I recently made a youtube video on how to afford travel without a Sugar Daddy (i.e. without someone handing you over “free cash”) and thought it would be useful to write some of these ways down. I have been able to save so much money by using this methods. So many times, we think travel is only for the rich but the truth is, it isn’t (one just needs to know the hacks and be diligent). Read on for more hacks, tips and tricks to afford travel:
1. FLIGHTS: The trick here for me is to fly cheap. Flying cheap means partly to fly during off season. During off seasons, airlines are likely to have reduced prices. Avoid flying during christmas, summer holiday, easter holiday etc. Flying cheap also means to join every airline’s frequent flyer programme. It costs absolutely nothing to join these programmes but the benefits will result in free points which you can later redeem as free flights.
2. ROOMS: There are many loyalty plans in the hotel industry where you receive points for staying with a particular brand/chain (You can later redeem these points for free hotel stays). I don’t really tend to subscribe to those. I am a fan of everyday flexibility. There are so many options when it comes to accommodation and here are my favourites and why:
Hotwire.com: This website basically helps hotels/airlines sell off their unsold inventory at a crazy discount. You are not aware of which hotel you booked until after payment. Prior to booking, you are only given information about the star rating and the area in which the hotel is located. I love love hotwire as its a great way to get great deals if you are not tied to staying at a particular hotel.
Airbnb: This is essentially renting a private apartment directly from someone a local who lives where you are going. I love to use Airbnb as It feels like living in a real home whilst away from home at a flexible budget. I recently used an airbnb to find a apartment in Montreal, Canada and it was cheaper and nicer than a room at a very good hotel nearby. Having a kitchen and living room ensured that I wasn’t forced into eating from a hotel restaurant and could also easily entertain friends whilst I was travelling.
Wakanow.com: A local travel website for booking flights and hotels in Nigeria. They have come a long way and they tend to have good deals. Their customer service is very responsive hence another reason why I use them.
Expedia.com: Expedia is a reliable site to book hotel rooms and I tend to find their prices very competitive. I use expedia because they have extensive choice to choose from.
Call the hotel directly: Sometimes you can get better deals directly with the hotel so its worth calling in to see what they have on offer.
The secret to getting a great deal on hotels is to compare, compare, compare. Use all the options above together and pick the best one.
3. BEG YOUR FAMILY/USE THEIR MILES: Many of us have friends or family that love to travel that also have the habit of accumulating airline miles/points. The beauty of these miles is that they can be used to redeem flights for anyone. So the next time you are trying to find out whether you can afford a flight, simply ask your friend if they can be generous enough to hand over their miles 🙂
4. MAKE SAVING A LIFESTYLE: I knew very early on that I had a passion for travel and because of that I would save a considerable amount of money each month “just because”. I didn’t have a concrete plan for the money saved but I knew it would come useful in the future. The beauty of this is that when I had a certain urge to explore a new destination, I could easily afford it.
5. USE YOUR NETWORK: I have had a very cosmopolitan life having lived in many countries and made friends with a diverse group of people who lived across continents. Because of this, I have been able to save on accommodation costs as I have had friends that were willing to host me for free (Travel Tip: Ensure to bring a gift for your host).
6. TRAVEL IN GROUPS: There is no doubt that traveling in groups could lead to lowers costs for you overall (well at least financially). Accommodation costs and taxi costs are a few of the costs that can be reduced by travelling in groups.
I really hope this post was very useful for you and that it helps you on your journey to traveling more. Perhaps you have other ideas on how we all can afford travel more, COMMENT below on your best TIP for affording travel.