April 1, 2008

Around the World on a Budget

Posted in Life, Uncategorized tagged , , at 9:20 pm by Katelyn

I have talked with many different people in my life thus far who stress the importance of travel. There is nothing that brings about self-awareness like experiencing new places and seeing how other people live.

If having a family is in your future, it makes sense that the most convenient times in life to travel are either when you are young and single (or in a relationship), or when you are retired. I, for one, would like to travel while I am young so I can carry my learnings and experiences with me for the remainder of my life. So what does traveling when you’re young mean? It means traveling within a STRICT budget. It means making the majority of your travels domestic rather than international, visiting cities where you have friends who will provide you a place to stay, and flying on over-crowded, low-customer-service airlines. Even still, on a typical young professional’s income travel can be costly.

Here are some tips I am slowly, but surely, leaning in my small (but growing) traveling experience:

1.) Take advantage of holiday weekends for travel so you can use fewer vacation days.  If you already get Friday as a holiday, take Monday as vacation and you magically have 4 days for a trip!

2.) Don’t rule out driving unless you absolutely don’t have the time or you’re planning a cross-country trip. Sometimes, when you add in time for getting through security and transferring flights, driving could take the same length of time and could save you money.

3.) You’re young — take the overnight or super-early flights for less cost.

4.) If you frequent a certain airline, sign up for frequent flyer miles or that airline’s equivalent. It’s free and could eventually score you a free flight.

5.) Research local entertainment that would be cheaper than touristy attractions.  Just being in a new city is plenty.  There is no need to break the bank while you’re there.

What do you think…Should traveling be a priority even though we are on tight budgets? Do you have any travel tips for cutting costs?

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7 Comments »

  1. damyantig said,

    Sure, traveling is great fun on tight budgets, adds to the sense of adventure and then, you always live to talk about it:)

    http://amloki.blogspot.com

  2. JPCK said,

    In the end, the one with the most memories wins – not the one with the biggest bank account. So, yes, I think travelling should be a priority. Of course, though, we’re all on a budget. Prioritize what you deem most important (a comfy bed? Good food? Drinking?), and set your budget accordingly. But, I always leave wiggle room in my budget! Don’t pass up on a once-in-a-lifetime experience b/c it might throw your budget off one day…

  3. The ideal situation would be if you could win a bet that you will make the trip in a certain amount of time, but admittedly, that rarely happens outside of Jules Verne novels.

    Broadening horizons is always a good thing, and yeah the financial end can be a challenge, but if you travel wisely, it can be done. Travelling helps you learn a little more about your country and the world. It also helps you avoid mistakes like someone I know who thought Boise was in Iowa.

    Another benefit is just learning how to deal with the unknown and putting us out of our comfort zones sometimes. That always comes in handy.

  4. Katelyn said,

    @ JPCK – I like that…”the one with the most memories wins”!! I completely agree.

    @ Michael – They say that you can learn a lot from a person from how they deal with lost luggage. I think this goes hand in hand with learning about yourself through the unknowns of travel. Always worth it!

  5. […] with as much independence as I’ll ever have.  Yesterday, Katelyn gave some great ideas for traveling on a budget.  While you’re saving funds and accumulating time off work for […]

  6. I would like to put in a plug for bicycle touring with your kids as a great option for a cheap family vacation. We spent a year bicycling around the USA and Mexico with our (then) 8-year-old twins for about the same amount that many families pay for two weeks on a remote beach.

    We are now about to take off to ride our bikes from Alaska to Argentina – a 2 1/2 year trip – with our (now) 10-year-old twins!! You can read about our journey at http://www.familyonbikes.org


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