2015 was my inaugural year of traveling like a boss. I travelled to London, Paris, Belize, Arizona, Miami, Hawaii, Texas and Antigua. Now I’m pretty sure you are assuming because I live in New York that I’m BALLIN, but that is no where near the truth. I just decided to make traveling a priority in my life and would do anything (within reason) to achieve my goal.
So, how did I do it? We’ll first things first, you have to have the desire to travel to make it happen. In life we have to prioritize the things we want out of life. I know there are bills to pay, children and family to support and other obstacles that might get in the way, but you only have one life and you must decide what you want to get out of it. Now I know when your favorite artist or sports team come into town you have got to get tickets or if Apple releases a new iPhone you have to have it, or if your favorite clothing or shoe store have a sale you just have to be there, but you should have that same mindset for traveling to. Now once you decide that you want to travel then its time to pick a destination.
TRAVEL, EXPLORE AND MAKE FRIENDS
- Be flexible – It’s great to have a specific location in mind, but to get the best deal you MUST be flexible in your location, seasons and even time to book a trip to get the best deal. Most of the time I picked the locations to go to based on the flight deals available. I have found flights from New York to the Caribbean cheaper then flying from New York to Texas based on seasons or found a lower price when I purchased the flight during a certain time of day. Now let’s take a break for true or true.
- TRUE: Try not to book flights on Mondays or Fridays as airfare prices go up since that is when business travelers normally book their weekly trips
- TRUE: If you book your flights to leave on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can sometimes get deeper flight discounts as most people try to optimize vacation time and take off Friday or Monday
- TRUE: Booking trips during off seasons for some locations can help too
- Get cliff notes from the experts – I want to make it very clear that 80% of the flights I mentioned above were really good flight deals found by experts and sent right into my inbox. Don’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel. I do not want to be a travel expert (unless someone pays me and then YES i’ll call myself an expert lol), but I do want to travel as cheaply and as frequent as possible. I joined a few travel groups that turned me on to travel sites whose only purpose is to find the best deals, glitch fares and work-arounds to get cheap travel deals.
- The Flight Deal is a site that monitors thousands of site to bring you the best deals daily
- Google Flights and Skyscanner are two sites that I LOVE! Both have a function where you input your departing airport(s), amount you want to pay per flight, airline if you prefer a certain one and time when you want to go or leave the time flexible. Based on your inputs both sites will provide you any locations in the world that match your criteria. [Side note: I needed to get last minute points to get my airline status so i inputted in my parameters and got (3) options. I picked my option from there based on the miles awarded, that’s how I went to Antigua at the end of year and booked my ticket the week before.]
- Travel Noire – I decided to travel alone for the first time this year. I researched traveling alone and what to do for my specific location on Travel Noire, a site of travel content to help ease your mind about traveling.
- Make friends – Now that I’ve saved all that money on airfare, I needed to keep the momentum going and save on my accommodations while I’m away. I highly recommend making friends from other countries as it really comes in handy when you travel to those countries so you can work out arrangements to stay with your new international friends. Now if you don’t have friends, don’t worry, you can make new ones on Airbnb. I have stayed with Airbnb host in Hawaii and Antigua and have new friends for life, plus most of the prices were more than half the price of the crappy hotels and and were no comparison in price to the four star resorts. The bonus tip is to do your research and read through the reviews of previous guest to help alleviate any concerns or fears of staying with a stranger.
- Do your homework – Make sure you research the location you are going to. Find out the currency, power sources, excursions, proximity of where you are staying to airport and local events. You don’t have to plan out your whole trip, but make sure you get the most out of it. Also reach out to friends or colleagues who have traveled to your selected destination and get their 1st hand experience and lay of the land. For example, I am a part of a group called Nomadness Tribe, who have a FB group of thousands of travel enthusiast ready and willing to provide any help with planning, researching, troubleshooting and enjoying your trip.
- Explore you Backyard – And finally, for those who taking care of business the best you can, but still can’t afford to travel abroad, you can still have fun too. A full tank of gas can get you a day at your local beach or explore a museum or park that you keep hearing about with you family. Get out of your daily routine and try something new. A staycation sometimes is better than going away, its just all in your mindset.
Based on these few tips, you can be on your way to your next adventure and seeing more of the world. Then you can give back and teach someone else to do the same and travel like a boss.