I like to travel, and I like to travel a lot. I have quite a few friends that live in other cities, and being able to take a weekend away while visiting them is nice. So I tend to go out of town about 4-5 times a year, whether it be to Disneyland, New York City to visit friends, or up to Canada for festival. The most common question I get is "how can you afford to travel so often?" So rather than keeping all my secrets to myself, I'll give you some of my best tips!
1. Always Check Airbnb vs Hotels
Most people when traveling automatically go for a hotel, and a nice one in the area. The downside of this is that hotels tend to be a lot more expensive than an airbnb! The prices go lower if you are willing to share an apartment or home with the owners. Whenever I travel to NYC, I usually stay in someones guest room for about $90 a night. A lot cheaper than the usual $150+! In some cases, the hotel isn't always cheaper, and that is when I usually prefer to use Kayak or Expedia. Plus watch out for resort fees, cities like Las Vegas and San Francisco are gonna charge extra money per night, some places include that in their price, so don't be surprised with an extra $100 fee when you arrive.
If you do decide that a hotel is your best bet, use travel sites to browse, and then check the hotel price before booking through a travel site. About 95% of the time, the site has a better rate than the hotel. But in rare cases, the hotel may be offering an extra night free, or a free upgrade through their site. So don't miss any special offers like that! Don't just jump on the first one you like either, sometimes a gem is hidden in page 7 or 8 of the site you're searching on.
2. Travel Credit Cards
I have an airline credit card, and it makes it so that I rarely ever pay for flights, or very little. During really hot sales, like $150 round trip to Los Angeles, I'll just pay myself and save the points. The catch? Don't get stuck with payments. Use the credit card for all daily purchases, or at least make sure you pay it off FULLY at the end of every month. Otherwise you aren't gaining the benefits. If you pay no interest, then you are able to fly without a catch. Most (if not all) have a $99 yearly fee, but a one time payment of $99 is a lot better than paying for your flight every time you head to the airport!
3. Check Lyft and Uber
I don't rent cars, because most agencies require you to be 25 and I'm only 22. So when you are traveling, check the prices for public transit, ride share, etc for wherever you are staying vs where you want to go. If you snag a great hotel for $100/night, but then have to pay $40 each way just to get anywhere, it isn't really worth it anymore. Sometimes splurging on one part of the trip is a better option.
4. Yelp Is Your Friend
Using Yelp to find food in an unfamiliar city is one of the best things you can do. Because not only can you filter by type and location, you can filter by PRICE. Whats closest for the cheapest and best eating? Pick one fancy meal to splurge on and keep it easy for the rest. Pro tip? Always stay in a hotel with free breakfast, or bring some food along with you to save some cash.
5. BE NICE
Be nice to those helping you, gate attendants, hotel clerks, etc. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but it's also going to be the best for you in the long run. Every free breakfast coupon, room upgrade, first class move I have gotten was just by being nice and polite to the employees, especially when things go wrong. Did you specifically ask for a room on the fourth floor but all the kings were booked out? Don't scream at the hotel clerk, being polite is gonna get you a lot further, and usually will end up in free travel credit, a free night, or even a room upgrade. Plus, starting off your trip on a pleasant note is going to make the trip a whole lot more fun!
Plus, I have a storefront on my Amazon shop that has all my travel necessities, including the best neck pillows, vitamins, and other travel essentials!
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