How to Travel like a VIP on a Budget
Amazing Affordable Travel
What is this an oxymoron? How can travel be affordable? Well, thank you for asking! I am a mom of two and a wife of a seriously Frugal Man, to put it politely! Yet, we have been all over the world, Prague, Italy, Spain, Egypt, Russia, Turkey, and Greece to name a few! My friends always ask me "Geez, how do you all afford to travel like that?"
My job every year is to plan all the travel for the summer. I have to make it fun, educational, relaxing, luxurious, and within a very strict budget! So where can you go on tight budget that is affordable? Your mom’s house again? Luckily, my mom lives in the Florida Keys, so we love to stay with my mom ~ but if your mom doesn’t, than you should keep reading!
Well I am here to tell you that with a few tips and planning that you too can travel like a rock star, without breaking the bank. Here are some quick tips that I use, so we can travel the world! Don’t worry , I am not going to advise you to couch serf, or house sit, or pay for everything with a credit for the next 12 months so you can get some frequent flyer miles! Not that there is anything wrong with these things, I know many people who travel this way. It is just not the right fit for my family! Just do a little research, plan ahead, and negotiate!
First Make a Budget! How much do you want to spend? How much can you afford to spend? How much can you save by the date of your trip? Now that you have a budget, where do you want to go? When do you want to go?
Planning ahead is a must. I often book tickets and accommodations 6-12 months in advance.
I have so many places that I want to visit, that I often do what I call “the backwards search”! I go where the sales are! I often go to a website like Kayak, Expedia, Skyscanner, and all the airlines, to look at what is on sale. Usually they have a list of places that are on Sale. Hey a beach, blue water, and white sand is good for me in any country! This is my starting point. I usually take a few options. For example, last summer I looked up Spain, Portugal, and Greece. I am not picky! In the USA, I would look up, Florida, Mexico, and California for example. I compared where I can get the cheapest flights in and out of the destination. Then I compare all the airlines prices and go to each individual airline site to see if I can get a better price.
Ok, Ok, no complaining, I said it would be cheaper, not without a little bit of work! However, when you are at your dream destination, it will all be worth it! Sometimes I do this research for a couple of days to ensure that I can get the best flights, because this is normally the least affordable part of your trip. Remember I am married to the Scrooge, with two kids who for some reason want to eat daily, so I need cheap!
If you are going to the USA it is best to fly a large airline overseas then find a small local airline to hop around the USA such as southwest, jet blue, Fast jet, Hawaiian Air, Jet Star, LAN, West Jet, to name a few. If you are traveling to Europe, same advice fly east coast to London or Frankfurt (large Hubs) then take a commuter flight through German Wings, Ryan Air, Baltic Air, Easy Jet, Tarom, Wizz Air, Norwegian Air, Icelandia Air, Blue Air … to your final destination. Each airline have specialty routes they fly for cheaper. I always google airlines in the country that I am traveling too, in case they have a local low cost airlines that fly in and out!
Then be flexible, search different routes ~ for example if we go to Spain ~ we could fly to Seville, Malaga, or Faro, Portugal and drive over the border. Or Florida, from my home in Denver, if I want to go to the Florida Keys, I could fly Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Naples airports. Always check surrounding airports! Expedia has a great tool, search airports close by, use it!
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