I always get asked “HOW do you travel so much!?” as if travel was exclusive or unattainable!
What if I told you my goal each year is 3 international destinations. Or if I tell you that I’ve surpassed that goal for the past two years! (5 destinations last year and 8 this year)
Travel isn’t something just for the rich. Trust me, I’m a broke b*tch.
Working in an office in The States, vacation days aren’t always handed out like candy on Halloween. You learn to make the most of it when you like to travel as much as I do. And it doesn’t take some radical change in daily life to be able to travel this much either. There are some key tips in planning that allow me to make the most of the world in a limited amount of time.
My number one thing is to maximize those PTO days. While traveling on holidays is not really ideal, I use them to my advantage. If I know I’ll have a Monday off, then I may take off Thursday and Friday – and fly out Wednesday night. I don’t lose a day traveling by booking an overnight flight, not to mention Wednesdays are usually cheaper to fly. I’m getting 5 days of vacation and just using 2 days of my PTO!
Also, save your sick days for vacation, if you can. I would rather show up at work sick, be sent home and maybe lose a few hours of pay if it means I get an extra paid day off that I can use when I would rather use it. Don’t necessarily follow exactly in my footsteps, but I’ve been known to use a sick day before or after a planned trip. I’ve done this let’s say for unexpected flight delays, or maybe I saw a day earlier than my paid time off that the flights are $200 less but I may not have enough vacation days to take. My apologies now for all former coworkers/supervisors who are reading this, now you know.
Okay, cool that sounds great and all, but how am I able to visit multiple countries without dropping major cash?
One way flights! Hear me out…
One way flights are my favorite way to go to multiple locations for a bit cheaper than booking a flat out round-trip flight. I’ll give you a real-life example:
In my most recent travels, I circumnavigated the globe! We visited 5 countries and multiple cities within those countries which needed flights as well. The first stop was Manila, Philippines and a normal round-trip flight can costs upwards of $800-900 if not more! Well, our one way cost almost $400 – this was our most expensive flight. The total cost of 10 flights, roughly $950.
So what we would have spent on a regular round-trip from JFK to Manila we were able to see FIVE COUNTRIES for the same price! Just an important tip, most countries need proof that you have a departing flight – so don’t forget to book your way back home… eventually!
We used this same tactic last year and went to Madrid, Paris, and London! It is probably my favorite way to book a trip. Now, I will say it definitely takes a lot of patience and research! Our trip took months of planning to find the best route, monitoring flight trends, and even praying for error fares. My favorite for that would have to be Scott’s Cheap Flights. There’s a free version which gives you a general idea, but their premium is totally worth it (& not expensive!). You get mistake fares, error deals, flash sales plus you can personalize your preferred airport so you don’t miss the good deals!
I think the idea of travel scares some people. Whether they think it’s too expensive, or too far, or whatever it may be. People just set these limitations for themselves, and travel should never be limited. We should travel as much and as often as we are able to without losing our jobs. Because we still need a way to pay for these trips!
I always get people telling me “oh I wish I can travel like you,” but YOU CAN! Travel is not hard, or only for rich people, or for those who speak many different languages. Travel is for everyone! I am a lower middle-class immigrant, my parents are immigrants, I worked in retail when I began traveling, I have mental health struggles, rent is WAY to expensive in New York- but I still travel. I was a person who would get panic attacks if I had to walk outside my house, now I hop on a plane for 14 hours like it’s normal – because it is. You can make all the excuses you want, but you’re the only person holding you back from the world.
You don’t have to make drastic changes in your everyday spending either. Again – I do NOT make anywhere near six figures. If I did best believe you’d see me traveling more. Also, I love ordering food, eating out, and my Seamless* account. So I don’t necessarily hold back when it comes to these extracurricular activities. Just imagine how much more I would travel if I did.
It’s not all about spending money, I do have to save and Digit* is my favorite app for that! With Digit, you can set up savings goals targeted for a specific amount of time. It will automatically take out an amount, depending on your spending, or you can manually save. Plus, Digit gives you a 1% savings bonus when you save with them. This is no paid advertisement, I truly have sucked at saving until Digit!
Maybe instead of a week partying in Vegas, you can spend the same on a week in Panama, or Puerto Rico. Instead of staying in 5-star resorts, try and stay at a hostel to save more money for other activities on your vacation. Don’t rent a car when in some cities you can take their public transportation, or bikes, or even walk around!
So now the next step is open a new tab, type in google flights, see what’s cheap and BOOK IT! Trust me, you won’t regret this purchase! Not as much as you regret those shoes that are one size too small, but now you lost the receipt and you’re stuck with them. Book that flight and tell me all about it! I can’t wait to see where you will go!
*Clicking these are free money to my favorite sites! Seamless offers $7 off your first order, and Digit will give you $5 to start saving today! – and I do not get paid for this!