We all have a dream destination. It could be Iceland for the best views of the Northern Lights, or Tahiti for its solitude and pristine beaches. We also usually have that one tiny hurdle — our funds.
This isn't a new challenge, there are a lot of people who used to have that problem. But after years of traveling, they've discovered that you don’t have to be rich to travel around the world. All it takes are a few simple strategies to help them reach their dream destination.
Here are a few of those strategies that will help you do the same.
1. Set a Goal
Simple, isn’t it? It's something we hear all the time, yet few of us do. But saying I want to go to the Bahamas is different from I will go to the Bahamas on my 35th birthday. You can’t start a good plan if you don’t have a firm goal. Write it down, make it your desktop wallpaper, and make sure you're always reminded of your goal. Then start planning. An excellent planning we recommend for planning is Trello or Remember the Milk.
2. Maximize your credit cards.
You know you can earn points through your credit cards, but do you know how much? If you use them wisely, you can earn enough points or frequent flyer miles in just a few days, without even getting on a plane.
It’s all about getting the right card and knowing its details. Many experienced travelers use this simple trick to get 100% free flights and discounts on hotel rooms. Renowned travel blogger Matthew Kepnes’ book The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking includes a very detailed guide that can help you save thousands of dollars. Also, if you're based in Canada, CreditCardGenuis.ca will do all the work for you in finding the best card.
3. Find Error Fares
Airlines and hotels often make errors in their listings, but they usually notice this immediately. If you find one that you like, book it right away. Companies honor error fares 90% off the time because they know it’s better than receiving a bad customer review.
For reference, I found a round-trip airfare from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii for only $294 on Hack the Flight . Its current cheapest rate at Skyscanner is $680. Not bad, right? Other websites you can check are Holiday Pirates and Secret Flying.
4. Rent a Return Flight
For security, most airlines will ask for a return ticket before allowing you board the plane. By using FlyOnwards, you can rent a return or onward ticket for 48 hours. This allows you to take the flight hassle-free and enjoy your vacation without a looming deadline.
5. Create a Budget and Save for It
When on your dream vacation, it's fun to splurge on unique cuisine and sight see as you much as you can. Research and map out your potential daily spending while traveling, and then create a budget for it.
Be proactive in saving money. Stick to necessary items when at retail stores, literally stop buying new clothes and shoes. You’ll also be surprised at the small fortune you have in your home when you start selling things you don’t need. Use eBay, Craigslist, or have a garage sale. Your savings will dramatically improve.
Travel hacking requires patience and perseverance, but so do all great things. If you’re still reading up to this point, start today. It should get easier after you take that first step.
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