Since starting my travel blog a few weeks a go, a few of my Instagram and Twitter followers have been asking me how I afford to travel around our island as often as I do. Let me be straightforward with y’all, I’m not filthy rich. Yes, I am living no more of a fabulous life than any of you, however even before travel blogging, vacationing is a major priority of mine. I believe everyone deserves a good break, regardless of your financial situation. This post is especially for my Jamaicans who never get to truly enjoy the perks of living in paradise. Here’s a few tips & tricks I live by!
- Adjust your priorities & Budget Wisely
Falling in love with travelling has taught me the importance of prioritizing. If you really want to travel more, you’ll have to skip a few parties or dinner dates. I used to have a through the roof beauty budget. I had to cut it! Now I only spend money on doing my nails and getting a haircut when necessary. It’s up to you to decide what you’re willing to sacrifice. Once you’ve decided which aspects of your budget you’re gonna start saving more from, it would be good to open a bank account. Now saving with a bank that’s gonna charge you an arm and a leg for saving would be pretty counterproductive. So do your research and choose the best financial partner for you.
2. Avoid planning trips during peak season
Peak season will be harsh on your pocket if you’re planning a trip that involves a hotel stop. Accommodation is a precious commodity during peak season and will cost you a pretty penny if you didn’t book your stay months in advance. A vacation during slow periods like April, September and October is just as rewarding as a peak summer one. Take a few days off from work during the slow season or even do a quick weekend run and rejuvenate your spirit.
3. Do your research!
Now i’m not talking about hours of research about where your next stop will be, but light reading won’t hurt. So you’ve decided you want to spend a weekend in Portland and you have a little money to spare. First things first is finding affordable accommodation, and secondly finding fun, safe and affordable activities to do. Once you’ve figured out your destination, and how you’ll be spending your time, you need to prepare a budget. Outline all your expenses for the period of your stay and stick to it! Yes I know you saw a cute outfit you need, but remember that after vacation it’s back to reality! The aim is to come back home happy about your break, not staring at credit card bills with tears in your eyes.
4. Stick to the most affordable booking options.
Yes a fancy all inclusive 5 star hotel is what you imagine when planning a trip, however sometimes that won’t always be feasible. Remember the aim here is to travel more without accumulating debt. Give AirBnB a try! At first, sharing a space with a person you’ve never met might seem like a red flag but don’t worry AirBnB has your best interest at heart. Hosts are required to verify their IDs, you have access to reviews from previous guests, you can even get to know your host before you get there through a safe messaging platform. Airbnb also has a 24/7 hotline in case something goes wrong during your stay. You don’t have to worry about a stranger having your personal information, as payments are made through airbnb. Lastly, don’t think your host can post photos from google to entice you, and when you get there it’s a whole different story. Photos are verified too!
I had a great experience with Airbnb earlier this year when I went to Ocho Rios for a weekend. I stayed in a gated complex with a pool and gym, it was very quiet and in close proximity to everything I needed. My host was a sweet christian woman, who was pleasant and very hospitable (she was rated a super host on Airbnb). In a few weeks i’ll be staying at another Airbnb and I’ll be sure to share that experience with you.
5. Shop Around for Vacation Wear & Luggage.
It’s never smart to make a purchase at the first merchant you stop at. I know you want a whole new wardrobe to flex’ on the ‘gram with your stunning backgrounds from your trip, but let’s be realistic now. Never go broke trying to impress broke people. Sometimes you can save a penny here and there by shopping online. Personally I get my clothing from Forever 21, Charlotte Russe or from an instagram store @shoptasiastable. You can also get affordable travel bags on Amazon. Shopping for a good deal takes time but it is worth it!
6. Travel in groups!
Everything is cheaper when you do it groups! So round up a group of your favorite friends and plan your next excursion! One of my new favorite ways to get around is with the @tekatripja team. A great opportunity to meet new people, and enjoy affordable travelling around Jamaica. Check them out on Instagram and give it a try!
I hope you found these tips helpful and start travelling as often as your heart desires! Yours truly, Your Travelling Pen.
If you have any questions feel free to send me a direct message on instagram @yourtravellingPen.