I hear too many of my friends making this mistake when they travel. They lug around two heavy suitcases through stairs and puddles of New York City gunk. They get to the airport with bruises and a negative attitude. This attitude sets the tone of their trip. I know it’s more expensive, but living in New York City, the subway is such a pain and companies like Uber, Via, Lyft, and Juno offer a comfortable alternative.
This can be easily budgeted in advance Whether you are going on vacation, a business trip or something else, taking a plane is already tiring. Give yourself some time to head into the trip with a clear and calm mind, by taking away the stress of public transportation.
Arriving early at the airport gives you leeway. It lets you relax, it lets you breathe, and lets you get yourself ready for the trip. You won’t stress with the long lines at TSA, if you get stopped by security, if your flight gets switched, arriving early gives you time to get yourself together.
Know How to Get Around
Knowing how to get around once you reach your destination lets you save time and money.
When planning a trip:
know the closest hospital to your staying area
a trip know where your hotel is in relation to the airport
know what transportation you will take once you arrive
don’t get scammed and save money
Plan for the Weather
Planning for the weather allows you to have a good time wherever you land regardless of rain or shine. Planning for both indoor activities and outdoors allows you to diversify your options. Some indoor options include movies, museums, jazz clubs, a nice restaurant and more. Some outdoors options include hiking, sightseeing, outdoor nice restaurants and more.
Have a Good Time
Put your phone down, remember you are exactly where you’re supposed to be and you will be alright. Absorb the experience, live in the moment, remember to enjoy the trip.
Here are a few of my tips on how I choose my flights
When traveling I like to choose flights based on price and accommodation. I tend to travel light so I usually don’t pay for the extra luggage. However, there are a few things I prioritize in my travels.
One thing I try really hard to avoid is connecting flights. With the number of delays possible, and the fatigue that comes from running around an airport I prefer paying a little bit extra to make sure my flight is as smooth as possible.
To find cheaper flights I use google flights, kayak, and the app Hopper. I always use incognito mode to look for websites, or else the flights get more expansive over time. Prices tend to be cheaper when you search for them on Mondays and Tuesdays. Flying out on Sunday tends to be cheaper as well since most people don’t travel on that day.
I make sure to compare and contrast airlines and prices for a bit before I pick one. Sometimes I wait for a few weeks right before the prices rise, they will drop that’s where the hopper app comes in handy.
One of the best travel blogs which incorporates a large variety of topics and destination has been around for a minute and gives great advice and help: stop overpaying for your travels with Nomadic Matt.
Traveling on a budget with a small backpack, need insurance tips for long term travels, going to southeast Asia without much to your name? Mel can help you out.
Drew Binsky offers great advice for young travelers and he makes really entertaining videos. Here is one of my favorite blog post by him.
In need of some inspiration? Want to get some information of the places you might be traveling to? Maptia documents stories from around the world in an absolutely stunning and easily manageable website.
Dan and Audrey have been all around the world, in their blog Uncornered Market they offer really creative and introspective advice on what traveling is. I found this Danger Map of the World: Fear vs. Awareness gives some of the best motivation to get started.
Is America your destination? Are you trying to travel around the U.S and need tips? Victoria gives great advice!
Liz travels the world, she moved from America to New Zealand and gives great advice for both men and women to travel in their youth and move abroad.
Trying to backpack in some interesting locations? Need some advice in video forms? Want to look at beautiful pictures Matt offers great advice especially for New Zealand!
Need practical tips for traveling from the most aesthetically pleasing and cutest couple. Lia and Jeremy spare no details in Practical Wanderlust! Local travels, packing lists, long distance trips they got it all.
The most important realization when exploring how to travel for cheap is understanding where you’re coming from and where you want to go.
Realize who you know and where they are situated. If you know your fourth-grade art teacher has a house in Puerto Rico, and she reached out on Linkedin for you to come to visit, take her up on it. Networking is so useful for these situations.
Then comes budgeting, and by that, I mean both time and money. First, you figure out how much you’re willing to spend (realistically) and how much you can afford. Second, figure out how much time are you putting into this trip.
For example, say you leave from New York City and you want to travel to the Beach.
Rockaway Beach in the summer by ferry costs 2.75$ a trip, bring your sunscreen, some snacks, water, and a towel and you’re set.
The first thing to do is look locally, you don’t always have to go around the world to have a good time.
Miami Beach is a short 3-hour flight, and a 10$ Uber ride to the water. The cost of a flight can vary depending on how early you book the flight from around 53$ one way to 200$ (Not including carry-ons because let’s be honest you don’t need much to go swimming). The Hopper app can help you keep track of flights.
When looking at prices, booking on Mondays and Tuesdays offers lower flight prices, booking to depart on Sundays tends to be lower also low due to smaller demand. (Always use incognito mode when doing research).
North Carolina, it’s close to New York, it’s not too touristy, great for a friendship getaway, and if you know anyone there, it’s an easy place to get away to.
Los Angeles, pretty popular destination… ranges in flight prices, make sure to check Google Flights, or Kayak at least four months in advance for cheapest flights or else the tickets will get up there. ($200 to $500)
The Islands are always a blast… Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Turks, and Caicos. These take planning but can be less expensive than Los Angeles.
Now you might not be leaving from New York City, maybe you’re leaving from somewhere else and that’s fine. The point is that if you’re traveling cheap, look locally, look at your budget, look at your surroundings, get creative!
The majority of people blame money or lack thereof for not going to the places they dream about.
Money comes and goes and even the most lavish vacation is attainable (though it might take more time to reach). While money is important and necessary, it’s not hard to attract. The real struggle is keeping it, and thinking of your long-term desires rather than your short-term satisfaction (do you really need that coffee every day?).
Here are links to some savvy creative solutions to traveling when you’re broke.
As the great Sun Tzu once wrote in the immortal classic The Art of Packing, “the supreme art of packing is to subdue the enemy without fighting”.
Packing is an art, a science that has its own set of rules and methods. Do not underestimate proper packing! Knowing how to pack for where you’re going allows you to have all that you need at your fingertips, it brings ease and comfort to your vacation. Do you really want to spend that extra time and money on running around at the airport purchasing the iPhone charger you forgot? No!
Packing is all about self-awareness, it requires you to take a hard and honest look at yourself. You think you need that extra shirt, but in three days when you’re at the airport paying an extra $50 for the extra weight, and lugging around that heavy suitcase, you’ll rethink that decision.
Here are my tips, lighter is always better. The larger your suitcase, the more likely you will try to fill it up. The truth is you need less than you think. Always leave a little room for extra, you’re probably going to come back with more stuff than you left with.
Think of the essentials:
TIP: A seven-day trip requires five pairs of underwear and socks.
DO pack versatile outfits
Ex: a black button shirt for casual day and night out
Edit based on occasions: swimsuits, hiking boots, suit, etc…
DON’T bring anything you “might” need
You can always buy once you’re at your destination.
DO lay out all that you plan to pack, and go over everything two more times.
TIP: Pick up every item once and ask yourself five times: “Is this really necessary?”
If you answer “yes” five times, then pack it.
TIP: If it’s in your purse, or pocket — you probably want that with you.
Ex: chapstick, hand lotion, photo ID, keys, gum, money, etc…
How to Pack:
The bigger the things go first
Fold and roll your clothes for space
Toiletries and liquid go in a clear bag at the top
TIP: I usually keep liquids in my carry on, they’re easily accessible for T.S.A and me (airplanes make my skin dry I need my lotions).
All this said and done, I know some of you (you know who you are) like your comfort and don’t mind spending the extra cash to make sure you have everything at hand. If that’s the case, I still suggest going through the list above and planning ahead of time how you will transport your four suitcases…
Hey everyone 🙂 this is just a quick draft of the itinerary I planned for our two week trip to Iceland. Hopefully, you find something helpful here.
First off I consider the place I am going, what temperature is there? What are the prices depending on the season? Where do I really want to visit? What is the most efficient, comfortable, and affordable mode of transportation?
Preferably 4WD (This means it can drive in more rough terrains which is useful for Iceland)
Insurance (I promise this will save so much money!!!)
I pack light in general, one big coat, one small coat, four sweaters, a few pair of pants, my leggings, a bunch of underwear, and my swimsuit!
Now for the Itinerary
You better believe I plan like crazy, knowing everything in advance allows for such a peace of mind during the travels. Sure the unexpected happened but at least we were as prepared as possible, and I feel like we saw the most we could in the time we had. Super proud of us for that 🙂
Golden Circle: nice to see first, super touristy (we saw it last lol)
Þingvellir National Park
North American and Eurasian tectonic plate meets
12 minutes from Golden Falls, Brúarhlöð
17 minutes Secret Lagoon (Bring Swimsuit)
Kerid Crater Lake
Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant?
May 23: Reykjavik (55 F// Rain @ 1pm)
Notice my awesome and intense checking of the weather… well turns out Iceland weather shifts dramatically in May so there’s that which is actually awesome because rainy days turn into a rainy half-hour. It’s a sight to see.
Arrival at Reykjavik 5 a.m
Pick up car
Go to hotel// Sleep
1 hour to Reykjavik
Dinner with Bacem
During the first part of the stay, we pick up the car, get settled at the hotel, and meet my uncle in Reykjavik. Lucky for us because turns out dining out costs two to three times as much as New York City. Fortunately, grocery stores cost half the price and so that’s how we ate for most of our trip.
May 24: Rebekka? (55 F// Mostly Cloudy, chance of rain)
Split Mound Cave, Raufarhólshellir
The entrance is about 25 metres away from the road nr. 39
May 25: Golden Circle? (48 F// Rain all day)
Out of the hotel and into the wild
9 am Pick up camping equipment @
101 Reykjavik – Iceland
+354 647 0569
I found this awesome website online for renting camping equipment, it was super affordable and really easy to find and use. I highly recommend it if you plan on staying out a while.
May 26: To Vik (49 F// 100% rain)
20 minutes to Seljavallalaug outdoors pool
10 minutes to Skogafoss
10 minutes to Solheimasandur Plane Wreck
20 minutes to Dyrhólaey Arch
25 minutes to Black Beach
May 27: To Hofn (48 F// Rain until 7pm)
52 minutes to Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
1 hr 2 min to Skaftafell
Black Waterfall, Svartifoss
17 min to Hofskirkja Turf Church
29 minutes to Glacier Lagoon, Jökulsárlón (beach)
1 hr and 1 min to Hofn
May 28: To Egilsstaðir (If we arrive the 27th we get 64 F and no rain) (If we arrive the 28th, 55 F and rain)
Random Coastal Views
3 hr 12 minutes to Town Seyðisfjörður-
This town on the shores of a fjord may be little but it boasts beautiful natural surroundings.
1 hr 27 minutes Borgarfjörður Eystri
This fjord at the very end of east Iceland offers a lot of hiking paths and besides that, you may see cute puffins here.
May 29 and 30th: To Myvatn (52 F// mostly cloudy)
2 hour and 3 minutes Dettifoss
Set in the Vatnajökull National Park, Dettifoss is estimated to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe
1 hour Lake Mývatn
24 minutes to Krafla-Viti Crater
Námaskarð Volcanic mountain
Myvatn Nature Baths 86$
Krafla Power Station
34 minutes away Hrossaborg Horse City?
JÖKULSÁRGLJÚFUR NATIONAL PARK
May 31: To Akureyri (63F // rain)
As the Itinerary gets longer I include all the things we could do, while also giving space for anything to change.
1 hour 12 minutes to Akureyri
1hour 24 minutes Skagafjörður (horses?)
June 1 and June 2:
2 hours To Fjords Base
Hvitserkur near Blonduos
5 hours to Dynjandi in West Fjord depending on weather
Do you need a vacation? Are you traveling or thinking of flying somewhere? Need some help planning an itinerary? Need me to pack your suitcase?
Well, lucky for you, we’ve got the answers…
Welcome to our blog, I am an International student from France. Growing up I moved around a lot with my family. Now I’m all grown up (ish), and airports are still one of my favorite places to go through.
In the last three years, I’ve managed to put myself through college, pay for rent, and travel to 13 different countries. Along with my traveling partner this penguin, we have accumulated tips and tricks through our journey, and we will share them with you.