My urge to travel began in 2014 when I was scrolling through my friends Instagram feed and saw her adventures in Italy. I remember sitting down and saying to myself, ” I wish I could travel to Paris.” Just saying it out loud made me realize how foolish that sounded. I realized I was restricting myself from seeing the world because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to afford it. After thinking about it all day and speaking to my boyfriend about it, we decided that it was time to take that next step and figure it out along the way.
A few months later, our plans to travel the world were coming true. I’ll be honest, we didn’t know how to prepare for a trip, and we weren’t expecting our tickets to be worth $1700 each! With only six months before our trip, we could not find anything cheaper, so we settled and went for it. We were fortunate enough to have a friend that lived out in Paris, which eliminated the hotel stay– Thank God! Unfortunately, I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Which is why, it’s vital to research and weigh out your options. Below, I want to share with you guys four tips on how to plan for your next trip, while staying on budget.
1. Plan in Advance
We recently booked our trip to Thailand. Before we made any hasty decisions, we debated whether we should go in June or November. Prices for June were about $875 vs. November that cost us significantly less, coming out to $595! We weigh out the pros and cons, and saw many opportunities to save money, which is why we decided to wait until November. Note, when booking trips, you’ll notice that some seasons are more expensive than others. When we traveled to Paris, we went during the Summer which tends to be the more touristy. No wonder are tickets were expensive! Rule #1, plan in advance and don’t wait last minute to book a flight; tickets can spike up drastically. Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Shop around different websites and check price differences. Skyscanner and Expedia are great sites for booking.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to save when planning a trip. I opened a separate sub account for all my traveling expenses. For six months straight I saved and was able to pay off my hotel stay upfront–Yay me! When it came to booking our stay, we looked at several options and chose the one that made more sense. Finding something that was within our budget range was a MUST. I recommend booking through AIRBNB because they offer cheaper options. The cost for a hotel stay isn’t worth the extra cash. Now, we can focus on saving for all the site seeing we will be doing out in Thailand.
3. Mapping out the City
I know what you’re thinking–how can mapping out the city save you money!? Well, as the saying goes, “Time is Money.” Having everything mapped out will help you determine what type of transportation you’ll need and how much you’ll end up spending. Ever been lost? Yes, in fact, Matthew and I got lost in Paris and had to use our cellphones to get back home :/ Having everything mapped out will save you taxi money and cellphone data that cost a fortunate.
4. Travel within Your Budget
Traveling the world doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive. Luckily for you, there are plenty of places that won’t break the bank. Yes, some locations are more expensive than others BUT if a trip sounds out of reach one year, shoot for the following year. Do your research to gain some perspectives on the price differences between locations. This will help you when figuring out your traveling budget and setting realistic goals.
Word of advice: Don’t restrict yourself or prevent yourself from doing what you love. I really wanted to see the world, which is why I decided to go for it! You don’t have to travel to Europe or somewhere exotic to see what the world has to offer. Travel within your means and take trips within your region. For example, I recently went to San Francisco and had the best time ever. It wasn’t far and it was totally doable. Start off small and then expand your horizons once you feel financially ready.
Hope this gives you some insight on how to plan your next big trip. In the comments down below, please share with me your next trip plans.