You’ve been thinking about a once-in-a-lifetime trip for years, and now you’re in a place to actually make it happen. Whether you want to travel to Western Europe, Southeast Asia or the tip of Patagonia, you’ll need a game plan that will support the logistics of your travels. Here are some tips and strategies for how to plan and pay for an extended trip abroad:
Finding the best price for your flight requires insight and proper planning. Airline tickets will fluctuate in price, depending on the date in which you browse your options. The best days to shop for your flight, according to Expedia, are Tuesdays or Wednesdays, whereas Friday is the most expensive day to buy. Beyond the day you purchase your tickets, there is also fluctuation in prices based on how far in advance you book your flight. You should buy your tickets for an international flight 75-320 days before your trip, depending on the location. Cheap Air has a list of regions and buying tips that will help you determine the right time to book your seat.
Make hotel reservations in advance for any travel accommodations you’ll need. The lowest average daily rates range from 21 to 28 days before you travel, as hotel prices can soar the closer you get to your arrival date. You should start browsing hotel sites and rooms 40 days before your trip so you can compare prices between different online accommodation consolidators. Use a search engine that will identify the sites with the best prices, like Kayak, which searches the most popular and the most thrifty consolidators.
Start saving for your trip at least a year in advance, so you will have more than enough travel funds to enjoy your time abroad. Create a budget of anticipated spendings for your trip, so you have a solid idea of how much you’ll need to save. Consider all the small expenses beyond airline tickets and hotel accommodations, like restaurant money, museum admissions and adventurous activities. Once you have a general idea of the amount you’ll need to save, put a percentage of every paycheck into your travel fund.
Multiple Streams of Income
In order to save enough money, you may need to up your stream of income. Look into the ways you can generate multiple streams of income through freelance work or contractual opportunities. Amway is a world leader in direct sales and offers their representatives part-time sales roles that generate a substantial stream of income. If you have extra space within your home, or can relinquish your dwelling for a short period of time, Airbnb is another means through which you can procure some extra money for your trip. Other freelance job opportunities that can supplement your income include: driving for Lyft, grocery shopping for Amazon Prime Now, renting out your car through Turo, ride sharing with Gett and food delivery through Postmates.
Frugal Travel Options
Once you’ve budgeted your trip and amped up your stream of income, you should consider ways in which you can cut costs while you’re traveling. One of the best ways to save money is to do volunteer work at a location in which you wish to spend an extended period of time. Volunteer opportunities can range from teaching English in India through Kaya or working on a rural farm in Ireland through WWOOF. When you provide your services, free of cost, the organization or host will likely compensate you with free meals and lodging. Search around for volunteer work you’ll enjoy, as you want your trip to be a pleasurable experience where you get to do what you love and make lasting, positive memories.