Traveling is something that is on everyone’s bucket list. We all know the benefits of exploring new places including increased creativity, stress reduction and learning about other cultures.
Unfortunately, most people don’t take advantage of how easy it has become to travel. The reason? They don’t have the money.
Even worse, some people get themselves into debt over travel. Maybe you slapped the expense on a credit card to go to a friend’s wedding. Or, maybe, you went on a trip with friends even though you couldn’t really afford it. In both cases, there’s definitely some FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) going on that gets people into debt over traveling.
Fortunately, there are a ton of hacks you can use to make traveling more affordable. The reality is that traveling doesn’t need to be that expensive for it to be enjoyable. Here are some secrets budget travelers know can get you more bang for your buck.
Start learning about travel hacking.
Travel hacking is the science and art of getting free flights and hotel nights. The idea is that you learn how to rack up travel points and then cash them in for free travel. The easiest way to do this is to use credit cards.
Most airlines have loyalty programs tied to specific credit cards and offer sign up bonuses where they sometimes double or triple the amount of points they award just for getting and using the card.
If you’re going to go this route there are a few things you need to know:
It’s important you use your Credit Secrets resource first before going through this process. You need to have a decent credit score to qualify for these cards.You must pay your balance in full each month. Interest payments do not count toward your point balance and can devalue your awards.If you really get into travel hacking, you’ll need to be comfortable with managing multiple credit cards at once.
Be as flexible as possible with your dates.
One of the best ways to score cheap hotel and airfare is to be flexible with your dates. If your dates are very fixed, then you’re limited as to what kinds of deals you can get.
For example, sometimes airlines have flash sales for certain dates, and if you’re not flexible, then you can’t really get in on the deal.
I recently had a friend who found a round-trip ticket to Bali from NYC for only $400. The deal was only available for certain travel dates and since she has flexibility she bought the tickets right then and there.
Go to cost-effective locations.
If you want to save money while still getting to see a big part of the world, start going to places that aren’t going to cost you an arm and a leg. For example, going to Latin America will cost you a fraction of what it would cost to go to Europe. Same applies for tons of places in Asia. The dollar is pretty strong in comparison to lots of places around the globe, and it’s up to you to take advantage of it.
Prices also drop significantly when you visit places during non-tourist seasons. It may be a little convenient – like dealing with either heat or cold – but in many cases, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars.
Traveling does not have to cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of cost-effective ways to see the world. By using these tips, you can tame your wanderlust, see the world and still have some money in the bank.