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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

10 Ways to Save Money For Travel

My philosophy has always been that if you want something bad enough, then you'll sacrifice and do whatever it takes to get it. That includes saving money to travel. Yes, it's freaking difficult, but even a shopaholic like me stops spending if it means going on an amazing trip! Remember, travel is worth every sacrifice because you gain so much more than you've ever expected. Here are my best tips for saving money and how I'm able to afford to travel: 



Cut Out the Starbucks - Coffee's usually the first thing that I stop spending money on and boy does it hurt my soul. But even the cheapest coffee places cost like $2 for an iced coffee and if you're like me and buy it at least 3 times a week then it adds up pretty quick. Try making coffee at home (I know, it sucks) or at least buying coffee twice a week in order to still get your fix. When all else fails, I just like to remind myself of all the cute coffee shops I'll visit when I'm traveling. 


Go Out to Eat Less - Now you knew this was coming...and this is just the easy stuff! Either don't go out to eat at all (impossible for me, especially cause I'm a college kid) or go out to eat less and when you do, get the cheapest thing on the menu. Seriously, you'll thank me later when you have money to spend on fancy meals in beautiful cities. Also, you might lose weight from not eating out much. You're welcome!


Sell Some Stuff - I'm constantly selling my clothes on Ebay and you should too! Make sure to sell it auction-style so you can increase your chances of getting more money. Or you could do a blog sale, Instagram sale, or depending on the item sell it on Craigslist. P.S. I tend to avoid places like Plato's Closet because they pretty much give you next to nothing for designer clothes. 


Change Your Lifestyle - Depending on how much money you want to save, you're going to have to change your lifestyle in some ways. For me it's less shopping, less mani/pedi's, and less going out on Friday nights. Instead I shop my own closet, paint my nails at home, and invite my friends over for some Netflix. It gets the job done!


Do More Work - The quickest way to save more money is to get more money. Most college kids have part time jobs so I'm assuming that's your main source of income but try to do something on the side like babysitting, tutoring, or a work-study job. Every little bit counts!


Tuesdays Are The Cheapest - I read a lot of travel blogs on a frequent basis and many of them say that Tuesdays are the cheapest when it comes to airfare and getting great hotel deals. Not only do I find this true for days to book flights but also for the days to actually travel. Most people tend to travel on the weekends so keep that in mind.


Expedia and Priceline All The WayI used to use Kayak in order to compare prices between each travel site but always noticed that Expedia and Priceline seem to be the cheapest. Make sure to get a package deal in order to get the best savings! 


Hostels, If You Dare - Hostels are far more common in Europe than in the U.S. but still ridiculously cheaper than a regular hotel. Depending on how badly you want to save money, you might just be okay with the idea of rooming with complete strangers. I did it on my London trip and it was perfectly fine aside from the gross bathroom (I'm a clean freak and I swear they never clean those showers properly!) and the boring free breakfast aka terrible toast and jam. 


Travel At Off-Peak Times - Make sure to research off peak times before settling on a date for your travels. Typically September, October, after New Year's, and February tend to be times where people aren't traveling as much and there aren't many popular holidays so flights/hotels will be super cheap.


Keep An Open Mind -  You don't have to go to fancy, exotic destinations in order to have a great time. In fact, some of my best trips have been to cities in the U.S. that only lasted for 3 days! Do some research and find "alternative" cities that are exciting but are always forgotten about such as San Diego or Toronto. You'll be able to save a ton of money and remember, traveling isn't about the destination but the experience.



Thanks for reading and I hope this helps makes the horrible process of saving money a little bit easier!


-Ruya
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