Transportation, Activities, Budget: All You Need to Travel
The idea of traveling isn’t always supported by your budget. As someone who lives alone, supports themselves wholly and goes to school, I understand how hard it can be to squeeze a trip in. The best way to start is to plan Ahead. Pick a place, save the date, and build a budget. There is no particular order, just assure you hit them all to help make your trip a success.
The motivation for traveling varies. For 69% of millennials, the motivation is food. Twenty-three percent of Millennials say social media significantly influence their choice of a travel destination and 76% of them would rather spend their money on experiences than material things. Traveling can be expensive, or so you think. Since but more than 50% of millennials say cost is a barrier to leisure travel, here are a few ideas to help you with traveling on a budget.
Planes, Trains or Rental Cars?
Some people love to be behind the wheel to travel. It’s a good way to explore the cities around yours if you’re on a budget. In the Midwest, big and little cities are within hours of each other. The price you pay for an airline flight can be more expensive than round-trip gas for a car. Look into rental cars, necessary repairs on your car and check flights. Whichever option is cheaper and quickest to get done, go for it.
If flying, I plan at least two to four months in advance. This is because an airline flight can be less expensive when you buy tickets further out from your departure date. In other words, plan early for cheap tickets and airline deals. The FAA’s most recent data shows that there are 5,000 aircraft in the sky at any given moment and that 2,587,000 passengers pass through U.S. airports every single day. Since an airline flight can change prices a lot due to lots of traveling, buy the ticket first and worry about everything else later.
Why The Budget Is A Travel Must
Once you have an airline flight, create the budget. It should include everything you think you would spend money on. The budget is the financial guidance that keeps you from going broke. My typical budget for a driving trip is $200. If I’m flying, I like to have a bit more money ($400-$500) since I’ll be further away from home. Always plan a little over prices to account for fees. What this means is simple, give yourself an extra $5-$15 per event/item since prices vary from city to city. For example, a cup of coffee for me in San Diego, California was seven dollars and the one in Calgary, Alberta was four dollars. This is what it means to factor in the little things.
What if your bag is too big and must be checked? What if your flight is delayed and the rental car company closes? What if you have a mental breakdown from the long lines in Vegas? Some of these may be a bit ridiculous, but you get the point. Cover all your tracks. I have a caffeine habit, so in my budget, I account for coffee. You may be healthier, and prefer to spend your money elsewhere. Whatever those things areas, put them in the budget!
Finding Free or Cheap Events and Activities
Once you have a budget, you want to research events and activities where you’re traveling to. Narrow things down further with adding “cheap or free” to the search bar. Going to California? Try “cheap or free things to do in California” and see what you find. Starting early, a couple of months at least, also allows you to stay up-to-date on events and gives you time to find more to do.
If you don’t want to deal with research and budgets, you can wing it. The best trips are winged trips. There’s something exciting about having to figure it all out as you go. I went to Canada for a month, California for a Week and Texas for a weekend-completely unprepared. Was it the best experience ever? Yes and No. Overall, I made a trip even though I was broke and I made it back.