It’s common knowledge that traveling can be expensive. But while it can be costly, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. I’ve been a relatively broke graduate student for the past three years, but I have still managed to travel to multiple countries every year. I get asked all the time, “How do you do it?” And the answer is quite simple, actually: I chase the deal, not the destination. Of course I have a list of places that I would like to go one day, but I don’t let that list influence where I go and when. Part of the fun of traveling is my not knowing my next destination. Most times I don’t know where I’m going until a few weeks before I go, because I just so happened to find an awesome deal. I have found myself in countries (where I ended up having an amazing time!) that I’d never thought of going, all because I found a cheap ticket. When trying to travel for the low-low, open-mindedness and flexibility is key. Sometimes it pays to just go with the flow.
If you must travel to a certain destination, try to be flexible with your dates of travel. This can be hard for many people because of work or school schedules, but try to be as flexible as possible. There have been many times where I have saved hundreds of dollars just by changing the dates of my trip. I decided to leave a day or two earlier or arrive home a day or two later to get prices that better fit my budget. It is always worth it to incorporate a little wiggle room in your travel plans.
When you find a good deal, it’s imperative to jump on it. Time is of the essence when it comes to flight deals, so don’t waste it by waiting on your friends or family to make up their minds to decide if they can go. I like to say that if I waited on ‘people’ before I did anything, I would never do anything! So fend for yourself, book that ticket first; invite others and plan out the details later.
This is a short post, because the point is quite simple: chase the deal, not the destination. If you find yourself without the biggest budget, but still have the itch to travel, try opening yourself up to go wherever the travel-deal winds may blow you. You’ll still get to travel, but will save tons of money in the process. So happy (deal) hunting!