I did something pretty wild, guys. Even for me. Maybe it was the long workweek that triggered my move. Maybe it was my potential quarter life crisis. Hell, maybe it was what I ate for lunch. Whatever “it” was, I truly couldn’t appreciate it more. Because of my impulsive mouse click, I’m officially taking my first solo vacation. In just a few short months, I’ll be traveling to Cancun, Mexico…on a budget!
We’re excited to introduce our gal Jordania from www.ohlordyjordy.blog who has guest posted for us this week!
As excited as I am, the idea can also be pretty overwhelming. Not only will I be going to a foreign country alone for the first time, but as a Millennial who supports myself on an entry-level salary, let’s just say my budget is pretty tight.
I’m a fanatic when it comes to travel blogs so naturally I’ve read repetitive content on how traveling can be accomplished with minimal money. My skepticism instinctively kicks in every time, which is why I finally decided to just take my own stab at it. I was – and still am – shocked when I found out these travel bloggers aren’t lying!
So you’re thinking less talk, more numbers, right? Here it is: after booking my flight, a four night stay and five days of breakfast and dinner, the amount spent so far is….$377 USD. And that’s no typo.
I encourage every twenty something to travel as much as possible, while you have the time, energy and drive. That’s why I’m willing to expose my secrets to traveling on a small budget. Here are five ways you can save money on your next solo adventure and still have fun!
#1 Keep an Open Mind
Ideally, people want to travel to a far away destination, perhaps on the other side of the world. But for a budget-friendly trip, this is simply unrealistic. Undoubtedly, airfare is where the bulk of your budget goes. Try and base your destination off your current location for cheaper flights. While I would love to go sightseeing in Europe, a $1200 flight is impractical. Instead, I picked somewhere closer that’s still a desirable vacation spot. I assure you, I will have just as much fun as I would across the globe!
To find the cheapest available airfare tickets, use flight-finder sites like my personal favourite, SkyScanner. Just enter departure and arrival cities as well as potential dates and available flights from all airlines will be sorted by lowest price for you.
#2 Stay at a Hostel
The word “hostel” has such a negative connotation to it. This is unfortunate because hostels have an incredible amount of benefits. For one, price. While you may have to share your space, at $17 a night, can you really complain? Most hostels also offer breakfast, and some even provide dinner. Um, free food? You know I’m there.
Additionally, if you’re traveling alone, hostels are one of the best – if not the best – places to make friends and adopt new travel buddies. They have common areas and some have their own bars. I’m telling you, hostels are basically a solo traveler’s dream.
#3 Wait to Book Excursions
It’s difficult to hold back from booking your activities in advance, out of excitement and eagerness. While you may find what you think is a screaming deal, try and repress from reserving adventures online. Check to see if your hotel or hostel provides discounts. A lot of places get exclusive rates with the local companies. And don’t forget to brush up on your negotiation skills if you’re planning on spontaneously signing up for excursions on the spot.
Of course, there’s always the option of sitting out on paid outings and paving your own path to exploration. The beach is its own voyage and it’s free! You could also do city exploring and window-shopping to save a buck.
#4 Start the Envelope Method
This is a money-saving technique I learned from Grandma. Literally. Treat your vacation money as if they’re “real” bills. Depending on your budget and amount of time you have until your departure, set a predetermined amount to pull cash out of each check. You can do this for multiple categories too! For example, I currently have four envelopes going – three of them are for upcoming trips and another is for general savings. Put cash into the designated envelope and try and forget that it exists until you leave for your best vacation yet!
#5 Be a Smart Shopper
If you’re the type of person who absolutely needs to go shopping before a vacation, do it wisely. First, scope your closet to see what you have. As much as you may want to go on a shopping spree for this exciting occasion, chances are you don’t really need to. If for some reason you need an updated summer look, thrift stores are your best friends. Take clothes to stores that buy and sell clothes so you can do a trade-in, rather than spend money.
But Most Importantly
If you’ve worked up the courage to book a solo trip, allow me to applaud you. I know the unknown can be scary, but I’m a firm believer in reaching outside your comfort zone for an ever-growing mindset. Be ecstatic, relax and have the time of your life – we got this!
By day, Jordania is a Marketing and Social Media Coordinator. By nights and weekends, she is a Travel and Lifestyle Blogger at www.ohlordyjordy.blog. Jordania hopes to inspire other Millennials to follow their passions and take the road less traveled. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas but is from Mesa, Arizona.
Do you love her as much as we do? Make sure you follow this lovely lady! Instagram: @jordania.nelson