The Only List of Travel Hacks You'll Ever Need
Okay so if it’s not questions related to being vegan, I get various questions on how I afford to travel and some of my tips for making the most of your trips. I’ve been to 10+ countries and I am by no means rich financially. I’ve grown up in an average suburban home and have been raised very humbly. Traveling does NOT have to be expensive; it’s just a matter of your preferences and priorities. I’m about to share every single tip, hack, and trick I can possible think of in this post so brace yourself.
Website/Apps for Booking Flights:
PSA BEFORE READING:
ALWAYS USE AN INCOGNITO WINDOW WHEN SEARCHING FOR FLIGHTS! Websites literally track what you’re searching and will bump up prices. Going incognito makes all of your searching private.
This is by far my #1 used website for finding really low airfare. For certain flights that are marked “Skiplagged rate”, when you go to book it through their site there will be a $10 fee that applies so I highly recommend going directly to the airline’s website to book the same flight that’s being offered.
This website is my runner up for discovering really low rates for flights. I will say it can be hit or miss because sometimes their results are drastically different than other sites, and not in a good way. BUT, I definitely recommend at least comparing their rates to other sites before booking anything. Every now and then, you can really find some gems.
I’m really spilling my secrets now. So occasionally certain flights will be mis-marked as far as price or there will be a “glitch” for lack of a better word that causes extremely low rates for some incredible destinations. Secret Flying is personally one of my favorites for finding these extremely discounted flights. I recommend subscribing to their email list to receive updates daily on new low fares.
I find that this site is more useful when it comes to flying between countries within Europe. As far as domestic travel or traveling from the states, you may find a deal but I have yet to use this site for those purposes.
Just two more gems I thought I’d share if you haven’t already heard of them. Skyscanner definitely has some cheap flights available from time to time and Hopper is an app you can download (it’s free) that will allow you to track a certain travel destination and when flights drop in price for traveling there. I’ve never personally used Hopper for this but I know friends that have tracked flights for Iceland and Australia and got some serious STEALS.
Finding a Place to Stay:
RELAX. Please throw away your preconceived idea of how scary hostels are because it’s completely false. I literally stay in hostels everywhere that I go and have NEVER had any uncomfortable experiences. That’s not to say it’s not possible, but private rooms are a thing in hostels, which is basically like staying in a hotel room. There are some absolutely GORGEOUS hostels out there too. If you decide to go with a shared room, it’s a great way to meet other travelers too. I can’t express enough how great hostels are and how much money I’ve been able to spend in other ways because I wasn’t overly concerned with my staying environment. For me, it’s just a place to sleep, shower, possibly catch breakfast and keep my things and me safe.
Is this even worth explaining? I’m pretty sure we’ve allllll heard of this by now but just in case there’s a slight chance you haven’t, I’m about to change your entire life. Airbnbs can be found globally and are basically homes/spaces that individuals provide themselves for you to stay in. You can have a private room, an entire house, or a shared space. It just depends what you’re in search of but the possibilities are endless. Depending on your travel destination you can find some outstanding homes for insanely cheap.
This website provides the cheapest fares for hotel accommodations. They cut out any extra reservation fees that other websites tend to randomly throw into your total costs. Their accommodations are also heavily reviewed which is really appreciated because you definitely want to know if those stunning photos are just a really good photographer or what the place actually looks like, ya know? I find that they have a huge variety of places to stay too like treehouses and boathouses. It’s cool to have options.
Must Have Travel Apps:
This app is free and is a life savor for money conversions when in a foreign country. It works offline which is the greatest thing. No need for wifi connection or anything. You can even transfer money internationally through this app too.
Another free app that works offline (no wifi) while traveling. This is your Google Maps when Google Maps isn’t available! I wish I had known about this app when I was in Tokyo and lost for hours trying to get back to my Airbnb *face palm*. Simply download the area/city you will be traveling to before your trip and you’re ready! An entire map with detailed landmarks to help you navigate. You are welcome.
I’m sure we can pretty much realize why Google Translate is useful. What you might not know is that you can ‘download a language’ before your trip so that you have access to translation offline. If you can’t tell, I’m all about apps that work without Wifi because I don’t want to have to think about that extra step. Google Trips is great because you can plan your entire experience based on the destination and have ideas for when you get there. It provides information on things to do, how to get around, need-to-know tips, and so much more.
So this is something I’m currently looking into but haven’t tried. I’m still doing my own research but figured I’d share. There are various websites where you can sign up to do weekly volunteer work and your accommodation is provided (and sometimes even meals). With some programs, you also choose your duration of stay; it can be only a week or 3 months if you want it to be. If anyone has tried any of these programs please let your girl know because I’m really considering trying it out sooner than later.