Traveling is an investment — there’s no doubt. From the airfare and travel insurance to lodging and shopping, the costs add up.
But as a millennial traveler, we know you have good some money-saving tips up your sleeves. That’s why we asked other millennial travelers like you share their best budgeting advice for traveling.
Here’s what your fellow globetrotters had to say.
1. SIGN UP FOR HIGH-POINT TRAVEL CARDS
Rack up those points and use them for airline miles with high-point travel cards, like Chase Sapphire, the United MileagePlus card, or the American Express Platinum Card. With many of these cards, you’ll get an intro deal of 30,000 points, just for signing up.
Couple Laura and Alex Pytlarz use their points for every trip. “You get to double dip on travel points and for Chase partners. You can move your points/miles around between systems to pay for other flights. I love The Points Guy for a lot of tips on using our cards to get us free points/miles!”
2. DOWNLOAD HAPPY HOUR APPS
One of the easiest places to save money is at restaurants and bars. In many countries, like Iceland, alcoholic beverages are expensive. Drew Elsey recommends checking the App Store for happy hour apps in the city you are visiting to find drink specials.
“Research the city before you arrive and download apps to find happy hours, live music, and places with free Wifi. I’ve used Appy Hour in Iceland and The Happiest Hour in Sydney. They’re usually free and help you find inexpensive drinks and local spots you never would have visited otherwise!”
3. FIND BALANCE WHEN SPENDING
Lindsey Ratcliff, who spent more than three months jet setting across the globe, said it’s all about balance.
“I might balance a meal at a top-rated restaurant or spa day by doing a "free" day, such as picking up groceries at the market, going on a free walking tour, strolling through a neighborhood and only window shopping. Splurge on the items that are really meaningful to you and cut back on others.”
She also recommends making friends with the hotel staff because they can help get you the best deals.
4. SIGN UP FOR AIRFARE ALERTS & DEALS
“I’ve also started getting serious about airplane loyalty programs. I used to just go for the cheapest flight, but now I only do that if it’s significantly cheaper than my primary airline. Miles rack up quickly — I’ve used award miles on more flights than I can remember.”
5. ALWAYS PACK LIGHT
Ash Godfrey, a fashion blogger, is also an expert packer. Whether you dress for fashion or function, know that baggage fees can quickly get out of hand. It’s critical you pack only the essentials, and mix and match outfits. But packing light doesn’t mean you to have to sacrifice style.
“When packing for a long trip, I make sure to map out all of my outfits beforehand. I create a note in my phone and think of outfits as I go. When it comes time to pack, you know exactly what to take, and there is no last-minute rush! Try to create outfits around the (comfortable) shoes you plan on taking. Even though I’m a blogger, I still only max my shoe packing to three pairs. Shoes weigh down your luggage and take up a lot of space. This hack will help you save room for more clothes and those awesome souvenirs you will be bring home.”
Ash also recommends women put their accessories in their carry-on so you can help prevent them from breaking and getting tangled. You can also avoid that extra 5 pounds in your luggage!
6. TAKE YOUR FLIGHT AT A TERRIBLE TIME
This may sound crazy, but Lindzee swears by it.
“It’s not ideal, but better to spend your money on experiences while you’re there than on an airplane seat!”
Looking for another way to save for that dream trip? Get $200 off your first group trip with WanderList Tours!