The truth: If I don’t get out of the house and travel somewhere a few times a year, I’m going to go crazy. It’s something that’s constantly going back and on between being someone who’s completely at home who never wants to leave the couch and checking AirFare on Google to see where my husband and I can go for a long weekend. For every weekend spent on Netflix and buying takeaway food, there’s a weekend where I feel the attraction of visiting a new city and elevating my Instagram game.
Of course, one of the biggest factors for any trip I plan is money! Well, money – the nuclear of all the planning, the man who controls my life! My wife and I make a decent living. We live comfortably enough to be able to travel out of the state a few times a year, but this is because we have a budget for it. We make sure that we tighten up in some aspects of life because we’d rather visit the Golden Gate Bridge than have a venti coffee every day of the week. Here are some super easy tips on how to get jet life while still being able to pay your grocery bills.
Remove the leftovers
It’s an old story like time. One of the easiest ways to save a or two dong is to ignore the excesses. Take advantage of the coffee your office brews every morning (Not always the best, but think about the trips!) Instead of going through Starbucks. Prepare yourself a machine/Pedi at home rather than spend $50-$60 on a professional. Do you need that sweater from J. Crew? Not. Do you have to take guac on your burrito bowl? (All right, I’ll let you have guac. I’m not a monster.) Do you need to spend an extra $5 here and there? I guess not. It’s up! Take a few hundred dollars more and put it away. The key is saving, saving, saving. Be purposeful and specific about what you are aiming for. Saving becomes much more enjoyable when you have a clear goal in your head.
Skip the hotel
The hotel usually does not have the best deals. They just don’t. They inflate prices and often end up being a disappointment – stinky rooms, views of brick walls, and the stunning closures of your neighbors until half a morning. Plus, really nice hotels will cost you an arm and a leg. Once I discovered sites like AirBNB and VRBO, my life changed forever. You can choose in a place entirely your own or simply rent a room (Psst! This is cheaper!). You can also filter by your price range. We stayed in the loveliest chalets and apartments for half the price of a hotel room. Not to mention, this is a way to live like a local and really get a genuine sense of the city.
Pay attention to gasoline prices
This may be my favorite tip! My husband and I live in the Chicagoland area. Nashville, Grand Rapids, Omaha are just a few must-visit cities quite far from where we live, but sometimes driving isn’t always the most economical way to get to where we’re going.. But it’s not. But you have to keep an eye on it. When we plan a trip to one of our favorite points (basically, East Nashville is our second home), we ALWAYS use a tool like GasBuddy to see what’s cheaper. Sometimes stumbling saves us some money, but other times, airfares and gasoline cost more evenly, and that’s when we choose a flight to save time.
Stay close to home
Who says that traveling means cross-country travel? I’m sure there are plenty of great cities and towns an hour or so from where you live so you feel like you’re in another country! Sorry, driving 30 minutes down the main highway where I live, it feels like we’ve passed another planet. If an overnight stay doesn’t fit the budget, day trips are also very effective! Go out before sunrise and you can bask in a new place all day and scratch travel bugs without spending more money than you can
Being able to travel and still be able to afford to live your normal life, I promise Skip lattes and do your research – it may take a bit of sacrifice here and there, but the reward is well deserved.