Adventure · Travel

How to be a thrifty traveler

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Chihuly Glass Gardens, Seattle WA. Emmalee Mason, 2017.

 

I’ve met a lot of people who think if you travel a lot you must be swimming in cash and extra time, but this certainly isn’t the case in my experience.

I recently spoke to an old friend who traveled to Dublin Ireland from Colorado Springs for $200 round trip. I was shocked to hear this because just a few months ago I paid almost $300 just to go from Denver to Las Vegas (a terrible deal. If you go at the right time you can get round trip for $80).

So how did my friend get tickets to fly oversees for dirt cheap? Kayak.com during black Friday is the secret reveal for that swipe.

Traveling on a budget does require some research and flexibility – and sometimes you have to be willing to drop certain things.

For example, when I went to Seattle I spent an unholy amount of money on seeing the space needle and going to Chihuly glass gardens, but this was something in my mind that I absolutely needed to do, so I made time for it. I’ll almost always save expenses for visiting big attractions or going on a tour that covers a wide area. I make up for this by mainly eating snacks throughout the day and not a lot of huge meals.

In my mind seeing the local attractions and hidden spots are much more important than local food – I know a lot of people who are the opposite.

Financially restricted travels always flows smoother if you plan your time ahead. That way you aren’t stuck in an unfamiliar city with no idea what to do because you’ve run out of money. I get being spontaneous and finding local spots when you talk to people, but leaving your entire trip unplanned is a great way to spontaneously spend a lot of cash.

Whenever I speak to anyone visiting Colorado Springs who is unsure of what to do, I always recommend taking a jeep tour on their first day. That was they get a good overview of the historic locations, history of the town, and get to see Garden of the Gods all in a few hours. Then from here they can take things they learned about in their tour (from their local guide) and fill the rest of the day walking around town, going to museums, shops, or getting great local food.

If you are lucky enough to have a non-financially restricted vacation then hey, ever been on a balloon flight?

~Firefly

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