a message and I’ll try to help you the best way I can. Happy travels!