Since announcing my next three trips, I’ve been met with this comment endlessly: “How can you afford that? I wish I could spend that kind of money!” My answer? It’s a lot more attainable than you think! With platforms such as AirBNB, work for travel options, as well as apps such as Hopper and Sky Scanner which can find you cheap flights – the key is to plan in advance (sort of) and be ready to book in a flash. Here’s a list of steps that I’ve taken to book these trips:
1. Find out when you can travel, and punch those dates into Hopper & SkyScanner.
This year, I’ve mapped out when I can take vacation – whether it be a four day weekend to a 10 day stretch – and punched those dates in to Hopper and SkyScanner under multiple different destinations. Why? Because by doing this with multiple trip locations, I’m notified on when the flights go down and can be quick about purchasing (if the price is right). The great thing about apps such as Hopper is that they allow you to “watch” your selected flights and they let you know if you should wait, or if you should purchase tickets at that time. I’ve found it to be very helpful and largely accurate!
Note: I booked both my Ireland and Greece trips within less than a week of seeing the flight prices go down incredibly. It’s definitely an impulse-driven strategy, but what’s better than finding cheap flights?! Not to mention by getting the cheapest flights, you’re able to save some money that you can utilize elsewhere in your trip.
2. Skip the fancy hotel.
If you’ve read my previous blog post about AirBNB, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of said platform. If you take the steps I’ve mentioned in this post here, nine times out of ten you will be saving money by not staying in a hotel (and you often have more amenities). However, this can largely depend on what you are looking for as well as the time of year. You can definitely find luxury through the site, also – but personally I’ve found the AirBNB’s I’ve stayed in to be cheaper than any decent hotel, as well as comfy and well-maintained.
Another option is work for stay. I know multiple friends who’ve used and applauded this method for the experiences they received while travelling. If you’d be okay with doing a little minor work here and there in exchange for a free roof over your head, this would definitely be an option worth considering.
3. STOP EATING OUT !!!!!
Oh my goodness. This is one thing that surprisingly enough can be a HUGE money sucker if you partake in it regularly. I am a foodie and love going out to eat and trying new restaurants, but if you take a look at your financial statements or online banking at the end of the month the reality of it can be quite unnerving. Skip the daily morning coffee and take a travel mug, pack a lunch instead of hitting up that new cafe or the drive thru – I know it sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised by how much this adds up in the long run.
4. Download a banking app to track your purchases.
Most banks have expanded generously into the technological sphere, so it shouldn’t be too hard to download no matter which bank you’re currently with. I’m with TD Canada Trust and they offer an app called “TD MySpend” which tracks and allocates all of your spending so that you can see what you’re actually spending your money on. I’ve set mine to send me notifications for when my spending is “above” or “below” typical, so that I can have a heads up if I’m getting a little ballsy with my cash.
5. Invest in a piggy bank.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “A piggy bank?!” But hear me out for a second. If you invest in a piggy bank that cannot be broken without physically smashing it – Green Earth carries them, here – you can squirrel away cash without being tempted to dip into it. I find that with technology being so easily interconnected with banking apps, it makes it very easy (in fact, too easy) for me to transfer money from my savings account into my chequings account. Personally, I’ve found that this can quickly deplete my savings since it’s too simple for me to transfer these funds without second guessing it. After all, we use debit for almost everything at this day and age; so having my money outside of my bank account and tucked into a piggy bank out of sight helps me to safely accumulate cash without having to worry about it being touched. After all, out of sight, out of mind – am I right?
Note: Just make sure you are popping money into that bad boy regularly, or all will be for not! I usually try and take out cash from each biweekly paycheque to hide away in there.
Overall, saving is a completely individual experience; only you know what strategies will work for you. But if you put your mind to it, anything is attainable.
Do you have any money saving and budgeting tricks you always go to for your travels? Share them here!