A lot of people wonder how I afford to travel so much, on a small nonprofit salary. Travel is becoming more and more accessible, and there are ways to work the system to make your holiday as rewarding and inexpensive as possible.
I’ve been taking Trans-Atlantic trips over American Thanksgiving for years now. Why? Because it is off-season! Time and time again I’ve booked roundtrip direct flights to Europe for under $500 in November. In addition to it being cheap — there are fewer tourists around so you will thoroughly enjoy having European kingdoms to yourself.
I discovered this one by complete accident. After a mix-up in reservations, I had to find last-minute lodging at 12:00 AM! With a brief Google search, I found a cabin resort that I had previously seen on Airbnb for half of the cost. I reached out to the resort directly and saved over $400 on my week's stay by booking direct. Now, this isn’t the case for all AirBnb’s — but if you see one you like, try finding it offline before paying all the fees Airbnb includes.
You should always nicely ask the check-in folks at the airport if there are any upgraded seats available. Numerous times I have been upgraded to at least Economy Plus simply because I asked. If you want to try, get to the airport early, and be first in line for when check-in opens. The worst they can say is no!
I’ve found that dedicating specific cash to the “extras” and “fun” activities on trips helps me from going over budget, and realize how much or little I am spending. You can dedicate that envelope of cash to be money you are planning on spending, and not feel any guilt when you get that extra sangria in Barcelona.
Tuesdays are almost always the cheapest day to fly. If you can, book your flights on from Tuesday to Tuesday!