#1 Question Answered: How I Afford to Travel

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When speaking about where I’m traveling to next, the number one question I’m asked by fellow bloggers, followers, friends, and even family members is: “How the heck do you afford to do all this?” I’d like to take the time to briefly answer this question for anyone who might be wondering, and for anyone who might be looking for ideas on ways to travel cheaply.

First thing first, so I do not give anybody the wrong impression, I have to set a few expectations:

  • I’m 22 years old and I while I do have monthly car payments to make, I don’t have greater financial responsibilities like a mortgage or children.
  • I do not necessarily recommend all of what I’m about to tell you to everyone. For instance, solo-traveling females should use caution when looking into staying in a hostel.
  • I firmly believe that, regardless of the above expectations, everyone can travel, and should do so. So many people say they wish they could travel but can’t right now. Traveling is something you have to put your mind to doing, no matter what it takes, and as soon as you do, you’ll find that every minor set-back you encounter on the way to traveling was absolutely worth what it took to overcome. For further explanation on this, I would point you to my page, Travel Philosophy.

Phew…now that that’s done with, on to the fun stuff!

There are a few keys to traveling cheaply. The first two go hand-in-hand.

Have Flexible Travel Dates / Have Flexible Ideal Travel Destinations

I wrote about this in my Travel Philosophy, but the following is how I currently book my airfare and choose a destination to go to:

Go to kayak.com. Open up another web tab and choose a world map from Google Images. Find a country off of the world map who’s name catches your eye and type it into kayak.com. Check airfare prices for the whole month using the calender box on the right. Continue to do so until you find the cheapest destination. Go there.

I’ve booked my last two trips this way. Iceland: $400 round-trip international airfare, and Peru: $470 round-trip international airfare. While there may have been even cheaper destinations available, these two were the cheapest I came up with in the amount of time I gave myself to type different country names into the web. You can even take this one step further by allowing yourself to have flexible airports of which to leave from. For example, being from Connecticut I usually fly out of Bradley International or JFK, but for Peru I’m flying out of Newark New Jersey because it saves me $175 on the ticket.

Stay Away From The Touristy Stuff

Rather, become like a local in the area of which you’re visiting. Before you left for your trip you read on the internet about a great 5-star restaurant located right smack in the middle of the tourist district. Stay away from it! Places like this will likely be geared towards tourists looking to spend money on over-priced “local” food. Instead, I like to actually ask the locals for recommendations of places to eat. When I do this, I often find the response to be “how much are you looking to spend” in which case I like to respond, “how much would you spend?” When this is done usually a small, and often hidden, restaurant run by friendly local people, and which offers real local dishes at a great price, will be recommended.

You can use this philosophy for tours as well. While tours are often great and a lot of fun, it is always interesting to see a location from a local’s perspective. This may lead to the discovery of locations many non-locals don’t get to experience, which would be far more valuable than any tour.

Stay Out Of 4 or 5-Star Hotels

In my opinion, a 3-star hotel is just as nice as a 4 or 5-star hotel without being overly flashy (and pricey). Many 3-star hotels offer great deals to those willing to stay there short-term. Yet, other accommodations can be found for the truly adventurous. I’m all about staying in the hostel. In fact, people often get the wrong idea about what a hostel is, which is why I did this post a while back. Many of the hostels I’ve stayed in have offered free wifi or at least computer access, 24-hour customer service, included breakfast if awake between certain hours, locked storage for valuables like passports and credit cards, and dormitory style showers. While the last thing on that list might get a few people crazy, for a price as low as $7 per night, it’s totally worth it.

And finally, my last key to affording travel:

Give Up Unnecessary Expenses

This is why seriously wanting to travel means putting everything you can into it. You have to be motivated to do what is necessary to travel, and what’s necessary is not going out every night and spending money on drinks at the bar or dinner at the restaurant. What’s necessary is not buying the new iPhone when your current phone works perfectly fine. Instead, put that money aside for good use, and don’t touch it again until its time to catch your flight to whichever country you were able to find on kayak.com.

Afterall, which piggy-bank do you think looks better?

This one:

Image via Google Images. Click for source.

Or this one:

Image via Google Images. Click for source.

Yep, I thought so.

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Author: Nathan Bush

Nathan Bush is an avid traveler, adventurer, and professional wedding and landscape photographer. His absolute favorite pastime is hiking all the while lugging his camera equipment into the backcountry in order to capture beautiful images of the wild. He currently lives in Colorado with his soon to be wife, Florence.

318 thoughts on “#1 Question Answered: How I Afford to Travel”

  1. Nice tips. I was once a young person staying in youth hostels, never had a problem nor was ever robbed. In this day and age it doesn’t matter what you carry in your pants, every young traveler needs to be aware. Great post!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I agree. When you travel to any unfamilair place it absolutely pays off to make sure you’re aware of your surroundings at all times. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and leave your thoughts!

      Nate

  2. I think your way of selecting a destination is courageous. You are letting yourself open to totally new ideas and experiences when you use such a random method. Travel well.

    1. Thank you, Mohanmohan. I came up with that method not too long aga when I had a certain budget that I was willing to spend on airfare but still wanted to travel internationally really bad. So far, it has worked out great. Give it a go sometime! Thanks for visiting and commenting,

      Nate

  3. These are just so useful. And yes, I agree with you on making the trip happen. There shouldn’t be excuses for something you really want. Like travelling 😀

    1. If you know what will make you happy then there shouldn’t be a thing in the world that could stop you from doing it. That’s how I like to live at least. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts, Cathy.

      Nate

  4. Brilliant tips – if this post, and all these pointers don’t get more people up and out there travelling, then I don’t know what would 🙂
    I also have a happy piggy-bank!!
    Well done Nate!

    1. hahahah thank you, Lu! We must keep our piggy-banks happy at all cost. I don’t want to know what happens the moment that isn’t done. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Nate

    1. I hear Spain is beautiful. Yes, many people keep telling me that. I’m working toward coming up with a solution 😛 haha. The idea is to keep going though, no matter what. Happy travels, I’ll be looking forward to reading about your trip!

      Nate

  5. What a wonderful post. Very good information. I agree with you on staying at hostels, or mini hotels ran locally. So much more affordable than 5 stars and all inclusive. Plus, I believe staying at an all inclusive without leaving the premisses is not trully traveling. I love to mingle with the locals and eat the real local food at small restaurants the towns people visit.

  6. Great post. If I could add one more tip – travel alone, you won’t make compromises to keep your buddy happy that end up costing money. Oh and take buses instead of taxis where you can, you will see more of the real country.

    1. Good tips! I also travel alone now quite a lot. I did in Iceland, and I am now for Peru. The point you make is very accurate. Thanks for adding your insight!

  7. I love your point about not doing any of the touristy stuff! I do that as well when I travel. It doesn’t matter what city/country I’m in, I go to the local markets to buy food, and I usually avoid all of the so-called “must-see” places, instead opting to ask locals what they think I should see whilst I’m there.

    You are clearly a well-seasoned traveler! Brilliant post! 🙂

  8. I’ve had that same question in my head for a long time lol Thanks for putting it all to rest 🙂 I’m just looking for my next adventure, and I’m not picky on where it is.

    1. Definitely try out Johannesburg, South Africa or any of the East African capital cities – Nairobi, Kampala or Dar es Salaam.

  9. Great post, and I completely agree about avoiding the ‘touristy’ places and things. It makes the visit far more interesting, while saving you money. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  10. Another idea to add to this(which is how I travel) is to do work for stay at a hostel. It saves you so much money and only takes like 4 hours out of your day. Or check out WWOOF and Workaway. It costs money to join these last 2 websites but you get room and board and thats how I decide where I’m going to go. Just see which farm is accepting…I’m off to Morocco next:) Also couchsurfers.com is never a bad choice. Happy travels friends!

    1. Hey Michelle,

      I’ve looked into WWOOFing myself and it does seem like a great way to get to travel for a while. I would love to head to Morocco. In fact, after Peru, I may be heading there… it all depends on the result of my poll on my homepage. I am also a member of couchsurfing. I was originally going to include it in this post, but though couchsurfing might be a whole step above everything else I posted here as far as traveling cheaply. It is an excellent way to find a place to stay, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t push this post too far for the traveling-cheap newbie. This being said I DID do a post on couchsurifng by itself a while back.

      Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and leave your thoughts!
      Nate

  11. Wonderful tips! I am an American who has been living in Spain for the past 3 years and traveling around, and I do agree that you should avoid the touristy spots, and flexible dates are key!

    Congrats on being freshly pressed and great post! 🙂

    1. Absolutely. Afterall, who wants to hang out with a bunch of tourists when you’re trying to visit another country? Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by,

      Nate

  12. Sound tips … and you will get more with more travel and as your personal finances change in future years. Good luck …. and pleasant travels. …. from a first-time visitor

  13. It’s all about the priorities! We’ve also really enjoyed doing homestays. It’s a great way to meet locals and learn the culture, practice your foreign language skills, and very affordable.

    1. Hi Veena,

      Now this is an interesting idea. Its sort of like traveling, but not really at all. Maybe one day I’ll look into this a little more. Thanks for the tip!
      Nate

      1. Just finished my first homestay, two weeks with a Mayan family in San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala. It gave us (am travelling w/hubby and our two kids ages 10 and 11) and AMAZING insight into local culture and activities and was way cheap because it included three meals a day complete with local foods never found on restaurant menus. Check our blogs for more info; kids are blogging too as part of their classwork while we are in Guatemala for three months:
        Carks (4th grade): Carks.wordpress.com
        A (6th grade): GoAnnaMia.wordpress.com
        Me (adults): BluePetroglyph.wordpress.com

  14. Nice article, nice thoughts. I used to travel a lot when i was in your age, i still try to travel but as you grow up you see a lot of changes in your bank account.Dont stop travelling!

  15. Some of my best trips were based on cheap tickets, I highly recommend it too! Also, 3 star hotels are good because many of them are putting forth the effort to be upgraded or at least not downgraded. A friend in the hotle industry told me 2 or 1 star is thte kiss of death.

    1. hi MJ,

      There is nothing better than cheap air tickets. I imagine that with 2 or 1 star hotels you have many issues with cleanliness. This is why I don’t understand why more people look into staying in hostels. I hope to do my part in changing the common perspective of hostels. Thanks for reading!

      Nate

  16. You’re so right. Skimming down on unnecessary costs really adds up. For example, sometimes you can end up spending $20/week on cafe coffee. Or $50 for drinks at a bar. I’m going on an epic 2 week trip to Europe this summer and hedging around my costs is really helping me save.

    1. Hi Saira,

      Right? I bet a lot of people have no idea how much they spent per week, per month, or even per year on the daily cup of coffee. You’ll love Europe for sure. I’m looking forward to reading about it on your blog! Thanks for visiting, and happy travels!

      Nate

    1. Thanks Evan, If you really want to head out there and travel a bit, I highly recommend them. Anyone can do it, you just have to decide you WILL do it. Thanks for reading,

      Nate

    1. Hey Rastaphoto,

      I’m also a member of couchsurfing. I just wanted to keep this post more-so down to the basics so I deleted my part about couchsurfing for now. That being said, it is a wonderfull way to find accomodation! Its always fun to meet fellow couchsurfers, happy surfing to you.

      Nate

  17. Really enjoyed your post. As someone who is regrettably not 22, and does have mortgage payments and child upkeep, I am always on the lookout for tips to afford travel.

    I was able to travel (solo) for 4 months in Germany and Scotland in 2010, something I have blogged about. The problem is that now I just want to keep traveling! 🙂

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    1. Hi AnitaZ,

      That trip sounds like a great experience! Once you start, its basically impossible to stop though. I’m not so sure that that is necessarily a bad thing though. Thank you! and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment,

      Nate

  18. Couchsurfing.org is also a great way to find a place to stay for free, make some friends in a new place, and have locals who can show you around their town (and maybe share some secret spots or give good recommendations on where to go). WAY cheaper and better than a hotel. Also…for transportation, go on a bicycle trip! If you have the time, you can get pretty far on two wheels. (that’s what I’m doing currently, and it costs practically nothing – we started in Rhode Island and plan to go around the whole world!).

    1. Hey Sarah,

      As a fellow couchsurfing member, I totally agree that this is a great way to save money while traveling. I didn’t include it in this post because I feel couchsurfing is more of an “advanced” traveling-cheaply tip, but maybe I should have at least mentioned it. A cycling trip sounds like a nice idea. I’d love to have that much time available to do the same for a while.

      Thanks for reading,

      nate

  19. Great post — makes me want to get on a plane! I’ve long thought travel is an incredible education. I’ll add a tip: make friends online with someone there before you go. No better way to see what life is really like for the folks who live in your destination. And hopefully one day you can return the favor when they come to visit.

    1. Thanks, Rsmithing. It is an incredible education, the best actually. I like your idea of making friends before a trip, but I almost feel like making friends while you are on the trip instead works better. This way, you’ve already met the person you may be staying with in person and will get a general vibe about their character. However, someone like you might be interested in couchsurfing. Its a network of travelers online so that travelers can connect with others and ask to stay “on their couch”. Check it out at couchsurfing.org.

      1. Great tip, and you’re totally right. I’ve heard of couchsurfing and know some folks who have partaken, though I’m not quite up for that level of adventure. You do make a good point about making friends while traveling — definitely more in the moment, and striking up a conversation then exchanging emails is simple thing to do. See you on the road!

      2. Hey rsmithing,

        I´m in Cusco Peru right now, but I stumbled upon a computer to borrow during some free time to reply to comments. I glanced at this website briefly, it looks interesting. I´ll check this out more in depth when I have more time when I return home. I appreciate you thinking of me!

        Nate

  20. Nice tip regarding your method for deciding where to go. I will definitely put that one to use! I’ve never been able to afford the fancy hotels, anyway. : )

    And while tours may not be ideal, sometimes a themed tour (e.g., geology, cycling, museums) will give you a “backstage” look at your area of interest and the good company of people who share the enthusiasm. Sometimes traveling alone is fabulous, but it can also be terribly lonely, so I don’t recommend jumping off solo without a backup plan, unless you already know you like to travel that way.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for the input. A themed tour would certainly be a good way to meet people with your similar interest. I’d say solo travel should only be done after some experience traveling abroad is had first. But for me, solo travel allows me to focus on my own shedule, during my own time-frame, without worrying about another person. Im leaving for a solo trip to Peru in 6 days now and can’t wait. In the end, I find that you end up meeting people and never truly end up being “alone”.

      Thnaks for visiting and leaving a comment with your thoughts!
      Nate

    2. Hey Sarah,

      Let me know how my method of choosing a destination works out for you if you try it!
      The great thing about traveling alone is that you don’t have to rely on anyone else’s schedule. You can also go experience whatever you want, whenever you want. I traveled alone through out Iceland for a few days and it was a great experience. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment with your thoughts!
      Nate

  21. Great post! I love travelling do it every year! I agree with the whole motivation thing! Takes a lot of commitment to save money to be able to travel!

  22. I loved the post but I am still curious about something, do you work while you travel or you rely on the money saved up before the trip?

    I ask this because I live in Argentina and travelling for someone that’s young (I’m 26 —- relatively young, I suppose) travelling is really really really difficult to be able to afford. The inflation rate here is high, salaries are not great (I earn exactly 800 pesos more than my monthly fixed expenses —rent, food, electricity, water, etc) and the local currency is very weak (1 USdollar per 5 ARpesos, 1€ for a little over 6AR pesos).

    Usually my parents help me (a lot) when I travel but I want to set out on a long trip next year, and I’m having a hard time putting together the financial pieces of the plan.

    Anyone have any tips?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi SG,

      Let me first start off by saying that I’ve been to Argentina and it is a beautiful country. I’ve had some of my best travel experiences in Bariloche Argentina. I do not usually work when I travel simply because I have not set out on a very long trip yet. My longest trip so far has only been about 2 weeks, or maybe 3 if I include a trip I took with my family. How long are you planning this trip to be? If you are going for say 6-months to 1-year, then I would suggest work. In which case, you can find work at the front desk of a hostel, often in return for living expenses. I would certainly recommend this.

      Thanks for your question! Please feel free to let me know if you have any others,
      Nate

  23. Btw, I should have made clear that in this next trip I’m hoping to do I don’t want to get my parents’ help. I would like to pay for it all on my own.

  24. Awesome post – couldn’t agree more! Mind you, it can also be helpful to have stuff (to sell!!). I bought my airfare for my around the world trip with the proceeds from selling a hot tub!! Used it for 2 years, loved it, got my moneys worth and sold it! Lately I have been looking around the house to see what else I can sell – anyone need ladies golf clubs!!!

    1. Yes, they are. But I do buy one local, hand-made souvenir in each place that I go. The objects from all different places in the world make a great display in my house. Thanks for reading,
      Nate

  25. These are great tips not only for traveling well but living well. Eat what the locals eat, live within your means, and don’t buy a new expensive item when your old one works fine. Travel – life – is so worth it.

    Congrats on being FP’d! 😀

  26. Great tips! My advice is to have a wealthy travel buddy 😉 No for real, I travel with my incredibly generous sister who spends her frequent flyer miles and hotel points she earns at her job to make it possible for us to travel together. I like your idea of using kayak and a world map to get the adventure started!

  27. Brilliant! Congratulations on being FP’d.

    When people ask me how I afford to travel so much, I tell them two words: luck, and priorities. My dad lived in Belgium for a while and I had a free place to stay, my parents pay my rent while I’m at uni, and in Scotland, not only do you not have to pay for undergrad, but I actually get given grants to keep me in school – so yeah, I get that I’m lucky.

    But some of it is prioritising, too. Would I rather go out every Friday and Saturday night and spend £20 on drinks and entry alone, or would I rather save up for a few months and spend that on a flight out to Columbus to see my long-distance boyfriend? Do I really need to buy prawns AND feta cheese for that salad, or can I make do with lettuce, croutons, a spring onion and a dressing?

    As for your other tips, I totally agree with almost all of them. I’d never considered letting the price choose the destination for me – it’s a frightening idea, but why the hell not? As for the rest, I’m with you. I just read your post on hostels and agree totally with that too. Not only are hostels crazy cheap depending on where you go (I paid $6 per night for a weekend in Nicaragua); they’re also THE BEST way of finding the true local gems. Apart from the people who work there, the other guests can tell you what’s cheap, what’s a rip off and where to get the best local experience. I truly, honestly prefer sleeping in a hostel than in a hotel; sure, I choose private rooms over dorms when I can afford it, but the interaction you get in a hostel is just unbeatable.

    The happiest of travels to you, sir.
    Megan

    1. Hi Megan,

      Thanks for your very insightful post. Sounds like you’ve had some wonderful experiences yourself, and I totally agree with everything that you add here about hostels. I’m currently looking at hostels in Peru for my trip in 5 days, and they are about $7/night. Private rooms are not much more expensive either! I’ll have to check out your blog to see what you’ve written about your travels as well.
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      Nate

  28. I like the way this practical twenty-two year old thinks! I stayed in France teaching ESL for nine months with my daughter on a very, very small budget. Had a GREAT time, too!

  29. I love the way you pick your destinations! I’m excited to start reading your blog more often. Congrats on FP!

    arbohl.wordpress.com

  30. I agree, and my next trip will use your trip selection method. Love it!
    People often ask if I did or saw X,Y,and Z standard destinations on my trip,and usually
    the answer is no, but I think I see more of the “real” country or city.

  31. Great tips – and so true – I love living like a local. So true about prioritising – “I’d love to speak another language” – well, you can – we make time for what we want to do, and where our money goes shows where our heart is… Thanks for reminding me that I’d rather have another trip to America than the new iPhone!
    Just wondering, when you say “ask the locals” – how do you find them? Do you just stop people on the street?

    1. Hey there,
      Good question! I have just asked people on the street before, however usually I start with the person at the front desk of the hotel or the hostel. Then once I meet people at the places they recommended, those people will always have great suggestions themselves. I hope this helps. Thanks for the question,
      Nate

  32. Oh, and another tip – airbnb.com – you can find some great places there to suit different budgets, and it’s a great way to meet locals, and stay in a real residential area where people actually live…. looks like I’ve answered my own question there!

  33. Great Tips!! I agree with you that anyone can travel and def should. It changes how you view the world.

    you might want to check out Travbuddy.com its a travelers social site. you can scroll through travel blogs, review and photos posted by others with wanderlust.

    Peace!

  34. This is a great post! I’m going to Europe this summer and friends all say to me “I wish I could travel, but I don’t have the money.” When I tell them it really does not cost as much as people think, they look at me like I am crazy! Happy traveling and keep up the great posts!

  35. Another tip for cheap travel: Stay longer!
    I actually move to a different country every few years and long-term rents in many places are surprisingly cheap. I am just about to move to the sunny island of Malta in the Mediterranean next month: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/leaving-london-moving-to-malta/ – and everyone asks me “How can you afford that?”
    The funny thing is: Moving to another country actually saves me money! I found a room for 150 EUR per month. I give up my room in London (which costs 500 EUR per month) and thus save money by enjoying a new place.

  36. I love traveling! and I love this post! The travel philosophy is wonderful! You’re so right about all of these things, even if they aren’t the fancy prance-y vacations, they’re way better than not going! I’d add in a few others: Travel light, its easier to move from hotel to hotel if you want to, and to bring back gifts for people, when I travel and people ask me to bring things back for them, depending on how expensive it is, I will ask them to give me the money for it, kind of like a delivery.
    Also, for people with hectic work schedules, book a few months in advance, that way everyone who you work with/for/works for you knows that you will be out of the country.

  37. Love this!

    I would politely disagree about being a woman in a hostel alone…I’ve stayed alone in hostels in Baltimore, Ottawa, Vancouver, D.C. and the Aran Islands. I’ve never felt scared or threatened. Of course, you have to be smart about guarding any valuables.

    Travel is the best possible way to spend your time and money. I have never regretted a penny I’ve spent on it (37 countries so far) while wondering why I bothered with some other material purchases. The greatest challenge for many Americans (anyway) is having so little vacation time and few people as adventurous as you wiling to hop on a plane.

    1. Thanks for being polite! Yes, what I really meant by that was it is a good idea to be smart about it. Research the hostels first, make sure they are reputable and/or have good reviews. But really everyone should do this, males and females alike. Thanks for your comment!
      Nate

  38. I’m one of those who’ve always wanted to travel, but didn’t (until a year or two ago) when I gave everything up and went for it! I have always been very afraid of it, and I think that controlled how I chose to spend my money, and then using the excuse of not being able to afford it. However, when I hit my 30’s I was much less afraid and I landed up travelling alone and meeting up with some friends on the other side, and making a few new ones while I am here. It has definitely opened my eyes to some things. I like your idea of choosing a destination…

  39. I appreciate some of the tips. I also try to make sure that wherever I go, that I can cover most or all of the expenses and often make extra. I do free lance consulting work and endeavor to land a project in a country that I have an interest in visting. And I am not a 22 year older either, I am in my 60s and have reduced my living expenses

  40. SOOOOO true! The point is to get out and experience the world…not to break the bank. Travel is affordable. It’s all about the choices we make. A year’s worth of cable TV or a trip to Paris? I’ll take Paris every time. Cheers, Denise

  41. Thanks for the tips, i’ll have to check out Kayak. Im 23 and have a pretty awesome job right now: I work 2wks on/2wks off. so I really want to get as much travelling in now while im stilll young and can afford it!

  42. Your advice about not going to the places in the tourguides but getting off the beaten track and into teh areas where the real people live is what can make a fantastic vacation. I also recommend that ONE fantastic thing can be planned with careful budgeting the rest of the time.

  43. It has been my observation and experience in my 63 years that people do what they want to do. If you really want something, then you’ll figure out how to choose wisely to make it happen as you have done. Want it; make it happen! Congrats on being FP’D!

    From a fellow traveler.

  44. might try to check out couchsurfing.com i get to meet up locals to take me out for a walk and some even offer free couches at their place. i haven’t tried the free couches as I’m a female solo traveller but i dig hostels. and yes, going out every night to party is a waste of money, time and not so good on the kidney

  45. I’ve never understood going on a tour or touristy spot. It’s full of tourists! Not locals. I travel to get a taste for how the local people live. I know how we live here. And paying too much for a hotel makes no sense either, if you are having fun you’ll barely be in the room! Happy trails to you and maybe we’ll meet up on a journey someday! Oh and thanks for the kayak tip, didn’t know that one!

  46. Love this post! I always check surrounding airports whenever I fly and I also try to keep my dates flexible.

    The idea of picking a few countries and selecting a month and running searching until an appropriate fare is found is brilliant. You’re absolutely correct in that travel will only happen for those who truly want it to – there are hundreds of excuses at any given time as to why someone “can’t” or “shouldn’t” travel.

    Another lodging option beyond lower-cost hotels or hostels – couchsurfing.org! Great way to make friends and arrive somewhere already knowing a local, too.

  47. Wow. Just.. wow. I am guilty of being one of those who wants to travel but keeps giving financial inadequecy as excuses. Your advice is a real smack in the face for me to just start getting it planned and JUST GO ALREADY! Hahaha. I’ve never come across your blog before this (I’m very new to WordPress) and it seems you have tons of stuff to share in your previous and future posts so I’m gonna hit the “Follow” button!

    Cheers!

  48. awesome tips. although being from the Philippines, we need to save more for VISA fees and all those expensive papers. for now, we are planning to travel around Asia as all it takes is a passport 🙂

  49. Nice post – and tips, my friend! Speaking as a bellman of 15 years experience, I’d say your head is definitely on straight! You know how to get by – and thrive – in a crazy, over-priced tourism/travel market.

  50. Awesome post. I totally agree with everything you’ve said. Traveling doesn’t have to be as expensive as most people make it- but you have to be willing to let go of the frills and luxuries. I too have always stayed in hostels, eaten cheap meals, and found the most inexpensive transport. While this style of travel is definitely not for everyone, it does allow you to see alot more of the world than you would otherwise.
    Also, as a female who has traveled alone quite often, I would recommend hostels over hotels. You meet alot more people in the backpacking environment and end up traveling in groups, which ultimately is safer.

    1. Thanks, Christina. Hostels are absolutely a great way to meet other people. What I meant in my post when I said that solo-traveling females should use caution is to simply research the hostel a little before going, check reviews, rating, etc, to make sure it is a reputable place. Really, everyone should do this though, females and males alike. Thanks for your comment!

      Nate

  51. i completely agree with your tips and i think it’s great that you shared! i know what you mean about being younger and traveling- people just assume we don’t have money, but if traveling is what you want to do, it’s obviously what you are going to put your money towards. i always said i want to look back in life and be glad that i did something (even if it set me back for a few months) than regret never going.

    1. Hi Amanda, Thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely correct. I like to live by the same rules. No regrets, no looking back. I’m quite happy with the way it has turned out so far. Keep it up!

      Nate

  52. I love this.

    I travelled for over a month to Germany, Greece, Turkey, and Israel, while living in Italy. Flights were cheap considering that I was already in Europe and I travelled during September/October which is not considered peak season but still provides you with awesome weather. I find that traveling when it’s warm saves you money since you can travel with a carry-on and you tend to crave less food! haha! Also, there is a bigger chance of venturing off to explore things as a local.

    I highly recommend visiting places where you have friends since this will save you a lot of accommodation costs. If you’re young and consider yourself an adventurer you should definitely check out http://www.couchsurfing.org It’s not for everyone but it’s a great way to travel as a local.

    Good luck to all and congratulations on being featured!

    1. Hi Hipcoulture,
      Wow, that sounds like a great trip. Traveling during the “off” season is another great tip that I probably should have included in this post. I am also a member of couchsurfing and that is certainly a good tip as well. I didn’t include it here in this post because I wanted to keep this post more to the “basics” of traveling cheaply. Thanks for sharing your great insight on this.

      Nate

  53. Tip from me:
    if i go to somewhere in holiday, i will book plane i year before my holiday time is come. it is the best tip because you just pay cheap than 1 week. u can save your money here..
    but..,
    make sure that your plan have considered anythings.

    it is great challenge for us, because it cannot be happen as we plan before. so we must prepare plan B. 🙂

    Great Post and Happy “Freshly Pressed” Day.

    1. That is absolutely what I try to hint at in this post. Those who have those experiences will learn more about the world and other people than they ever imagined. Thanks for visiting,

      Nate

  54. People who make (way, way, way) more money than me are always asking me how I can travel so much. It’s all about priorities, as you mention! Plus traveling is not as expensive as people think. Good job scoring those Iceland tickets to prove that point 🙂

    1. Hey Jennavandenberg,

      Its funny how that always seems to be the case, isn’t it? I’m glad you know how to travel despite not having a ton of money to do so. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment.
      Nate

  55. Thank you for the post, kind sir!
    I’m twenty years old and I was just thinking today as I sat at work that I needed to start travelling again. I’ve done some, but nothing like yourself. The thing that intimidates me the most is that I know it has to cost a fortune! Thank you very much for your tips and even your encouragement. Good luck, and congratulation getting Freshly Pressed!

    http://jacobscottmoore.wordpress.com

    1. Thanks for your kind words! There is nothing like traveling. If you get the chance, definitly use some of these tips. I odubt you’ll be disappointed. Hope you get out there soon!
      Nate

  56. So true – travel is like anything else you want to do but maybe put off because you don’t have the money, you can’t take the time off of work, etc. – you just need to stop making excuses and do it! When I was 22, I “ran away” to Italy and now I’m married to an Italian and have 2 kids 😉

    1. wow, that must be quite the story. It takes some guts to do that. I’m glad everything worked out well for you.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment,
      Nate

  57. Hi! This is the first time I visit your blog, thank you for your post, it is indeed the question I always wonder! Where to get money so I could travel… I´m a bit older than you, yet I don´t have any big financial responsibilites either: no children, no mortgage, I don´t own a car.. actually I don´t own anything of greater value, because I´ve never had money to buy anything expensive. I do wonder why: i work steadily and earn money. I study also, to get more job possibilites in the future. I hardly ever go out. (It sure takes a LOT of money). I buy the cheapest food. I never eat out. I don´t go to movies. And so on. My computer I got as a gift, phone too, also my camera, tv, dvd player, radio.. list goes on. Nevertheless, I can hardly manage every day living costs. And so there is no money I could put in to a piggy-bank. All the money i earn, is spent on phone bills, internet bill, rent, food and other necessities. And I really don´t understand how it´s possible. Well, I do live in one of the world´s most expensive countries, with the highest taxation… Maybe I should move abroad to be able to… move abroad. :/

    1. Hi there,

      If you don’t mind me asking, which country do you live in? Moving abroad might be the way to go if you’re truly unhappy where you’re at now.
      Thanks for stopping by to read my post.
      Nate

  58. Hear, hear! Those who want to do it, will. In everyday life as well, there are frills which can be shaved away, while still letting you LIVE while planning the next adventure. The world’s too small not to at least TRY to see it as much as you can!

  59. Hi Nate,

    Love the post! Your philosophy sounds very similar to mine – a bit harder with 3 kids but do-able. Especially the bit about local restaurants!

    Thought you might be interested in the website I work for – TrustedHousesitters.com. It is something which is perhaps skewed to slightly more mature travellers but take a look.

    Have a great day.

    Lisa

  60. When I was a kid, over a half century ago, my family traveled quite a bit during school vacations. The way these trips were financed was quite ingenious.

    Our family owned a very popular beach-side restaurant on Cape Cod. There were five cash registers and my mom would have to empty them anywhere from three to five times a day. Back in the office when she was counting up the take all the change that didn’t add up to a full dollar got put into a jar and the bills that didn’t add up to at least $5 also went in. That is if, when all the bills were put together and there was, say $19 worth of bills, then four went into the jar. Our season ran from Memorial Day to Labor Day so at the end of the run there was always enough money in the jar to pay for a good trip somewhere with me and my four brothers.

    1. Hi Oldsalt1942,

      I found this comment very interesting to read. That is quite a great way to put some extra money aside. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with me.
      Nate

  61. Great advice! Me and my husband have just booked flights to Montreal then we will travel down to Toronto, Niagra Falls, and finish up from New York where we are flying back from (live in London). the flights cost us so much so we’re now looking at how we can do the accomodation/ internal travel/ sctivites on the cheap!
    I always think cheap accomodation is fine as we want to be out exploring loads so its only really a bad to sleep in!
    Will have a read of the rest of your blog for more tips 🙂 x x x

    1. Hi Veghotpot,
      I’ve been to all of those places and that will certainly be a nice trip. Cheap accomodation is the way to go, and public transportation too. If you can take the train instead of renting a car I highly recommend doing so. Can’t wait to hear about your trip on your blog as well.

      Nate

  62. I so agree with your point about a 3 star vs 4/5 star hotels. Another thing to keep in mind is that star ratings aren’t all about cleanliness or comfort. Sometimes it’s about amenities. I once worked in a super nice 3 star hotel. Why didn’t we have 5 stars? Because we didn’t have an on site bar/restaurant, a spa, a concierge, valet parking, room service, etc. If your hotel is just a place to lay down your head after a day of adventuring, then 3 stars should be more than enough.

    Great Post!

    Sara

    1. Hey Sara,
      You bring up a good point. I believe that a hotel SHOULD really only be a place to sleep at night. Why would you travel somewhere and then sit in the hotel all day? Instead go out to the bar forthe night, find a local spa, and meet some people. For this reason no more should be needed than a 3 star hotel or hostel. At least, in my oppinion. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your insight.
      Nate

  63. Great post, Nate. My husband and I use the “envelope system” for our expenses. Whatever is left over after two weeks goes into our vacation fund. The prospect of those dollars adding up really makes me rethink what I need from Target.

  64. Hi!

    Just wanted to leave my comment in this sea of comments to say I loved this post. I think traveling is one of the best forms of education because not only is it a journey to new places, it’s also a journey you take with yourself. There’s no greater journey than the one that takes place within you when you encounter new situations, cultures, and people, and you really get an idea of who you are and what your values are and what you want out of life. I’ve been blogging a lot about that since I moved to Ghana in September. I love traveling and have been fortunate enough to have gone to some really cool places, but actually residing in a new place is my favorite part of traveling. I wish you the kind of adventures that the best stories are made of!

    -D

    1. Thanks Odeliay,
      Everything you say here is very well said and I totally agree. I have not done any real long-term traveling yet, to the point where I’d have to reside over seas, but I plan to one day soon. Thank you for your kind words here, and I wish you all the same.
      Nate

    1. Hi Samuel. Unfortunately I have not really made it to your part of the world yet. However, if you’re looking for somewhere relatively close, I hear New Zealand is amazing. Congrats on finishing school, happy travels.
      Nate

  65. Great post, Nate. My ability to travel the world has relied completely on all the points you mention above. We can have whatever we really want in life, if we focus on it and cut out those less necessary things. Thank you for your insight, and for “liking” my recent blog post. Happy travels!

  66. this is great. I just got on wordpress to finish updating my blog with my most recent trips entries and yours popped up. I get asked the same question all the time. My answer is always sacrifice, plan and save. I always start planning my next trip when I’m freshly done with one 🙂

    1. As soon I set foot back at home I’m already planning the next trip. Glad to hear someone else does the same! I’ll have to check out your blog to see where you’ve been. Thanks for stopping by!
      Nate

  67. My wife and I are in our 30s and childless. When people ask how we afford to travel, she likes to equate it to diapers or daycare. No one asks someone with a toddler how they afford those. While your suggestions are great, we find it’s about saving money ahead too. We scrimp and save so we can stay at one nice hotel (normally just one night) and eat what we want. You’re so right that anyone can travel, it just has to be something you want to do. Great post.

  68. I love staying hostels. Don’t forget that one of the best things about hostels is the people from all over the world that you meet! Especially when traveling alone it’s so great to meet new friends.

  69. Great advice. I try to think about some of these things when I travel, but sometimes I can’t help the 4-5 star thing. I usually make enough money or have great enough opportunities come up that it tends to even out nicely for me. I love to travel and make a point to do so 4-5 times a year to someplace exotic. I’m looking at Belize and Japan this summer! Pretty pumped. :0)

    1. Hi there,

      I have an uncle and a father that feel the same way about the 4/5-stars. Hey, if that works for you, then all the better. I hear both places are very nice destinations. I’ve personally looked into Belize and it looks great, so if I had to pick I’d head there. That being said, I havn’t made it to asia yet, so maybe Japan would really be the way to go. I look forward to hearing which you choose.
      Nate

  70. Hey Nate,

    Thanks for the great advice and inspiration. I haven’t had a decent break to go travelling in the past 4 years (hoping to go to med school) and now that my fourth year is close to wrapping up, I will definitely plan something for the summer. You’ve got an awesome blog and I’ll be making regular visits to it from now on! Good luck on your travels!

    1. Hi Dawn,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. School is unfortunately another one of those things that tend to soak up money, but now that you’re finishing up I;m sure you’ll be able to begin traveling more. Thanks and good luck to you as well!
      Nate

  71. This is an awesome post!
    Over Easter I did a charity hitch hike to Morocco from the UK (1200 miles roughly) and other than my phone bill, I only spent £300 for the whole trip, including a return flight via Madrid and Valencia.

    I’m currently studying Spanish and Portuguese, so trying to find a way to get cheap travel and save money so I can go to Brazil and Argentina/Chile/Cuba are my current priorities. Thanks for the tips!

    Also, another site that sounds similar to the kayak one you mentioned is http://www.skyscanner.net

    x

    1. Wow, that is a very little amount of money to spend on such a long trip. Well done! Brazil is high on my list as well. I really like South America a lot, there is something about it down there that just sits well with me. I highly recommend Argentina. Especially the Patagonia area.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      Nate

  72. Really great tips. I went on a big European adventure back in the spring, and while I did go on some tours (I mean, you have to see the Vatican), I spent an equal amount of time wandering around cities, getting lost, and stumbling into places I’m sure other people didn’t get to see. A tip I’d add to your list is budgeting. Once I’d paid for travel expenses like airfare, I made sure to make a budget for how much I could spend (or would need to) in each place I visited. While some people take interest in souvenirs, my priority was local cuisine – so that’s where I spent my money. I didn’t need a tchotchke from most places, I just took thousands of pictures!

    1. Nice adition to the travel tips! I’ve also been to the Vatican. It was worth seeing once, but I don’t think I’d go back. It was far too crowded for me. I also let my pictures stand for my souveniers, although I usually buy one thing made by a local at each place I go to. It makes for nice decoration in my house when I have hand-made crafts on display from all around the world.
      Thanks for stopping by and adding your insight!
      Nate

  73. I would also highlight the importance of miles programs! If you have a mileage credit card and use for basic montly expenses, they really rack up! My husband and I just flew to Namibia with miles! It can be done!

  74. We didn’t start traveling until after we had our daughter but we def. keep traveling in mind when we spend money. We don’t go out often, try to eat dinner at home as much as possible (it’s healthier anyway!), and plan, plan, plan. I do think that’s one tactic where we differ. We plan far in advance so we can coordinate work calendars with DD’s school calendar. We also own a timeshare which we trade in for points and have several CC’s to earn points on EVERYTHING. Being a traveler is absolutely a lifestyle choice but it’s so worth it!

    1. Hi Travelista,
      I do like to leave things unplanned sometimes. I find that spur-of-the-moment experiences are always interesting to have. However, there is nothing wrong with planning everything out. It is a lifestyle, and a great one at that. Glad you enjoy is as much as I do!
      Nate

    1. Thanks, Jenni. I’m heading to Peru in about 5 days. Looking forward to sharing the trip with you. In return, I hope to read about yours in the future as well.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Nate

  75. Hi great tips! I can definetely relate having backpacked and travelled quite a bit and I love your suggestion about staying away from the ‘tourist’ stuff. It has been a while though as I have a business now but you have inspired me to put a few dollars away every week for a trip. Thankyou!, Melissa

  76. Great tips. Thanks for sharing!
    BTW, you can replace “Traveling” with anything you want, and your affirmation is still valid: “Traveling is something you have to put your mind to doing, no matter what it takes, and as soon as you do, you’ll find that every minor set-back you encounter on the way to traveling was absolutely worth what it took to overcome.”

  77. Wow it’s good to read it I myself wants to travel with my girls, but we’re just too afraid to stay in a motel,we want cheap destination but when it comes to a place where we have to sleep we just always hard to find the secure feelin’ 🙂 nice post btw…

    1. This is true, but I (and quite a few other people who left a comment about it) have never really felt unsecure in a hostel. Look them up on the internet when you choose a destination. You can even find really nice hostels, even with private rooms, for about $26/night. Still cheaper than a hotel.
      Thanks for reading!
      Nate

  78. This makes me want to drop everything right now and travel. At the very least, start saving, saving, saving.

    Don’t mind me, I’m just going to start trawling through your posts and live vicariously through you until I can actually go myself.

    Thank you ❤

    1. Hi EmSwanson,
      Start svaing asap! It’l be worth it as soon as you feel like you put enough aside to go. hahaha, feel free to click around 😛
      Thanks for visiting!
      Nate

  79. Great post! I only recently discovered how cheap international flights to certain countries could be. U.S.-to-Iceland was the best one I’ve discovered so far, and I hope to one day be able to take that flight :-).

    1. My recent trip to Iceland was bassed on the cheap flight that I found. Iceland is an incredible place and I very highly recommend it. Keep in mind, the only thing cheap about Iceland is the flight though. Food, and sales tax is quite expensive, but still very much worth it. Hope you get there soon!
      Nate

  80. Eat with the locals; my absolute favorite piece of advice! I spent a year overseas (as in outside of north america) in south east Asia and I lived there. I didn’t tourist there, I lived there. And it was the most unreal experience! So much better than an all inclusive in mexico for a week 🙂 cheers!

    1. That sounds like a great experience. I havn’t spent that much time abroad yet, but I plan to get there. For now, I like to see as many new places as possible, so 2 – 3 weeks in each place works for me until I find one that I want to stay at long-term.
      Nate

  81. This is great advice, my boyfriend and i took 2 weeks away in Eastern Europe and tried to follow this idea as much as possible its undoubtedly the best way to see the cities and get to know the culture without excessive costs, were hoping to get away too and ill definitely be using some of your ideas to help save! Thanks for the great tips!

    1. Hi pbarber1,
      Thanks for your kind words about my post. I have not been to Eastern Europe yet myself, but I do know that Europe is known to have many hostels and great opportunities for cheap accomodation. If you try my method of choosing a destination, please let me know how it works for you. I’d love to hear all about it. Thanks for stopping by!
      Nate

  82. I like your methods. Especially the part where you leave the fate of your destination up to the internet (kinda… it is determined by the economy and stuff too, but that can be overlooked, because the former sounds so much more adventurous). Great.

    1. Thanks, Jessie. That’s true the economy could probably determine that quite a bit, but generally speaking you’ll find that places people go quite often, for instance, Rome, London, etc, are going to be more expensive for flights than places like Peru and Iceland, especially if traveling during the “off-season.” On the other hand, this is probably not true for places like Laos, Vietnam, Japan, etc when required to fly many many miles. I’d like to get to places like these, but for now I think I’m going to stick to my methods for a while longer. Afterall, it has worked out great so far!
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Nate

  83. Nice tips, Im a solo female and i travel alone all the time, I love it. Its a rush, I have found that I am always safe, as long as i don’t do stupid things like flash money around and travel with ALL my L series lenses. 🙂

    1. Hi there! Yeah traveling alone is great, especially when you don´t have to worry about anyone else being late for something and everything is on your own time. I´m traveling alone in Peru right now (I stumbled upon a computer to use in Cusco). Not carrying all of your L lenses would definitly help in ensuring that you remain safe haha. Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment!

      Happy Travels,
      Nate

    1. hahaha they are definitely worth it for $7 per night. I highly recomend a hostel the next time you travel. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!

      Nate

  84. Great post! My husband and I go overseas at least once a year, sometimes twice, and each trip will be a long one, covering multiple countries. We also take trips within our own country too, every chance we get. Our friends and families think we are rich but we aren’t. We are just smart about how we travel. For a start, we bypass travel agents completely and I book everything direct. But I think the biggest barrier for people is not really money. I think it is a mental block. They are daunted by the prospect of hiring a car and driving through the middle of Cambodia or spending a week living with elephants in the jungles of Chiang Mai. So they just play safe and stay at home in their familiar surrounds. Sad really.

    1. Hi Morgan,

      I absolutely agree with you. It is sad. Even if it isn´t a trip as epic as the two they you mentioned, I find that a lot of people are nervous about going over seas just in general. The language barrier is a common excuse. But even without speaking the same languages there are ways to communicate. Im writing this during a free moment that I have in Peru (I happened to stumble upon a computer to borrow) yet, I´ve never taken a class in Spanish and know only a couple words, but I´ve had full conversations with people here already. Its sad because through traveling you always learn something new about the world and other cultures; you always come back a better person. At least thats how I see it.

      By the way, have you driven a car across Cambodia or lived with elephants in Chiang Mai? Becuase that sounds totally like soemthing I want to do and I would love to read about it on your blog if so!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting,
      Nate

  85. I wish I would have seen this a few months ago! I’m currently spending my last semester in college abroad in England. Definitely have learned a few of these lessons the hard way. Wish we had budget airlines like Ryanair back home in the U.S.!
    Great post 🙂

    1. hahaha Kassey, the hard way is the way I learned as well. Oh well, next time for sure. I just flew StarPeru which is the newest airline to domestic flights in Peru. I guess they buy their aircraft used from the United States. They even advertise ¨relatively safe, no accidents yet¨ hahaha yikes!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      Nate

  86. The 3-star hotel tip is damn right!
    I think anyone whos looking for a affordable good vacation should visit Asian states such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. European and American states are far too expensive. Indeed there is no better relaxation in this world than travelling!

    http://topratedjuicers.net

    1. Definitely! I have not been to Asia yet myself because I find that airfare cost is sooo expensive, however, I can believe that it would be pretty cheap once I got there. I hope to find out for myself sometime soon.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Nate

    1. Thanks karmicspins!
      You´ll be able to do it, just save up a little bit of money and go to somewhere with a nice currency conversion rate! I´ll look forward to reading about your first travels on your blog. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      Nate

  87. Hi Nate! I’m loving your sense of adventure and the clarity of your travel approach. Everyone who wants to travel really should and there are definitely some creative ways to make it happen… If you don’t do it now and put it off you are missing out on a lot of great opportunities…

    I am often asked these same questions by friends and family members. All I can say is that you have to vote with your money, and I would rather have experiences than more stuff. My takeaway from most trips is simply the photos I take and the memories I made.

    Strongly second your point that you can stay at a hotel with fewer stars and still have an awesome time. Never once have I traveled abroad to stay in a hotel, so as long as the hotel is clean and well located I am all set! Likewise I strongly agree that getting restaurant recommendations from the locals is an excellent way to go.

    Really appreciated your comments on my blog today, and I hope you will visit again! I appreciate that you keep your planning to a minimum, but after a few near-calamitous events, I am sticking with a set plan for at least the cities I plan to see and beginning and ending flights. The in-between stuff can be what is flexible!

    1. Hey AmbleAlong,

      You´re absolutely correct. I often ¨give up¨ going out to the bar to spend money on unnecessary things like drinks, just to save that extra bit of money towards travel. I as well mainly take home my photographs to remember the trip (I have many framed in my house), but I also usually buy one hand-made object by a local artist in the country of which I´m visiting. I have a couple rules for this, including that it HAS to be hand-made and I have to actually see them making more of whatever the item is when I buy one, this way I know it is authentic. I find that these objects, all lined up and all from different parts of the world, actually go great together on a shelf in my house and create great conversation.

      Haha I hear you on what to keep flexible and what to plan. I have yet to have any crazy events happen by keeping most of my travel flexible, but hey, there is a first for everything. For now, I´ll stick with one-way flights 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!
      Nate

    1. Thanks Doug, I’ll have to check out your photographs on your blog, then. Always glad to meet another traveler/ photography enthusiast!

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Nate

  88. Great points. I often get the same questions, and I have kids and a mortgage. You have to put the effort into getting out there and you will. I don’t get as far as you, but I get around and have fun.

    1. Well, thats what its all about, right? As long as you have fun with what you’re doing. Right now I’m just stuck on the traveling abroad train. I can’t seem to stop. I love it, so nor do I want to.

      Thanks for visiting.
      Nate

  89. Thanks for the tips.am glad at least I do one thing right 3* hotels work just as fine,besides who wants to stay all day in a hotel room.We should be out there exploring and discovering!

  90. I totally admire you for being able to do these things and travel to so many different places. I think it is beyond awesome. I had planned on taking a few different trips to Europe because I have an insane longing to go there and every trip I planned fell through. It wasn’t until about 10 months ago when I finally decided, “Screw it. I don’t care what it takes. I’m taking a damn trip.” So, even though I will be doing some touristy things, I will be leaving in 15 days to spend some time in Europe. I won’t be there long, but I will have enough time to see many of the things I have been simply dying to see for most of my life. You are only a year older than me, but I find you simply inspiring. And I gotta say… at this point, my piggy bank most certainly looks like the latter. 🙂

    1. Hi humbledbylove,

      Thank you so much for your kind words in this comment, and congrats on getting your trip all set and planned! You are going to find out that the trip will be absolutely worth everything it took you to get there, and after you come back you will probably not want to do anything else but plan your next trip! Where are you going in Europe? and for how long? are you traveling alone? Let me know how you like it over there, I’d love to hear all about it. Have a great trip! And thanks again for reading and commenting on here 🙂

      Nate

      1. Hello Nate!

        I haven’t been on wordpress for a bit. I just got back home from my trip about a week ago. It was completely worth every penny I spent. I absolutely loved it!! I spent most of my time in London, Paris, and Rome, although I did take a couple of day trips to Bath, Naples, and Pompeii. Very cool places. I gotta say, I completely fell in love with Italy. Ever since I got home, all I dream about is being in Rome again! If it weren’t for the fact that I really need to buckle down on my schooling so that I can get a better job when I graduate, I would totally be planning my next trip right now. I won’t like though…. I’ve been seriously thinking about all the other places I want to travel. I just won’t be able to plan much for awhile. I was only gone for two weeks. I went alone in a tour group, so I spent much of my free time with another loner from my group or off by myself enjoying the atmosphere and soaking it all in. It was such a relief to see other parts of the world, FINALLY! I knew I would love traveling, but I didn’t think I would become so addicted. Thanks for the response! 🙂

        humbledbylove

      2. Hey there!

        Great to hear that you had a wonderful time in Europe! It sounds like you’ve definitely caught the travel bug haha. My first trip over seas was also to Italy, Rome in particular, and I loved it just as much as you. That trip is what sparked the rest of the travel that I’ve done since, and I’m sure the same will go for you. Now its time to put your mind into finishing school and saving as much money as possible so you can head out on your next trip soon! Glad to hear you loved your travel experience so much, and keep going!
        Nate

        p.s. – Hopefully you ate gelato at least 6 times/day in Rome haha.

      3. Hey!

        It really was an amazing time! Though it wasn’t quite 6 times a day, in the 3 days that I spent in Rome, I ate gelato at least 3 times a day and consumed way more caffeine than my little body can actually handle, throwing much pizza and pasta and fresh bread and cheese in the mix as well. Unfortunately for me, since I’ve returned from my trip, all I can do is think about all of the other places I want to see and visit, and I can’t seem to get my mind to focus on my schooling! As soon as I finish, I’m giving myself a graduation present and sending myself to some new countries!

        humbledbylove

    1. Thanks, B! Yeah, I switched from NY or CT’s airports to NJ and saved $150-$175. I’m not 100% sure if I lost that money in transit to that airport since it was farther away or not though. But when booking flights, it is absolutely worth check the cost at nearby surrounding airports before making your choice!

      Nate

  91. Nice post. I am curious as to when you found Iceland and Peru roundtrip fares for that cheap. Those are two of my most-wanted destinations right now, but I haven’t seen rates that low.

    1. Hi Eric,

      Airfare prices are tricky things. When I went to Iceland, it was March, the low touristy season and still their Winter. I booked airfare a good 5 or 6 months in advance which could have helped. It also, of course, depends upon where you are flying out of. A ticket from NYC to Iceland right now is about $540 which, personally, I would pay for a trip that would certainly be worth it. The price for Peru seems to have gone up significantly. Again I went during the low-tourist season and booked tickets about 4 months in advance. Right now the cheapest I can find by my methods described in this article is about $720. The best thing to do is to check prices every day, and again at night. Many times they will change all of a sudden.
      Happy hunting and I hope you get to either of these destinations soon!
      Nate

      1. Thank you for taking the time to respond, Nate. I am not opposed to traveling during off months (that’s what I did during my recent Europe trip), so I will definitely keep an eye out for that. Iceland is somewhere I have always dreamed of going, and $540 is not bad at all. Hmm… maybe I will end up visiting there in 2012 after all. Thanks again for the info!

      2. I met end up going again for $540 haha. I would absolutely recommend going if you always wanted to. It is the most incredibly different (in a good way) place I have been to yet. Let me know if you book a trip, I’d love to hear about your plans.
        Nate

    1. Absolutely, all you need is a place to sleep, after that the extra money should be spent experiencing the country/ city of which you’re traveling. …or on gelato in Rome 😛

      Thanks for checking out my blog!
      Nate

  92. Enjoyed reading this post. Yea I often wonder too how some people can afford to travel so much! That’s why now my wife and I have opened an investment account dedicated for travel. : )

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