As a traveler, I'm often asked a series of questions all pertaining to how I'm able to afford my travels... Honest questions that deserve honest answers. In this blog I'll be sharing the most asked questions that I get about traveling in hopes to offer some insight on how you can travel too!
Q: "How can you afford to travel? Isn't it expensive?"
A: Traveling can be expensive, but it all depends on how you go about planning and budgeting. Choose a destination, set how much you want to spend (be realistic) and then find what you can afford in your budget. If you only want to spend $500 on a trip, then find a place that offers what you want for that price. If you want to spend $1,500 on a vacation, do some research and find the accommodations that will work with that price.
I can afford to travel because I am very frugal. I don't like spending money unless I absolutely have to. I'm not into buying the latest gadgets, clothes, shoes or accessories. I save my money and put it towards trips I want to take. No secret here.... It's that easy!
Q: "How do you find good deals on travel?"
A: I do my homework. I spend hours and sometimes DAYS looking on multiple websites for good deals. Sites like Expedia, TripAdvisor and Kayak help me to find the best deals on travel. I select the days I want to go, and begin to make arrangements on how much I want to spend. I've learned that being flexible with your days can often times result in lower fees. For example- if you want to travel on a Friday or Saturday, then the prices may be slightly higher because most people are traveling during the weekends. If you can wait and travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you may be able to save yourself a few hundred dollars!
Another key gem is not to book the first thing you see! Look around. Check multiple sights, airlines, hotels, etc. Never settle on a price just because it looks good.... There's always better out there, you just have to be willing to find it!
Q: "How come you travel alone? Do you ever get lonely/scared?"
A: I travel alone because life is too short to wait on someone else to be ready. I wouldn't mind traveling with others, but I will not miss out on traveling because someone else didn't have to money or time to go with me. I'm never lonely when I travel. I'm usually surrounded by other travelers and since I'm a social person (sometimes) I can easy engage and interact with all types of people. If I ever want to be alone, I simply hang out in my hotel room... I will admit that traveling alone can be scary sometimes- but that's because I'm over thinking about what could go wrong. That's when I find myself scared for no reason other than the ones I spontaneously created in my imagination. That's not to say don't be cautious! Being cautious and being scared are completely different things. I'm always cautious when I travel, especially because I'm alone- you must be whenever you go anywhere even if you're not traveling. Being cautious is just being safe and thinking twice about some of the decisions you make. Don't go blind and foolish just because you're away from home. Always be mindful of your surroundings!
Q: "How do people treat you when you travel alone?"
A: People treat me how I treat them. If I'm nice and smiling, they're nice and smiling back. If I'm stand offish and hesitant, then they'll likely be the same way. Energy is everything! What you put out, you get back. I'm generally pretty outgoing and adventurous and people naturally flock to me because of it. Also, because I travel alone, people are always inviting me to do things with their group- whether it's take a tour with them or hang out by the pool, in my personal experience- people are very friendly when I travel.
Q: "What do you do when you're by yourself? Don't you get bored?"
A: I do all sorts of things by myself which makes them even more fun because there isn't someone complaining about not wanting to do what I'm doing or go where I'm going. I go to shows, I go to beaches, restaurants, tours, movies, etc... I don't limit myself to how much fun I can have just because I'm alone. In fact, I have even more fun because I'm alone! I rarely get bored when I'm traveling. I know how to keep myself entertained and amused.
Q: "What's the worst thing you've ever experienced while traveling alone?"
A: The worst thing that's ever happened to me on a trip was not having any cash on me when arriving in a new country. I was under the impression that I could simply exchange money at the airport through my credit card, but was surprised to learn that I could not. It put me in a very uncomfortable position since all I had on me were credit cards! I'd taken a taxi to my hotel and didn't have any money to pay the driver- even worse, that countries ATM machines wouldn't take my credit cards!! I had to frantically find a way to send some money to my debit cards in order to make a withdrawal from the ATM machines. Ultimately I figured things out and everything was fine from that point (yes, I eventually was able to pay my taxi driver.) All in all, that was probably the worst thing that's happened to me while traveling.
Q: "Do you do group trips and how can a person travel with you? Do you book trips for other people?"
A: Yes, I do group trips and I help other people book their trips as well. I've used my experience to help others find great deals on family vacations and encourage as many people as I can to travel. If you're interested in going along on a group trip or just want my assistance in planning your next vacation- send your email address through my website and I'll reach out as quickly as I can.
Q: "What country or island would you recommend a first time traveler visit?"
A: For first time travelers I recommend doing something domestic first. Go to a different state and check things out. See how you feel by yourself and plan a couple of tours in that state. If all goes well and it works out for you, the world is yours! If things aren't what you expected, then at least you're only a few states away from home and can get back easily should you decide you want to leave. For first time travelers, don't bite off more than you can chew! Don't travel to a place and get home sick, because it could mean you'll lose thousands of dollars by cutting things short. Stay local before you go far!
Q: "What's a good budget to have for planning a trip?"
A: For me $1,500 is my max budget when planning my trips. I use that money to book both my airfare and hotel room. If I can't get both within that price range, then I choose a different location or change my dates to find rates that match my budget. So far, I've been pretty successful with traveling within that budget. There are even times when I've spent less than $1,500 for an international trip! Again, you just have to be patient and do your research. Great deals are out there for less than you think! You can even get lucky and find international trips for under $1,000- just be prepared to go since the dates are often fixed for those type of trips.
Q: "Would you recommend a cruise? Are they safe?"
A: Cruises are by far the best way to travel in my opinion! They're all inclusive, so you get all you can eat and a room on a floating hotel ship for 1 price. Not only that, you get multiple stops all on the same vacation. That's the best thing about cruises! They'll take you to a few different stops allowing you to get maximum bang for your buck. Beaches, islands, land ports, excursions and so many other things are offered when taking a cruise. If you want to take the hard work out of planning a trip, a cruise is the way to go since everything is planned for you. You just get on board and go. The hardest thing will be deciding which activity you want to do and what meal you want to have for dinner. I highly recommend cruises, they have been my best vacations to date! Affordable, safe and loads of fun... cruises are the best way to see a lot in a short period of time.
I hope this blog helps answer some of the questions I've been receiving in regards to traveling. If you have other questions that weren't mentioned in this post, feel free to respond to this blog and I'll be happy to address them!
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xoxo- Ashawna Lane