Dominican Republic

One of the most common questions I receive is, “how are you able to travel so much?” For today’s post, I wanted to share some of my tips & tricks. Let’s be real – I wouldn’t label myself as someone who has a ton of money and I get around 12 days off a year + plus holidays. I’m pretty much your average mid-20-something-year-old. I just like to think I travel smart – and so can you!

Here are a few of my tricks on how I’m able to plan more than 10 trips in one-year by traveling on a budget.

How to Travel on a Budget

Find Opportunities to Travel for Work
One of the many things I love about my job is that I am offered opportunities to travel. Not only does our company have a yearly cruise to the Bahamas but I’m also able to travel for my clients, which means it’s not coming out of my personal budget.

If you’re looking for a new job, one of the first questions I would ask is if the company has any allowances for travel. Don’t be afraid to tell your supervisor you’re interested in any opportunities for travel – you’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Insider Tip: Take some initiative and find a professional conference that you want to go to that you can tie back to your job. Ask your boss if the company will sponsor you to go and then you can come back and teach a session of everything you learned with your peers!

There’s no reason why you need to stay in an expensive resort when you travel. I’m a huge fan of Airbnb. Not only do they offer really unique places to stay, but a lot of hotels actually list their availabilities on the site. My hotel for Costa Rica (pictured below) was listed on Airbnb and I only paid about $45 a night. Split with my roommate that’s a little over $20 a person!

Airbnb Costa Rica

Insider Tip: Book your trips around a holiday weekend so you use less PTO days. I always print my company’s holiday schedule at the beginning of the year and then plan my trips around it.

Credit Card Points
At any given time, I have about two credit cards. Credit cards can be great for building credit and many have benefits specifically for travel enthusiasts. I was approved for the Chase Sapphire credit card about two years ago when they were running a promotion that if you spent $4,000 within the first 3 months you would receive 50,000 bonus points. It was a great starter card and helped me cover multiple flights that year. Recently, I upgraded to the Chase Reserve credit card when they were doing a similar promotion for 100,000 points! I try to put most of my purchases on this card so most of my flights throughout the year I’m able to cover with points.

Insider Tip: Make sure you’re applying for these cards when they have a promotion going on for extra points. I highly recommend following The Points Guy – he’s a great resource for which cards to get.

When in Doubt, Book It!
To some, traveling seems like a lot of planning and work. Well, it doesn’t have to be! Start small. I recommend just booking the flight and then a few weeks later looking into the accommodations and things to do. There’s no reason you need to stress yourself out all in a one day trying to book everything. Sometimes the best trips are the ones that have little planning.

Insider Tip: It helps to have a ride-or-die friend when it comes to traveling. I’m lucky enough to have a roommate that when I ask her about booking a trip she impulsively says yes and then 5 minutes later it’s booked. So my challenge to you is to find the Christina to your Meredith.