Every now and again, our budgets become tight and we have to find creative ways to maintain our ideals. In one of my first blogs, I looked at some very practical ways to find some savings when planning and booking your trip. Now we will look at some other options so that you can travel more for less.
- Get a Job in the Travel Industry
If you are now about to start your career or looking to switch, then choosing a job in the travel industry may work out for you if you are looking for ways to travel more for less. You don’t necessarily have to be a pilot or flight attendant, even though they are the obvious jobs that you can have to travel more. Any job with an airline or in a travel agency may give you similar perks (Heavily Discounted Travel, Buddy Passes, Overseas Marketing). Something to consider is that if you travel as part of your job, you may not have the time to travel and explore like you would on your own terms, but, you will be able to increase those welcome stamps and see a little bit of a lot of locations.
2. Travel With The School or Social Groups
The amount of savings may not exist like they used to before, but travelling in larger numbers can sometimes reduce the overall cost of travelling through discounts on hotel accommodation and ground transportation. If schools or groups have built a long lasting relationship, some special offers may be extended to them and may subsequently passed on to you. I haven’t proven that a discount may be offered for bulk airline tickets but you can be sure to check with your local travel agent or preferred airline directly.
3. Built Into School Programme
If you are looking for your next academic programme, find one that includes a site visit or internship in another country. I did this in my Master’s Programme and was able to visit multiple locations in Cyprus. I am not sure that I had even known about Cyprus before, so it was not a destination that I had on my radar or bucket list. Of course, don’t choose your programme only because of a trip as your course should be relevant to you and your career choice. For me it was a bonus and an opportunity to experience a location totally out of the box and somewhere I probably would not have chosen to visit on my own or even with friends and family. Since it was with a school, I had greater confidence that it would have been safe. It was indeed a safe and enjoyable trip especially because I didn’t have to do much individual research and planning.
4. Take advantage of Proximity.
If you are planning to or have moved away from home because of school or work, you may be able to take advantage of those locations which may be closer in proximity and much cheaper to visit than if you were leaving directly from home. While I was away at school in the UK, it meant that I was closer to visiting some other UK cities that I would never have really thought about visiting and I was much, much closer to other exciting countries in Europe. To visit these countries from the UK would have been hundreds of dollars compared to thousands of dollars if I had started the trip from home.
5. Overseas Training Opportunities
Take advantage of training opportunities in your job. Some jobs will provide training for its staff and international exposure is sometimes highly recommended. So when submitting your training requests for next year, be sure to look for in person courses in a new desired location. I did this for my first professional job and was able to visit Italy and Brussels for practically free. I still had to spend days in the classroom but at least a half a day or even one whole day was dedicated to taking attendees to local sites and shops…after all tourism is all of our business! If you don’t think that you’ll have enough time, check with Human Resources and see if you can apply for 2 or 3 days of vacation and stay behind to explore on your own terms. You will likely have to find your own accommodation but be sure to get those extra days approved before the flights are paid for to avoid having to pay a change the date fee.
6. Job Inclusive
Look for a job that includes some travel involved. Note that this is different from getting a job in the travel industry. This could be a job in sales or marketing where you have to go to trade shows all over the world, or it could be a job in a totally unexpected field. So, if you are looking for a new job, be sure to look in the job description where they usually state it.
7. Credit Cards and Points Earners
If you have not already done so, you can sign-up for a credit card which accumulates points for your preferred airline whenever you use it. The interest rates may be a bit higher, but you will have the added benefits of gaining points towards your future travel. If you have a preferred hotel, you can also sign up to accumulate points as well. There are several global brands like the Hilton Resorts and the Marriott which are more conveniently set up across the globe or you can sign up for multiple brands and enjoy the domestically centered and international chain when necessary. Some other ways to earn points are through airlines directly through their loyalty points programme or by online shopping through their website. If you are a regular to online shopping and you would like to go this route, you would need to sign up for an account with the airline, login and you must access the shop through their online portal. If you go directly to the shopping site, then you would not be able to collect those points. You will need to do this every-time you shop online to earn more and more points. In short, credit cards are expensive and having to add additional steps to your online shopping maybe tedious, but in the end, you would accumulate enough points to grant you a free or heavily discounted trip.
8. Don’t Delay
Don’t delay planning and booking your trip. Sometimes it is great to be able to find and snag those last minute deals, but while some cruise ships may offer steep discounts to fill the ship, more often than not, the closer it is to travel, the more expensive it becomes. This goes for airlines and some hotels too. If you can be proactive and plan ahead – at least know where you want to go, when you would like to go and have some financing available. You may be able to get a good deal whenever it happens (early or late). It may long be a thing of the past where you can pay in installments for your trip so be sure to set aside enough money plus some, just in case it is not such a great deal after all or paying all cash is a must.
9. Use a Buddy Pass
If you are fortunate to have a family member or close friend working with an airline, you can always ask them for a Buddy Pass. You will not be guaranteed a seat on your chosen flight since you will be flying on standby and other paying passengers as well as staff will have priority over you if limited seats are available. Additionally, if you are the only buddy pass user in your entourage, you are likely to be separated from them if your flight is too full. Nonetheless, when using a Buddy Pass, all you will need to pay are taxes and some other fees, making it a lot cheaper than full fare. So, if you don’t mind the uncertainty, then this could be a great option if it is available to you.
10. Beg, Hustle or Start A Business
If none of the above options are available to you, then you can always beg family and friends for donations or volunteer to do odd jobs for a fee. While the exchange of time for money isn’t “free or cheap”, this additional income solely for the purpose of travels can accumulate and be significant towards you travelling more. If you incorporate some tips from above, you can still have your trip for less. Entrepreneurs are also known to travel a lot and on company expenses so you may also consider this.
I hope these tips were helpful to you in in thinking of ways to travel more for less. If you have any more suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.