Traveling the inexpensive way, your way.
Adults commonly advise against settling too soon, “See the world, travel, experience and find yourself.” Here we are loving and enjoying one another. Here we are living and soaking in their expertise. As simple and uncomplicated as removing bills and obligations seems, the majority of us never truly free ourselves from responsibilities. Responsibility is a part of life and gives light to our character. Rather than fighting it, we embrace it and appreciate the vacation as the holiday away.
How do we afford to travel?
Despite exceptional incomes, planning finances for vacation can be extremely over whelming for everyone. Our truest and most honest answer to glamorous affordability: Sacrifice.
Adventuring (in our opinion) is not the cookie-cutter, time enhanced itineraries accustomed to showers, readiness, running around, late arrivals, dinner reservations and missed cabs. We trash the materialistic and replace it with passion and simplicity. While comfort is important, lenience and optimism may be the most beneficial mindset for inexpensive travels. Baring the sacrifices is simple and certainly forces your innovation and creativity.
In all sincerity, here is how.
1. Don’t Sleep in Hotels.
I can undoubtedly say, the finest memories of my life started by waking up to sunrise, seats down in an Outback, laying on a blow up mattress with the love of my life. We pee in the trees, brush our teeth with little water, use head lamps for light and eat meals on the ground.
Drew and I rarely reserve overnight rooms. For most people, hotels are an every occasion purchase at $60-$150 for one night. Where there’s trees, we prefer hammocks. Level, secluded grounds calls for the tent. When it’s nippy, we prefer the Outback. We invested a whole $7 into an 8″ twin blow-up air mattress from Walmart and it just may have been the best $7 we’ve ever spent.
The sacrifice: Giving up a queen size bed for a twin and peeing outside. Savings for 7 nights: $630 (Base averaging $90 per night).
Other options! Hostels are available in most cities averaging anywhere from $15-$50 per night. We recommend researching the hostel’s amenities, services and location prior to booking.
COUCHSURFING.COM. This organization was created in hopes to reinforce relationships of each culture around the world. Hosts provide complementary stay and often times provide meals. Download the couch surfing app and create an attractive profile to link up with other travelers and meet hosts. Hosts are available in regions all over the world. Choose your preferred stay based on their profile’s references and reviews. We recommend favoring a host with multiple high scoring reviews.
2. Transportation: Aircraft and Vehicle
Pilots are plentiful and extremely appreciated on my father’s side of the family. If your travels exceed 700 miles, consider flying. Drew and I have connection potentials with Alaska/Horizon air, Allegiant and Delta airlines. Pilots receive excellent aviation benefits, no surprise. Get the hookup from your family and fly standby (buddy pass). I have flown $30 per person on standby multiple times. Traveling using this strategy provides the opportunity to fill open, non-booked seats on the aircraft.
SKYMILES. Look into sky miles if you looking to be a frequent flier. We have flown free on multiple occasions using sky smiles through Delta.
The sacrifice: Seats are not guaranteed when flying standby. Savings: $390 per person (Base averaging US flight Round trip per person $450)
Flying long distance is remarkably convenient, especially with the ability to take advantage of the buddy pass. However, if travels don’t exceed 700 miles, reconsider ground transportation. Invite close friends to split fuel expenses. Driving with your adventuring sidekick is twice the experience of flying. Start with never ending conversations, then throwing back to *NSYNC, Akon and T-pain to find yourself silenced by jaw-dropping scenery. Road trip memories will be permanent enough to share stories over a life time.
Sacrifice: Sore backs and no free pretzels while flying. Savings: Standard flight pricing.
Seven nights in a car without a shower? Five days in back country without a shower? Hiking is our expertise, but we have a slight pride barrier and can’t be completely disgusting. The alternative to healthy and proper hygiene of the shower is the intimate wipes. Intimate wipes are adult baby wipes for use with under arms and intimate areas.
LADIES- We can’t sugar coat this. Hair will be inevitably crazy, greasy and tangled after a few days. I prefer to keep my hair in braids to best prevent tangles in hopes to look presentable for the photos. Less secure and more concerned, there was a time when dry shampoo was always travel-sized and handy.
The sacrifice: Giving up warm shower. Savings $630 (same as hotel).
4. Don’t Feast at Restaurants
Shop at the grocery store! Drew and I survived an entire week off of PB&Js, trail mix, fruits and veggies. Great adventure seekers need efficient body fueling for hiking. Heavier and hearty meals packed with protein and essentials are important for energy and hydration. We invested $10 into a portable stove by Etekcity and frequently use it for hot meals. You can purchase high quality, fire resistant pots at REI or purchase used pots from the second hand store for $1. Our hot meals include soup, spaghetti, egg scrambles, alfredo pasta and numerous dehydrated meal recipes.
The sacrifice: No crème brulee at the restaurant. Savings: $210 per person (Base averaging 3 meals a day, $10 meals, 1 person for 7 days).
5. No Souvenirs
Drew and I prefer post cards! Bring back a treasure of the past and send a post card with some lovin’ to your peeps back home. Grab a glowing seashell or a couple unique rocks if you insist. Rather than purchasing the tacky and expensive gifts, bring home the memories and photos to share. Memories last a lifetime and are far more precious than any over priced piece of junk. After all, your vacation was for you. Savings vary!
6. Free Activities
Being outside with the opportunity to experience nature is completely complementary. Go challenge yourself to summit a mountain and stand on its tallest peak. Go on a multiple day backpacking trip and jump in a glacial lake.
If you are anything like us, we love our country’s national parks. Invest in the annual, nationwide National Park pass.
Save your money for one expensive event of your choice.
The sacrifice: Using your head for creativity. Savings: $75 (Base average $75 for 1 person at any event)
We have met a ridiculous amount of wonderfully unique friends through Instagram. Whether linking up to explore, soaking in their local expertise or collecting personal opinions, it ALL is within your benefit and best interest to develop relationships with the locals. Our friendships all over the country/world come in handy and are extremely convenient for an enjoyable and free place to crash for a night or two.
No secrets, simply sacrificing your comfort.
We aren’t completely stingy. We’ve ate fancy once or twice, stayed in hotels, took hot showers, brought home gifts, flown full price and been to incredible events and shows. Those activities were only available to us because we saved a tremendous amount in our alternatives.