I have said this time and time again, but traveling is my biggest passion. I am so grateful to have been brought up in a family that always loved to travel and adventure, and instilled this nomad spirit in me that always wants to get out and explore. After meeting Anush, it was a matter of time when the travel bug bit him too and now Im so glad I have the best travel buddy for life. We often get asked how we are able to travel so often, given that it does cost a whole lotta time, money and effort. Granted as part of my job I do collaborate with a lot of travel partners but we still travel a lot on our own expense, especially cos I always try and do most trips that I actually want to do (and not jump on every free trip opportunity if its not a great fit!). This way I am sure to be more authentic + provide most value to you guys as my blog/IG followers too. These tips have certainly helped us along these years, so here are my top 10 tips on how to travel smarter and more often :
1 ) Make it a priority : If traveling is so important to you, first thing first – make it a priority. In my opinion I think it is the first important step. It might be daunting at first considering the fact that travel does consume time, money etc, but when it becomes a priority you will be more focused and mindful to work towards that goal of making that trip/trips happen. Maybe its saving up a certain amount each month, or cutting back on other unnecessary expenses, etc.
2) Set a budget : Its important to set a budget every year that you could call your “travel fund” and think of ways you can contribute to it every month. When travel becomes a priority as I mentioned earlier, all the work that goes into saving up for it becomes so worth it to achieve your travel goals for the year. Think of giving up on small things / something less important as even small things add up to savings in the end. For instance Anush and I have most meals that are home cooked – one its healthier and two its way cheaper than eating out often.
3) Plan early : Start planning early so that you can get the best deals on flights, car rentals and hotels. I always set up tracking alerts on Kayak and Google Flights so that I can make a good informed decision when buying flights.
From : Mykonos blog post
4) Travel in an off season or just before the start of the on season : I think this is one rule Anush and I always try and stick to. Prices for hotels especially are significantly lower when you are traveling in an off season or just before the onset of their peak season. Plus the destination is also less crowded at these times making the whole experience so much more enjoyable. One recent example is our trip to Greece, we travelled mid May which is right before the peak season that ranges from June – Sept. Most resorts were so much cheaper as the season was just starting. Infact our airbnb in Santorini was almost 50% cheaper in May than the price of how much it would have been in July!
5) Sign up for loyalty programs : Loyalty programs like airline frequent flyer programs, hotel loyalty programs, or even referral rewards programs go a long way in earning you that much needed savings for your travels. Hotels.com has a great rewards program which earns you a free night when you book and stay 10 nights at eligible hotels through them. Similarly frequent flyer programs with airlines earn you free miles that you can even count when you fly with any of their partner airlines in the alliance.
6) Try travel hacking : This is something we are new to and considering given that we travel so much. Basically travel hacking is collecting miles or points by signing up and spending through certain credit cards. There are tons of articles out there on how to travel hack for beginners ; mastering the art can be a fantastic way to travel for cheap or better yet – even free!
From : Cabo blog post
7) Maximise time off : Since I blog full time I am flexible with my time. Anush works another full time job aside from helping me out with the blog. He is flexible with his time and can work remotely as well so thats how we are able to travel often. But I do understand that most people have constraints with time off every year. Even if we are flexible we always try to maximise long weekends and holidays so we can use that towards travel. In fact there are tons of destinations that you can easily fit within a long weekend if you fly out on a Friday night and return late on Monday night , so that you get the most time in your destination. Cabo (from the west coast) and Aruba or Miami (from the east coast) are some of my fave easy destinations to travel to with limited time.
From : Cape Peninsula post
8) Break your trip over many locations : For long trips we always try and stay in 2-3 different locations in the destination. This way if you feel like you want to stay in a luxury hotel to treat yourself on 1-2 nights you can, while spending the rest of your time in a budget airbnb. This way you also get a diverse travel experience and get to see more of the destination as well. For example, for my 30th birthday trip we went to Cape Town in South Africa. We stayed at a cheap airbnb (only $60 a night!) at a great location in town for most of our trip so that we could spend the last couple of days (and my actual bday!) at a luxury property that I had my eyes set for my special birthday trip!
9) Free stuff , priceless memories : While on your trip, there are tons of free things you can do – visit a museum, night market, roam the alleys of a cute town, watch the beach sunset, go on a hike etc. It always helps to research forums like Tripadvisor to check out the fun and free things to do at your destination.
From : Phi Phi islands post
10) Be flexible with locations : You might have your heart set on a destination but sometimes its great to look at other unfamiliar destinations where the dollar value goes a long way. My fave example for this is far east Asia – when we went to Bali and Thailand, we felt like we had such a luxurious vacay at a fraction of the cost! Also look up websites like Skyscanner that let you search flights to “everywhere” so that you can search for cheap flights to anywhere in the world to see where to go for the cheapest price.
From : Bali blog post
Hope these tips help you plan your next trip! Now get out there and explore ; the world is waiting for you. I’m off to plan our remaining trips for 2018!
Also if you are looking for more travel inspo or guides, check out my TRAVEL section on the blog. Thanks for stopping by. xoxo