So the most common question I get asked when traveling, is never about my location, but about how I have the time to travel or resources. Seems like this is the bigger problem area for people. My advice? I tell everyone the same 4 things
- Work with the calendar your job already gave you.
I plan most trips either around
*days given off work : remember that holidays in the U.S are not holidays overseas. So although flights within the U.S can be expensive during these “peak” days, other countries don’t give 2 rats asses about our “Presidents Day weekend” or our “Columbus Day”. So those are good times to leave! Use your vacation time, add a few days to the already 3 you’re getting.
*use sick-days : don’t take advantage. But they’re given to you for a reason, and mental health days are a real thing. Work is stressful, and all work no play is a horrible combo. Need a breather? shave off that Friday or Monday and make a long weekend. I leave Thursday’s after work back Sunday late night; or Friday after work back Monday late night. (national flights make great 3day trips.)
- Set-up fare change alerts/ Look up prime times to book.
I don’t know how far in advance you usually plan a trip, for me it varied. BUT something I do often is as soon as I even consider a trip I look at the possible flight cost, then periodically check in on any average price or fluctuation in price. I also usually look to see what holidays or seasons are coming up that may effect the cost of tickets and way my options of when is best to book. (I’ve legit watched flights go from $450 go up to $980 and go back down to $500. It’s all about timing.) Recently there have also been so many new sites that give low-fare alerts( e.g. airfarewatchdog, farecompare) also most booking sites offer them as well (e.g Booking.com, cheapoair,Priceline ). Use them!
- Utilize your network.
I am extremely grateful for the network I’ve acquired during the years. Not only have I met extremely talented and great people, but people who are located all over the world. So with that, I plan a lot of my trips places where I know people are. That can save me money on the stay and sometimes the food. Half of the trips I take I only pay for my flight.
- Set up a traveling savings account.
I have 3 banks 6 accounts. Not saying you need this many.. but all of them serve different purposes for me. One of their purposes is a traveling savings account. A small portion of my paycheck automatically gets deposited into this account. I can always calculate when I’ll have whatever amount is needed, and because it’s automatic I never think about the money taken.