All Things Melanin
6 Travel Tips to Live By!
We get asked all the time about how we travel so much, plan, budget, and so much more from family, friends and co-workers. So we're sharing a few of our top travel tips that we live by when traveling. These are the 6 things we make sure we have in order before traveling.
1. Plan Ahead.
Book as far in advance as you can. If you know you're planning on going to a particular destination, plan as far ahead as you can. Begin researching the essentials such as flights and hotel. Research and plan ahead so that you're prepared. Plan a head and look up the cost of the hotel, flights, food, activities, and/or anything else you want to do.
By planning ahead, you have more of an idea of the amount of money you'll need to save before traveling. Also, when you plan ahead, account for unforeseen things that could go wrong and put back a little extra "just in case" money. You never know what can happen when traveling or if you'll have to come out of more money. Planning ahead and having a game plan is a major key when traveling on a budget.
2. Budget Accordingly
Set a budget of an ideal amount you intend to spend while on your trip. Once you've booked your trip, add up how much you've spent on your flight and hotel. Once you have that, look up the average cost of meals/restaurants, activities, club/bars, car rental (if you rent one), souvenirs, and an average of how much you'll spend on gas. Of course, you won't know the exact amount that you'll spend, but if you have a general idea of what you'll spend and a budget to go by, you're less likely to overspend.
When we first began our travel adventures, we found ourselves overspending and trying to "ball out." Major fail. So when we saw ourselves doing this, we started to do our research and set a budget. By knowing an estimate of what we would spend, it allowed us to set a budget for ourselves and not overspend. Traveling is supposed to be fun. Yes, you're going to spend money but you don't want to overspend because you still have to live and eat.
Plus, when you set a budget and know your expenses, you tend to NOT exceed your budget.
3. Book your flight early
From personal experience, we've found that the thing we spend the most money on is our plane ticket. And the longer you wait, often the more it is. So the flight is often the second thing we book ( We usually book the hotel first). Flights tend to go up and down a lot, especially if you're continually watching them. Be careful watching them because they'll tend to inflate once they recognize that you're looking at a particular flight or airline.
Before we book a flight, we use an app called Hopper. The Hopper app lets you choose your takeoff origin, destination, and dates you'll be flying. Once you do this, click watch this flight and it'll watch the flight for you. It'll let you know if a flight goes up or down. We use this to give us an idea of if it's a good time to book a flight at that time or wait awhile. Once I've decided to book a flight, I'll go the airline's direct website usually or book through a partner traveler site such as Priceline, Kayak or Expedia. Also, if you're willing to fly early in the morning or late at night, flights tend to be cheaper. If you fly at peak times during the day, tickets will be higher.
4. Priceline, Kayak, Trip Advisor - Will be your BESTFRIENDS
Of course you want to have somewhere to stay, so make sure one of the first things you do after you set your budget is book your hotel. We've found that when we look at a particular hotel on their company website, that the room is more expensive so we hardly, if ever book directly on a hotels direct website. We will, however, go to their site and look up the room and amenities.
We book most of our flights through third party sites such as Kayak, Trip Advisor, Expedia and lots more, but my personal preference is Priceline. It'll bring up tons of hotels with their information and the ability to book whichever hotel you choose. Before we book, we usually look up reviews on Google, Yelp or Trip Advisor to double check it's where we wanna stay. But booking through one of these sites can save you lots of money on your hotel! It's saved us tons. You can get a nice, discounted rate at a GREAT hotel at a fraction of the cost.
5. Have Reliable Travel Buddies
Another way we cut cost is by traveling with other people. Now, don't go inviting any and everyone because you just can't travel with everyone! (that's another blog post for another day). Determine a solid threeish people that you can routinely travel with, that you know will go ( won't flake), and will have their money right. Even if it's just you and someone else, that's still cutting cost. From personal experience, we don't like to travel with more than three people. More than that, it can begin to get hectic and slow your routine down.
By traveling in a group, you can cut and split cost such as: hotel, car rental, gas, and liquor. That's more money that you have to add to your budget. Plus traveling in groups is way more fun. Just make sure the people that you travel with are reliable and will not flake. We've dealt with people who are flaky and pull out at the last minute, which left us with the bill. Only deal with people you know are "for sure" good and will go. If they hesitate even a little or seem flaky, just don't deal with them.
6. Set Up a Travel Fund/Plan
Once we realized our love of travel, we began to set aside a fund/budget just for traveling. We put back money that goes towards our travel expenses and it helps a lot and saves me money. So every paycheck, designate a certain amount of money to your travel fun so that you can gradually save up and not break the bank.
These are the 6 travel tips that we currently live by. From personal experience, they work for us but as we travel more, we're sure they'll change and alter. So since you have our tips, we challenge you on your next trip to try out these travel tips and let us know if they did or didn't work for you. If this was helpful, like, share and subscribe to our blog :)