Have you ever wondered how so many people can travel so much, for so long? These are some incredible money travel tools (plus alternatives) that you can use to save enough for your dream trip! It’s great to budget, but your budget is limited by the funds you first save up! Here’s how to stretch what’s already in your wallet:
Your credit score is a huge part of your finances. You can’t travel without money, right? That’s why using frequent flyer miles and loyalty programs can be so useful. I’ve gotten flights and hotels that should have cost hundreds of dollars – for $25 flights and free hotel rooms.
The best way to earn miles for free flights is to sign up for a branded credit card. These cards reward your purchases with miles or credit card points directly, which dramatically speeds up how quickly you can get your free travel!
Why Your Credit Score Matters
Credit scores determine what your interest rate will be if you borrow money. Some employers and landlords check your scores as an indicator of your reliability before sending you an offer.
Airline alliances are the best-kept secret of the traveling hacking game! Once you’ve learned how to use them, you can use frequent flyer miles to travel anywhere in the world – for less than $100! (I’ve included a screenshot of a flight I got for just $23!
What are Airline Alliances?
Some of my recent posts talk about traveling with a host and leveraging Couchsurfing as a way to save money and meet locals. In line with that, I have gathered several stories of stellar hosts and memorable experiences with Couchsurfing! The authors of these stories have graciously shared their memories below. Couchsurfing allows travelers and hosts to connect in an organic way; because there is no financial exchange, intentions are often more pure. These stories are a great collection of examples. If you have the chance to Couchsurf, I highly recommend it!
Take it away, fellow travel advocates!
[The view at Sajama National Park in Bolivia]
One of my best travel experiences thus far has been going to South America – it was the first time that I traveled alone for an extended period of time, and I saw sights from Machu Picchu to the Uyuni Salt Flats to the beautiful Atacama Desert! Aside from the people and the nature, I’m really proud that I took part of my time in Bolivia to give back to the city I lived in. Along the way, I spent far less money than I anticipated, for several reasons:
- Frequent flyer miles
If you already know an organization that makes a difference in their community and does so with cultural respect, that’s the best place to start! But if not, don’t worry, because I didn’t either. All you have to do is leverage the power of the internet and email. Regardless of where you are in life or where you’re going, volunteering can allow you to gain great experience, live in a new culture, save money, and contribute to the world! If you have the flexibility to volunteer, spending some time giving your skills, whatever they are, has many, many benefits.
Being broke sucks. Giving up experiences because you don’t have money really blows. What’s the point of working if you are never going to have money to spend on what you really want – travel?
Unfortunately, it’s easy to spend money, especially with new mobile payment systems like Apple Pay or websites like Amazon with one-click pay. Money is always within reach when you want to spend it.
It’s all about prioritizing.
Have you ever heard the saying, “The best time to start saving was 20 years ago. The next best time is now”?
Your bank is key to being able to travel! This tip is a little more technical but even more helpful in getting you to your dream vacation spots: it has to do with organizing your finances.
This is a sensitive topic because the root of most problems in life is money, but it’s one that I know can make or break your trip. This tip will show you how to make the most of your transactions wherever you are – home, in the historical center of Rome, or the most wonderful views of Victoria Falls.
Here it is:
I’m starting Expedition Execution, my travel hacking series! I start with money because it tends to be the most obvious obstacle to travel. Before I start talking about ways to spend less money while traveling, like frequent flyer miles and booking accommodation, it’s important to start with the supply side – how much money you have to spend in the first place. How do you have money to spend in the first place?
*Keep reading to see a spreadsheet of every single JR Pass-eligible ride that I took, along with the prices for each ride!
If you’re traveling to Japan, you’ll hear many people recommend the JR Pass. It’s true that transportation makes up a huge portion of your budget any time you travel. In a higher-cost country like Japan, do you know how to get around?