Credit: Natelegé Whaley
The biggest thing I’ve learned this year is that being a great traveler is not about getting your hi-res photo featured on a dope travel Instagram page. You have to put in the work to get to your destination first. Applying the following rules to the traveling game should have you flying high. There is no secret to this. Take it from this jetsetter newbie.
1. Create a travel bucket list
Use a vision board or wallpaper on your phone or laptop to post a photo of the place you want to go. Seeing is believing.
2. Sign up for flight deal newsletters.
My favorite travel newsletter is The Flight Deal. It does a great job at laying out how to find the deal, and if you’re patient and determined, you will be able to buy a ticket at a price that will shock others.
3. Sign up for airline flight trackers
My favorite flight price tracker is Airfarewatchdog. The site tells me the prices of round trip flights leaving my local airports.
4. Follow social media pages of airlines
Sometimes airlines offer glitch fares as a marketing tactic.
5. Know your search tools!
When I have no flight deal to start with, Google Flights is my starting point. To me, their search picks up the best results. They also allow you to see how much the trip would cost if you took it on another date. I also have to give honorable mention to Edreams, especially for international flights. Skyscanner is great for the more open traveler. Let’s say you’re not concerned about the destination and more about going somewhere that you can get the most bang for your buck.
6. Multiple cities? Book flights together
Sometimes you can save by booking multiple cities together.
7. Pack light
Many airlines are making money off checked baggage these days so packing light will help you save money and have less of a headache.
8. Use Ebates.
When possible, you can receive a percentage back for hotel stays, vacation packages and flights by going through Ebates.com a coupon site. If you plan to book any part of your trip through Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire, BookIt, etc. you can receive a percentage back for the price you paid. They don’t process the money until after your stay or flight. This is an amazing money-saving opportunity.
9. Stay With Airbnb
I’ve been using Airbnb since 2013. There have been horror stories in the news. But I’ve had many great experiences from hosts using the app and the price point you can get for a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom apartment trumps high priced hotel costs. For safety, your best bet is to always go with a host who has high ratings and reviews. The cool thing about staying in an Airbnb is that your hosts can give you up-to-date local knowledge to make the most of your trip.
10. Join a travel community.
This year I joined Travel Noire’s #TNDistrict. The chat-system gives me access to like-minded individuals who look like me and who are working and traveling all over the world.
11. Don’t be too bougie to sleep on the coach.
I’m blessed to have friends and family in different cities throughout the country. But of course don’t be that friend that freeloads. Return the favor, if they’re looking to travel to your city soon. Or buy them back some groceries or offer them gas money. It’s just the right thing to do.
12. Always have a plug.
If possible, see if someone in your circle knows someone in the place you’re visiting. If not, always ask a local resident for advice when you get there. It definitely plugs you all the way in to the city you’re visiting!
Of course, these aren’t the ONLY hacks out there. Always do your research and be patient. Your traveling adventures await you!
What other travel hacks would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.
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