& We're Off

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Start calling me Carmen Sandiego, because I'm always on the go nowadays. (Except I'm not a thief.)

It all started with a trip to Spain at 17 (which was a gift from my parents, and the only trip they ever paid for.) After that, I knew I needed to see the rest of the world.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again- fashion does NOT pay. But I've always been determined to make it work on my salary. Coming from someone that has gone to a new country almost every year (and next week I'll have seen 2/5 new countries during 2022), here are my tips:


There's more than one reason for this: tickets are dramatically cheaper because less people are traveling, and there's way less people in your country of destination. As an introvert on a budget, this really works for me. Also, if you are one of those people trying to do it for the gram, there's less people in the background of your pics. Ya welcome.


Realistically speaking- absolutely nobody goes on vacation to sleep. NOBODY. So why spend an upwards of $300 a night when you can spend as low as $20 a night. Plus, this is a really great way to experience the culture by meeting the locals that will work there, as well as meeting other travelers. Hostels really add to the traveling experience! But, you will be sharing a room dorm styled with about 8-10 other people. They do have options for private rooms as well.

This def isn't for everyone, so noted if you want to skip this and go for an airbnb situation.


I personally have NEVER booked a flight directly through an airline. Ever. Try Cheap o Air, and Skyscanner- I've found my best deals on these sites, and have saved so much on airfare. (Which means that I can spend more on food and entertainment.) Sometimes sites like this will charge some sort of agency fee, and in this case, I will check to see rates on other sites for the same date and time- to see which will be the lowest.

4. Don't bring more than you need to

You do get charged for checking bags. I usually only ever bring a personal item and a carry on. It saves time at the airport- and I don't have to live in fear of all my favorite items getting lost. I couldn't possibly imagine a more nerve-wracking situation than arriving somewhere and having no clothes (my favorite pieces have too much sentimental value to be replaced.) Pack light- you don't need a completely new outfit or an outfit change for everyday.

5. After booking, start mapping out your trip

I make a mock itinerary for every place I go to. So in advance I get a good idea of how much spending money to bring, and can estimate how much the total trip will cost. Public trans and walking will always be the most pocket-friendly options, but sometimes Uber anywhere else than NYC is sooooo shockingly affordable.

I've traveled to the following countries below directly from JFK, and this was how much I paid roundtrip for each:

New Zealand $1,300 (I've been twice and it's never been under a grand)

Aruba $500 (last minute during December)

Italy $480 (traveled in January- it was helllla cold)

UK $400ish (traveled in November, brick city but bearable)

Netherlands $400 (Traveled in early January- it was cold)

Mexico $330 (Traveled late August)

Portugal $380 (Traveled in early February- weather was perfect- never needed a coat)

Thailand $500 (Traveled during Songkran in April- SUCH AN EXPERIENCE! It was hellllllla hot)

(There is more to the list but I'm not trying to bore anybody.)

And as of tomorrow, I'll be going to El Salvador for $180. This is the lowest ever!!!! (It's also expected to be 90 degree's there this week!)

So there you have it :)

Traveling is often said to be really expensive, but is it? Or are your spending habits the real issue? Just something to think about...

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