Top 10 Travel Tips

by Matt ManyPlaces

Top 10 practical and affordable ways to travel the world. You do not need to be a multi-millionaire to travel!

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1. Build your savings. The ability to save money in order to travel cannot be under-emphasized! This is the most common attribute I’ve come across talking to other travelers in the 100+ countries I've been to!!! There is definitely a direct correlation in people’s ability to save money that allows them to actually get out there and travel! It's not about being wealthy enough to travel, just have enough to buy your ticket and a little spending money to go.


Saving more could involve cutting down expenses or taking an additional part-time job specifically to make money for travel. I use a separate bank account to put my ‘travel money’ and only accessed it for travel or an absolute emergency. I worked extra jobs, cut down expenses, delivered pizzas and cleaned offices at night to help build up my travel savings.


Once you get in the habit of saving money specifically for travel, you are close to making your dream trips come true. You have to have some money to travel (perhaps less than you think.) Keep reading to find out why or jump ahead to number 7.


2. Choose destinations where your money goes a lot further. Many people think of budget travel as backpacking, dorm beds or camping; while these can get you around more expensive destinations like Western Europe on the cheap, why not consider Eastern Europe or even Central or South American destinations? There are expensive destinations in the Caribbean and much more budget friendly islands as well. Want to stay in decent hotels for $20 or less? There are many countries that offer affordable travel.


3. Be flexible. If you are not totally set on going to one specific place, do some research will show you more budget-friendly destinations. Don't need a hotel room? Backpackers can be a great place to meet other travelers and offer reasonably priced shared-accommodation or private rooms. Traveling with a family? Why not try AirBnB or HomeAway, which often have lower rates than hotels or even hostels, especially for families and larger groups. Check or other sites to see if you are getting the best price.


4. Research, Research, Research. Read up on the places you want to visit to get an idea of costs, how long you would like to stay and what there is to see. Guidebooks like Lonely Planet and Let’s Go do a great job of providing background information, history, activities, food, accommodation and costs for your destinations. These are great to have as a reference while traveling, or even get in PDF format for your tablet.

5. Try not to travel in peak season. Professionals in the travel industry know about the Peak season (highest prices and fewest deals), Shoulder season (good prices and more deals) and off-season (lowest prices). There are usually reasons for 'low' or off-season prices such as weather, hurricane season, monsoons, etc.

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A good example of saving during the shoulder season travel is a campervan trip we recently did around the South Island of New Zealand. We were able to hire the campervan for almost 1/3 of the peak season cost at just $38.20NZD per day! (Peak season is Nov-Feb for NZ when campervan prices shoot up). We got off-season prices in the shoulder season.


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tip: Avoid the peak season if possible or at least get the best possible deals on airfare, rental cars or accommodation by being flexible on the dates and destinations.


6. Find the best deals on airfare. This is usually one of the largest travel expenses for your trip. See what budget airlines fly near you. Norwegian was recently offering flights from the US to Europe for as low as $65 each way and they fly from the US to Caribbean for as low as $59 as well.  If you save hundreds on airfare, you can better afford to travel longer or don't need to save as much for your adventure. ​Search at least a few sites to make sure you are getting the best deal possible: Kayak, Cheapoair and Skyscanner are a few of my favorites. I book through budget airlines whenever possible. Better yet, use airline miles to get a free ticket where you only pay the taxes. There are many Airline credit card deals that gift you enough miles to get  a free ticket!

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7. Know roughly how much money you will need. Most people think it takes tens of thousands of dollars or you have to be a millionaire to travel; both incorrect. Perhaps this is why many people feel traveling is financially out of reach. Hopefully this blog will persuade them otherwise. Think a trip to Europe is out of reach? What if the ticket only cost you $198 Round trip from Boston to Dublin or just over $100 round trip to the Caribbean or Central/South America.  Still sound unaffordable? I did my first Round-the-World trip for under $8,000 and numerous shorter international trips for less than $1,000! Flights, transportation, food and all expenses included- You can too.

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​8. Get out of your comfort zone. I'm not talking about buying the cheapest airfare you can find to a war zone, but be open to explore new cultures, countries and experiences, even if you don't know the language. It's surprising how you will learn various words when necessary or be helped by complete strangers with translations when they see you are having difficulty. Central or South American destinations can be very affordable places to travel from the US and often have great deals through Spirit and other airlines.

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​9. Keep an open mind.  While you might not like the idea of eating dog, horse, chicken feet, bugs or sea turtles; there are places people do.  These might be destinations you initially choose to avoid after doing your research (Horse meat is commonly eaten in Europe by the way) or you can try to see the world from others' perspective. Food is an easy example of cultural differences, but there are many, many more; even between various English-speaking countries. Getting a global perspective can take quite a few trips, but being respectful of others can be practiced right away and is universally well-received.

10. Buy your ticket in advance and go! Get that great deal through a budget airline (even if you have to buy another ticket to a city they fly from) or by using airline miles if you were able take advantage of airline-promoted credit card  deals like United Airlines offering 70k airline miles! Use the time before your flight to keep excited and save even more for your travel. Maybe you will even have some 'travel funds' left over to start planning your next adventure as soon as you return.


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Just get out there! Build up your savings and confidence to buy the ticket. Do your homework so you know roughly how much the trip will cost, how long you can stay and keep airfare costs down. Reading up on your destination will make you more knowledgeable and prepared to explore the world. You will probably feel a mix of emotions when booking your ticket; mostly excitement. It's amazing how motivated a future trip can keep you when your flight is already booked.  My best advice is to use these tips to just get out there and experience the world.


You are the only person that can make your travel dreams come true!