How to Save Money

Of course traveling is expensive and typically you never think that you’ll end up spending as much as you do. Time and time again it seems that we all go way over our budget when planning and executing vacations.

I think the hardest part is figuring out how much money that you need to save. Because like I said earlier… you never think it’s going to be a lot until it’s too late. I would say to always save more than you think that you need. A savings plan is always beneficial for any life scenario but it’s especially useful for travelers. Saving before your trip allows for you to take bits and pieces of money and stock it away for safe keeping and still be able to pay your bills. I think saving for a trip is exciting, it gives you something to look forward to and it’s extremely rewarding saving your own money and buying your own trip from it.

There are typically 5 basic steps for this article that readers need to take away..

  1. Assessment
  2. Setting Goals
  3. Creating a Plan
  4. Implementation
  5.  Monitoring and Reassessment

Assessment is key because you need to be realistic. Can you actually afford this or are your dreams a little to big? To make things easier you can look over your income and start a budget. Use an excel spreadsheet. Write it in your journal or on a piece of paper for the month. Budget out what you need like food, rent, your car payment, etc. Then of course budget out things like a night out with friends or a new shirt. Dine in, trust me it is cheaper. But set a specific number amount so you can’t go over it. Then what is ever left put it in your savings account. To make it even better start a savings account where you can’t touch the money unless you physically go into the bank. That was my biggest problem when trying to save, I would dig into it here and there because it was so easy to go online and transfer it to my checking account.

You guys might think this is crazy but starting a change jar will end up surprising you. I know there is some loose change in your pockets or cup holders or in the dryer.. put them in the jar. It doesn’t look like it’s a lot of money but over time, it adds up significantly. Find a local second hand store near you that lets you sell your items for money. Donate blood or plasma. Get a side job for the weekends. Create a Go-Fund me account. The possibilities are endless. It will take time but if you start early enough and plan ahead it won’t seem like it’s that long. But if you wait last minutes to book a trip coming up with the money quickly will be difficult.

Creating a plan and sticking to it is what will be the most helpful for saving money for your trip. If you create a plan, sticking to it is the easy part. After the first couple months it becomes a habit. If you love to travel you will find a way to save, no matter what it takes. It’s hard but in the end… it’s worth it.

Travel Agents

Do any of you still know about these people and what they do? I hope that you do. I honestly think these people are honestly the best and I wish that they were still useful and people used them more. With my experience with travel agents, I encountered nothing but the best. I always think that they have access to sources that we at home do not. Because how do they find such good deals?

Now a days though travel agents are hardly used. With today’s technology everything is 10x easier. You can book your vacation online by booking directly from hotels and airline companies. Travel blogs like ‘Nomadic Matt’ and other websites that provide good deals for the customer are taking over travel agents.

In a recent Huffington Post article it states that even in today’s world it is still extremely beneficial to organize your vacation through a travel agent or travel agency.

International travel especially is extremely important to stay organized and a travel agent can help you with just that. They take into consideration your budget and the dates that you are wanting to travel and they take your travel wishes seriously and do all legwork. As the traveler, travel agents provide a sense of security and ease your travel worries. Not only that, but they give you advice about where you’re about to travel. This is their job so they know what they’re talking about. It’s legit.

In the traveling world, the question of “is a travel agent worth it?” is a big controversy. They come with a lot of myths. “Travel Agents are for non frequent travelers”. That is so not true. I am a frequent traveler and I go through a travel agent EVERY TIME I go international. I’m telling you right now if you are planning to go on a cruise, go through a travel agency. They have connections with cruise lines and they get deals that an average person wouldn’t find on the internet. It’s just like that. They have connections and they are there to find you the best deal.

I know a lot of you think that you can book a trip on your own, yes that is true. But, travel agents are there to help you. They are there to do all the work and are there if anything goes wrong. They do the complex stuff. Travel agents are on the rise again with the millennial generation. And, I couldn’t be more happy. Being a travel agent would be my dream job… making people happy through travel.

Planning Lodging for a Tropical Vacation

So, I want to tell you guys about some good ideas for going on a tropical vacation. Since, if many of you read my blogs you know that the tropical route is my cup of tea.

I mean, planning a vacation is tricky and there a lot of things you need to do before you can just hop on a plane and take off. There is the airfare, transportation, food, lodging, etc. I think one of the most stressful parts is figuring out where to stay and what a good bang for buck would be.

I am a huge advocate of all-inclusive hotels! Trust me, they will honestly change your life. You get the best of the best where ever you go. However, everything is already paid for in advance. Food, lodging, airfare, transportation, etc! You get all you can eat food and drinks 24/7 because it’s free…. well… technically you paid for it. Let me tell you, it is a weird feeling eating at a restaurant and getting up and leaving without paying or leaving a tip. It makes your vacation a lot more enjoyable and laid back because you don’t need to worry about money and how much to save for the rest of your trip. All-inclusive resorts are extremely affordable as well! When we went to Mexico for a week it was $1,200 a person… and when you really think about it, it is a great deal.

All-inclusive resorts are honestly the best. I mean look at that! You get gorgeous views, unlimited access to the pools and beaches, and you’re basically stuck on your very own tropical island. It really doesn’t get much better then this. Don’t even get me started on all the accommodations that come with an all-inclusive resort.

Another way to go is renting a home or condo through someone at your destination. There are a lot of great apps and websites like AirBnb, VRBO, and many more! I have never done this before so I can’t talk much about it but I think they would be great. I’m not sure if I would like them parse because I like having people to interact with and having things to do and I think you would be very limited at a vacation rental. However, they would be very spacious and nice for a big group of vacationers.

GO ALL-INCLUSIVE GUYS!!! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

The Cheapest Day’s to Fly for Summer 2017

For many of you.. I am sure you are all looking forward to the warm summer days. I mean who doesn’t? I am also sure a lot of you reading this post are interested in going somewhere for vacation during the summer before you go back to work or school.

Of course the beating question in every travelers mind is the cost of airfare and if they will be able to afford it or not. I know that is the problem in my household. I mean, it’s only my mom and dad and I. Nonetheless, those dollar signs add up pretty quickly and as we all know that the airline companies will do whatever it takes to take your money.

Recently, I did some research about when would be the best time to fly this summer and I found some interesting information that I am excited to share with all of you. I found this website called, “Conde Nast Traveler“.  This website is for all of you traveling guru’s! It interested me but I don’t have a lot of time to dig deep into it because I have so much going on. So, if any of you guys have time take a look at it and tell me what you guys think.

According to CheapAir CEO Jeff Klee, the cheapest day to fly during summer 2017 is June 6th. Where as the most expensive day to fly for the summer of 2017 is July 9th.

If July was the month you were planning to take some time off, then book a flight on the 4th because it is actually the least expensive day to travel during during that month.

Like I said in my latest blog post, booking a flight on a Holiday actually saves you money?! I would have never guessed that.

So if you’re planning to travel during this upcoming summer remember:

-June 6th = the cheapest day to fly

-July 9th = the most expensive day to fly

-Book 2 one way tickets

-Flying out on a Holiday will save you money

– Look up individual tickets for the passengers instead of all together

Okay, there are a few tips from me!! Ready. Set. GO!!!! Go book your dream vacation (just not on July 9th)!!!!!

I have no idea where this is but, I would do anything to be on that lounge chair right now.

The Cheapest Way to Fly

So, it is currently 7:07 AM on a Monday morning and I am drinking some raspberry hibiscus tea and I should really be getting ready for school… however, that is not what I am doing as you can see.

I was eating breakfast and talking with my mom about why we can’t get a hold of an actual person at the Spirit Airlines call desk to book our free round trip ticket to WHERE EVER Spirit flies… We are getting so frustrated and then the question came up, “I wonder what the cheapest days and ways to fly are?” and then a light bulb went off in my head and I was like YES!! perfect for my next blog post. We are getting very fed up because we can’t even book the free flight so at this point, I am ready to just give up these tickets and book something cheap to where we wanted to go.

As I get on my handy dandy laptop I look up “cheap flights”. Of course the typical websites like Kayak and Expedia pop up. I scroll through all those because that is NOT what I am looking for. Here I am getting mad at something that isn’t real…. again. I stumble across Travel Zoo, I have never heard of this website. Let me just tell you, after reading this article I am ready to work at Travel Zoo. These people get paid to write about travel, and this particle article is about the Do’s and Don’ts of flying.

The things that shocked me the most??

The Do’s:

-If you’re traveling with more people only search for a ticket one at a time

They jack up the prices if you put “2 passengers” in when you first search.. did not know that.

-Airlines launch their sales midweek

-Searching for 2 one-way fares may end up saving you some big bucks.

I would have never thought of that one. Especially if you’re booking with two different airline companies.

-Booking on a Holiday would actually save you money

I always thought that flying out on the actually Holiday would be 1) crazy expensive and 2) super busy… I guess I was wrong!!

Spirit Airlines

What it is REALLY like to fly with Spirit…..

Sooooo, guys I found this amazing BuzzFeed article on what it is really like to fly with Spirit airlines and it hit the nail on the head for what my experiences were like when I flew alone for the first time when I decided to fly through Spirit.

Of course I decided to go somewhere for spring break extremely last minute. So I did some digging for the cheapest airfare to Denver on Expedia, Cheap Flights, and Kayak. I have always heard about Spirit but have never flown with them before. A round trip ticket from O’Hare to Denver International airport was only $100 for a week! CHEAP AS HECK! I BOOKED IT RIGHT AWAY…. of course without reading the small fine print.

I had a delay of three hours at O’Hare waiting to fly to Denver. The thing was, they didn’t have a plane for us. WHAT AIRLINE COMPANY OR AIRPORT DOESN’T HAVE AN AIRPLANE? so, they stopped an airplane in mid air flying from Tampa to Salt Lake in Chicago. They put all of us heading to Denver on this plane and made all the people heading to Utah wait until the next available plane was ready. (if I was on that plane to Utah I would be extremely p’d off). Then they charge you $100 dollars for your checked bags IF you check them in at the desk when you’re checking in. AND, they make you pay for a carry-on. They allow you to have a personal item but it has to be of a certain size and if the flight attendants don’t approve of it they can make you take it off and pay for it as a carry-on. Also, if you don’t print your boarding pass at home they will charge you an additional $10. LUCKILY, the day before leaving my mom checked my itinerary online and read the small print and freaked out and Face-timed me right away saying, “YOU BETTER PAY FOR YOUR BAGS RIGHT NOW OR YOU WILL PAY 100 DOLLARS AT THE DESK”. I freaked out because my shopaholic self only had maybe 20 dollars left in my account. So, my mom put $50 dollars in my account and I paid online and my checked bag was only $40 dollars instead of $100.

My last and not so fun experience with Spirit was that I was suppose to leave on a Thursday and when I got to the check in desk the man behind the counter said that they didn’t have a seat for me and that they are only allowing passengers who have a connecting flight at O’Hare to board. So, I was stuck in Denver for another night and would be able to fly out the next day. Spirit didn’t even email me to say that I didn’t have a seat or that my flight was delayed. However, they did give me two free round trip tickets to wherever Spirit flies. The plane was very nice and clean but you pay a little amount for the ticket but an absurd amount for everything else. I will definitely pay the extra money for a nicer and more reliable airline company. I MAY be able to put up with Spirit one last time for my free tickets since I do love to travel, WHERE WILL I GO?!?!?