I know what you’re thinking: “How am I going to travel internationally for under $1,000?” Listen, I know it sounds crazy and downright unattainable, but if you stick with me for a little bit; I’ll tell you exactly what I did to make it happen for myself.
Ahhh the place where many of our travel dreams start and end. Airfare. Booking flights can be overwhelming whether you are a frequent flyer or have never flown in your life. My first tip is to stay open minded. What does that mean exactly?
Well, start by writing down around five destinations you would be interested in going to. Then, if you have only a certain period of time that you are able to travel, like for a holiday or during a school break, put those down too.
Next, download a flight watch app. My personal favorites are Hopper, Expedia, and Kayak. In these apps, you have the option to save your flight searches and will get notifications when prices go up or down. Start a flight watch for all of your possible destinations and time frames. Then be patient and wait. When a great deal pops up, be ready to book your flight!
The best way to insure that you will get the best deals on your flights, is to start these watches about 6-8 months out from your desired travel time. This is the sweet spot for when flights are at their lowest.
Where to Stay
I am obsessed with using Airbnb! Almost anywhere you want to go in the world they will have a listing for you. I’ve used Airbnb in Iceland, Denmark, France, Germany, and here at home in the US.
The great thing about using Airbnb is that you can filter out what you are looking for in an accommodation. Do you want just a single room to sleep in? An apartment? Condo? A whole house? Whatever it may be, they will have a listing for you. You can also filter by price point, number of people, date, stay duration, etc.
I’ve gotten some great deals by booking with Airbnb. For example, once I booked an entire apartment in France for only $30 a night! Intrigued? Click Here to receive a discount code for your first Airbnb booking!
Another great option I’ve used is staying in Hostels. You may end up sleeping in a community room with bunk beds and a locker for your stuff, or you may get your own room and bathroom. It all just depends on the hostel, so make sure you look up the nitty gritty details before planning to stay at one.
The great thing about staying in a hostel is that it can range from $7 – $25 a night. If you are only looking for a place to sleep at night that isn’t glamorous, this is a great money saving option for you!
How to Get Around
Buses, Planes, and Trains, oh my!
Most major cities you may travel to offer daily, weekly, or even monthly public transportation passes for buses and/or trains. Keep in mind that every place you may travel to in the world has a different quality of public transportation.
Major cities in Europe for example, offer great transportation options with hundreds of train lines and bus routes. I have been able to get around many cities just by using those. Using the offered public transportation will save you so much money from that you may have otherwise spent on having to rent a car or order an Uber. When I was in Paris, I bought a 5 day train pass for just 37 Euros, and that’s all I paid for transportation the entire time!
In other instances, most cities in the US are so spread out that using the offered bus systems or renting a car would be your best bet. This may not be the cheapest option but it will save you time trying to get around.
Places to Eat
If you aren’t already using Yelp for restaurant recommendations, I highly recommend it when traveling abroad. There are reviews for restaurants all over the world that will give you insight for the value of the restaurant. Yelp will often have pictures of the restaurant’s food listed on a review, as well as how expensive it is.
A way I save money on food while traveling, is by trying to eat at least one cheaper meal a day. Whether that be eating a pastry from a bakery for breakfast, or swinging through a fast food place for a meal, the small ways you cut back on spending will add up quick.