5.19.2015

How I Afford To Travel

How to Afford Travel, Tips about affordable Travel, Tips about travel, Travel, Travel Blog, Affordable travel

It's no surprise that I travel a lot. It's my very favorite thing to do and I think it's good for the soul. And every time I travel I inevitably get the "How do you afford to travel?" question (afford meaning time, money or any other factors).

Without getting too in depth or personal I thought I would share some advice and tips so you can start traveling too! So I've rounded up some questions I've gotten and I'll just fire them off below. 

If there are any more burning questions you have, be sure to leave them below in the comments. 


How/Why do you travel so much?

To put it simply, I make time for it. Traveling is a serious passion and hobby of mine and just like others who might put money into their hobbies, I put money into my traveling (read more in the next question).


How do you plan your travel? 

For airfare, I exclusively use Google Flights. They round up the best times, providers and dates for you to search and help make sure you book the cheapest flight. You can read about Google Flights more in depth in my past Travel Tuesday post here

For hotels, I always use Hotwire. Some people either love or hate Hotwire but if you trust it, it's the best thing ever. Hotwire is the website that doesn't tell you the name of the hotel but because of that you get a much higher discounted rate. 

The trick of the trade is to make sure you're only searching 3-star hotels (like Hiltons and Holiday Inns) and above. I used Hotwire to book both trips to DC (2014 (day 2) and 2015) and my first trip to Hilton Head

Only scenarios for when I don't use Hotwire are when I'm staying with friends (like SeattleSt. Louis, Upstate NY, ), family (like Phoenix and Derby 2014 & 2015), when Andrew books the trip (like Maine, Nantucket, Boston and most recently Grand Cayman), when I take day trips (like PhillyMartha's Vineyard and Popolopen Gorge) or when trips are comped (like Hilton Head and Bahamas).


How do you afford to travel?

I'm actually pretty conservative when planning my trips. For booking the trip itself, I always try and buy fight and hotels way ahead of time to take advantage of lower prices. For the extra costs, I always try and avoid them. 

I've become a pro at traveling/living out of a carry-on suitcase (see my favorites here), I don't pay for upgraded seats like first class (such a waste unless you're flying long distances), and I try to travel in the states. 

For the periods of time when I'm not traveling, I like to be aware of what I'm spending money on. I don't go out too often (alcohol is a BIG ol' money killer), I only eat a nice dinner about once a week (praise the Lord for ramen) and I have a strict rule that new clothes/accessories can only be bought via blog commission (aka be put back into the blog #CircleOfLife). 


How do you find time to travel? What about work? 

This is probably the most frequently asked question, which I totally get. You want to know my secrets so you can travel too!! The secret: weekends. 

As most of you know, I work in social media for MLB and have a normal 9-6/Monday-Friday job. We get a certain number of vacation days and, when used wisely, can really be made fun.

70% of the time when I travel, I leave a little early during work on Friday (but make up for it by staying later during the week) and head out for the weekend. Friday is my "travel day" and I'll usually come back late Sunday night. 

So technically I'm using ZERO vacation days.

25% of the time when I travel, I'll do the same thing as above but instead of Friday being my travel day, I make it Thursday. I'll really only do this when it's an absolute must to have another day (like Seattle or KY for the Derby). Then, just like above, I come back late Sunday night.

  That's three whole days spent away and just ONE vacation day.

The other 5% of the time is when I actually take off multiple days (aka use a chunk of my vacation days) and really plan a trip. 

Last year that was our trip to Boston/Cape Cod/Nantucket/Martha's Vineyard (which I also took over the 4th of July, when I had two days + a weekend off). 

That trip cost me THREE total vacation days. 


Work talk continued...

What's also really great about working in baseball is the fact that we have a down season (not "offseason" because technically we're just getting ready for next season). 

And while during the down season it's always important to be in the office, it's easier to (if need be) work a day away via the computer. Perks of working in social and being a digital company! 

Also during this down season, we have this amazing one week break from Christmas to New Years. So obviously you have to take advantage of that (which I did). That was our trip to Grand Cayman.


Extra Tips:

-Travel locally: One of the best parts about living in NYC is that it's centrally located and so close to other great cities. What might be a $300 flight to DC for most is a $80 train ride for me. Explore your area, take a drive, see where you end up!

-Ask for experiences instead of presents: for holidays and birthdays I usually ask Andrew for an experience. I can buy almost anything I really "want." And because of that it's so much more special to receive a trip/experience that you both can share in.

-Visit your friends: DUH. Not only do you want to see them but they have a free place to stay, a car and (most likely) food. You pay for the flight and the weekend. They also can come visit you :)

-Search for good deals: things like cruises (where food and drink are included and there is a low expense while on the ship), vacation packages (that include air, car and hotel) and special deals/low rates (like off seasons for destinations).


And that's all folks! If you liked what I wrote about, want to know more, or have any other questions be sure to let me know below.

Excuse the post for being a bit longer than usual but I hope it was worth the read. Don't forget to catch up on all Travel Tuesday posts here!





21 comments:

  1. I love this post! I start to get stir crazy if I haven't gone away for a while, so I also am a pro at making the most of the weekends with short trips. A half day Friday and a late return Sunday makes for a perfect little getaway and I would much rather have all day Sunday still traveling then to come back midday and not really have a full day away or at home.

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  2. Nice tips... I almost always use Friday/Monday for vacation to make the most of my days off!

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  3. This was an awesome post!! Thanks so much for sharing your tips! They're great!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

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  4. Love this post! Thanks for the travel tips! I'll definitely be checking out Google flights.
    Kelsey
    www.thepeacockroost.com

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  5. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

    Nikki Ann Blog
    http://nikkann.blogspot.com/

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  6. I think this is one of my favorite posts that you have done since I started following your blog!!

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  7. Great tips, thanks for sharing! I am planning a trip to New York City this summer and was wondering if you would consider writing a post about your favorite places in the city? I would love your opinion on must-dos.

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  8. I was wondering how you did it, especially with time, but it works perfectly if you can work later the rest of the week and leave Friday earlier! Some really good tips, and not the usual stuff you read, thanks so much for sharing!! :)

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  9. This post is one of my favorites!! Thanks for all the good tips!

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  10. Love love this post!! Thank-you for sharing so many helpful tips! I am entering my senior year of college so just getting to the point where I am starting to travel on my own (and I'm studying abroad this summer! :-) ).

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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  11. Thank you for writing this post! Really helpful and I've never really understood how Hotwire worked! Now I have the travel bug and am going to book a HHI trip :)

    Shelby
    www.prettyinthepines.com

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  12. Love this post Krista!! I totally appreciate how you take advantage of this time in your life and close proximity to an airport and fun locations to see as much as you do!

    Also love the idea of asking for experiences for gifts, some of my favorite gifts from Matt have been experiential ones!

    xo Mary-Katherine
    gold-hatted lover

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  13. Thanks for sharing! I get asked similar questions from friends and family members when I take trips. It really is just a matter of making your passion a priority. Do you have a mileage account with any particular airline or mainly just book the cheapest flight? Also, I have found that Kayak.com tends to have less expensive flights than google.

    Peace, Sarah
    simplysarahs.blogspot.com

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  14. Great insight! I really appreciate the section on how you afford travel.

    Happy Wednesday :)
    www.lovecompassionatelee.com/thinkoutloud

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  15. I loved reading through your tips! I try to take advantage of a lot of the things you mentioned... day trips are so much fun and don't cost much!
    xo, Scarlett
    The Trendy Chick

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  16. This is great info. I think a lot of people don't realize how much travel can be done on weekends! I had never heard of Google flights - I'm going to check it out now! :)
    Julie - www.alonewithmytea.com

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  17. I love all of these tips. when we go on vacations I try to attach them to already days I have off like Memorial Day, etc. Baseball season is tough because of home stands, but sometimes it nice to travel during the non touristy times.

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  18. Great tips! I was long distance the last year and picked up quite a few tips myself to be able to afford to see each other so often. It definitely helps when you have the right tools.

    Annica
    www.lifemodifier.com

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  19. In your first photo, I love your passport wallet? Where did you get it? It's adorable!

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  20. Loved this post! Thanks for your honesty and sharing all of your tips. I don't have a blog, but I have a similar way of buying clothes and accessories. Kind of like a 1 in 1 out policy, I only buy clothing and "fun things" with the money I make from selling clothes and accessories I no longer wear. It has made me curate my closet quite a bit and think twice on purchasing!

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  21. Such a great post! I feel like I know so many people who want to travel but just can't find the time with work! Love the idea of leaving a bit early on a Friday and making the time up during the week. GENIUS! I will definitely be sharing this with my friends.

    P.S. Love the wallet and passport cover in your first picture. Where did you get them?

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