Some people are more savvy than others regarding traveling the world. Millions of people travel, but only a select few genuinely understand the ins and outs of the process. Recently, an expert jet setter met inexperienced adventurers in an online discussion and revealed the secrets to mastering the art of travel!
1. Fly During the Offseason
Whenever you are booking a trip, use common sense. Traveling during the busy summer months will almost always be more expensive, especially to popular tourist destinations. Trust me, you'll be amazed at how much more affordable it is to see the world by booking flights, hotel stays, and other excursions during the offseason. Many people report seeing discounts of as much as 50% compared to peak travel times.
2. Consider Hostels
I am one of countless people who have a natural aversion to staying in hostels. Because of this, I'm missing out on significant savings on lodging when I travel overseas! “There are a lot of Americans who are afraid of hostels because of a certain Eli Roth film,” theorizes one man. “The reality is that hostels are some of the safest places I've stayed while traveling. They can be tiny rooms with only enough space for a bed and a locker, large dorm rooms with four to eight beds, private rooms with queen-sized beds, or individual bungalows on a larger property. I've stayed in all of these. They're fantastic and affordable.”
3. Don't Rule Out Specific Destinations
Traveling should have no limits. Many men and women advise you never to rule out specific destinations when planning your next adventure. Going out of your comfort zone is part of the adventure! “I went to Belize in January 2022 for $250, round trip,” confesses one woman. “I didn't know anything about Belize before I booked the trip. I didn't know what to do there or how expensive it would be once I arrived. I didn't even know what language they spoke. That was one of the best trips I've taken. Vacation is about experiencing something different. Don't limit yourself.”
4. Avoid Long-Term Airport Parking
While leaving your vehicle at the airport is sensible if you're only going to be gone for a few days or a long weekend, it doesn't make financial sense to do it during longer trips. Long-term airport parking is costly in 2023, and many experts advise using a car-share service (or enlisting a friend or family member) to drive you directly to the airport. Nobody likes returning to their car after a long vacation and having sticker shock at their parking bill!
5. Don't Check Bags
One of the most underrated strategies a frequent flier employs is never checking a bag. Checked bags are expensive and a total pain to lug around during a trip! Packing lightly opens up a new world of traveling for any adventurer where their shoulders and back never hurt, and they don't have to worry about overweight checked bags incurring gigantic fees at the baggage check counter.
6. Flying Isn't Always the Best Option
When traveling the world, flying is usually the most sensible option, but as it turns out, that isn't necessarily always the case! One person puts it all into perspective. “Air travel is by far the fastest way to get to your destination, but you also have many different (usually cheaper) options,” explains one man. “They also may be the most ideal travel method depending on your location. For example, in Japan, you want to use their high-speed rail lines because they are blisteringly fast and always on time. Always.”
7. Consider Couch Surfing
One great travel app can mean the difference between spending going broke during a trip and having a healthy bank account! By embracing the couch surfing lifestyle, you'll open up a new way to explore. “I find places to stay through the CouchSurfing app,” reveals one woman. “The basic idea of CouchSurfing is that a person offers their couch to a traveler passing through their city. There is no cost for this on either person's part. The advantage is cultural exchange and the chance to make new friends. As a surfer, you benefit from having a local tell you or show you where to go in their city. You can get information that no guidebook could ever tell you.”
8. Look for Discounts With Airbnb
At first glance, Airbnb stays can seem prohibitively expensive. However, by extending your Airbnb stay to a month at a time, you can unlock amazing discounts at countless places! I recently booked a six-week stay in Split, Croatia, during the spring of 2024, and thanks to booking for at least one month, I received a jaw-dropping 44% discount on my stay. I'm not complaining!
9. Maximize Travel Rewards
If you're not using a premium travel rewards credit card to fund your adventures, you're leaving money on the table! Specific cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve offer fantastic benefits like trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, and, most importantly, tons of bonus points that can be earned, saved, and cashed in for future trips! A travel rewards credit card should be in the wallet of any serious traveler (credit score permitting, of course).
10. Always Be Connected
Your smartphone is your lifeline while traveling, so don't skimp on international data. Some people suggest taking it one step further and buying a new smartphone before your trip begins! “Depending on what you want to do, where you are going, and how you are traveling, buying a cheap, new phone with an international SIM may be a good option for you,” one expert advises. “It may be worth it in any situation just to account for emergencies. Check to see your options and do some browsing for brick-and-mortar stores online before you arrive.”
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