Being an elementary school teacher who is pretty early in their career, I’m far from rolling in the dough. Budgeting has become a big reality and makes you really evaluate what you’re investing your money in. I think I have a pretty good balance of paying bills, gas, groceries, and having some fun money. That being said, traveling all the time can be pretty pricey, but I’ve rounded up some of my best travel tips to help you save some serious cash money.
Stay Where You Can
I don’t necessarily mean stay in the half star Motel 7, but don’t think you have to be right there spending two hundred bucks a night somewhere either. One of the best parts of having friends spread out at different places around the country means having a place to stay when you want to visit! One of my best friends lives right on the Gulf Coast, less than two hours from New Orleans. No, I can’t walk to my hotel from Bourbon Street, but two hours is perfect for a trip! Call up old friends or relatives for a place to stay, I mean most people have a guest room for a reason. But, if you seriously don’t have anyone to stay with near a place you would like to visit I suggest trying Air BnB. I’ve used Air BnB a dozen times and only had one experience that was less than amazing. Overall I think Air BnB is so much cheaper if you want to be at a certain location when traveling.
I am a lady who loves to have choices when packing for a trip. I have always been an over packer and had a dress for that and the perfect shoes for that. However after college when I started traveling more and more with friends, I’ve discovered that I’m typically the one having to lug all the bags in and out and up a flight of stairs. With that being said, I’ve discovered the art of consolidating. Rather than packing 7 pairs of shoes I now pack 1 pair that is dressy and 1 pair that is more casual. I might only pack a single pair of jeans and a variety of tops that go with them. Now of course this differs depending on where I’m going and what I’ll be doing but I definitely don’t pack my whole closet anymore. Plus I try to only bring one bag; all my toiletries, clothes, makeup, and shoes usually fit in my large suitcase. This makes car rides and packing up so much easier by only having one bag to worry about.
Pinterest isn’t just a place for cute clothes and recipes. It’s a great network to plan and share ideas for a trip too! Especially if you’re going on a trip to a place you haven’t been on, starting a Pinterest board can be so beneficial! You can look up local restaurants, the best places for happy hour, tours, free sites to see and things to do, cute picture ideas…the list is endless as to what all you can look up and pin for your trip. Whether you make your board public or private to just the people going on the trip, making a board really cuts down on the whole, “uh…so whadda ya wanna do?” You can already see what everyone else is interested in doing, plus it gets you more excited for the trip!
Ah…souvenirs. Of course you always have pictures and your memories from a trip but if you are anything like me you like something special to remember the trip. Now, rather than picking up something random and different each time I go somewhere, I’ve stuck to getting the same thing; a Christmas ornament! I feel like keeping this little tradition makes me save so much money because I know exactly what I’m looking for and don’t spend money on something random that sits on a shelf collecting dust. Whether it’s an ornament like me or a magnet or a coffee mug, I’ve found that sticking to my same souvenir makes it all the more special.
It’s super easy to wanna ‘treat yo self’ everywhere you go when you travel. I mean even if it’s just for the weekend, to me travel=vacation and vacation=a time to relax and spoil yourself. However, as I stated earlier, living on that teacher budget doesn’t always grant me everything I want. With that in mind I definitely try to keep some balance of going out when traveling. A lot of time I’ll hit up Total Wine and Aldi for some drinks and snacks for a trip. Then whoever I’m traveling with, we have snacks for the trip and can eat breakfast in for at least a day or two and then order pizza or Chinese another night. Going out for lunch over dinner is also a really great savvy tip, same meal but usually saves you a few bucks! I know this sounds pretty calculated, but trust me it really will pay off to pick and choose your wants. Saving $100 on a few meals not only means you’re saving money in general but it also means that you could put that money towards your next trip!
Traveling is not a cheap pastime. Flights, hotels, food, souvenirs…it all costs money. However, if you take the time to look at some of these tips hopefully you can enjoy all the benefits of traveling without breaking the bank! Let me know how you like to save money when traveling, too!