With so many options for people to enjoy the world outside of their homes these days, a frequent traveler lifestyle is obtainable and affordable like never before. Rather than treating vacations as a once-a-year event beyond expensive stays at hotels and strict itineraries for short trips, you can travel regularly and frequently with a manageable budget and flexible work schedule.
There are a few ways you can afford a frequent traveler lifestyle, and it starts by planning far enough in advance. Here are three ways you can manage it all.
Airbnb’s Money-Saving Power
Since Airbnb started in 2008, the company has provided a comfortable lodging alternative for the average traveler. As a heavy competitor to the hotel industry, people of all ages are turning to Airbnb to satisfy their hunger for travel.
Basically, they’re short-term rentals almost all over the world. You can rent a single room, an apartment or condo, or even an entire house. Utilities are covered, wifi is often provided, and there’s something in nearly every country and city you might want to visit. And if you can be flexible on the travel dates, the rates can fluctuate depending on what’s happening locally.
If you’re going to work while you travel, you could work remotely in the Airbnb options that exist around the world. With rates that typically undercut hotel rates, it’s easy to take advantage of Airbnb’s options. Instead of staying in a hotel near the airport for $179 per night, you could find an Airbnb space that’s closer to the beach, the slopes, or downtown often for less than $100 per night.
For college students, Airbnb’s are perfect for their budget. Entire homes are often on the platform for less than $100 per night. If they want to travel with someone, they can split the cost and save some money that way.
Another benefit to staying at an Airbnb is that they typically have kitchens. This means that travelers can buy groceries and save money by cooking instead of eating from restaurants for every meal. Whatever you spend on groceries at home will be the same at the Airbnb. In fact, if you do it right, the only travel costs for this kind of travel lifestyle is you only have to pay for rent and getting there — utilities are included, you’re spending the same on food that you did at home, and you can find yourself in a new city as often as you’d like.
Save Up with Gift Cards
Sometimes the cost of lodging is not the culprit for big travel spending. There are other culprits, like eating on a road trip, gas for the car, or even entertainment expenses.
Saving up for these expenses, but if your trip is far off into the future, you might be tempted to dip into those savings for other problems. But if you put your money into gift and gas cards, you can avoid some of that temptation.
For example, if you favor a certain gas station, you can put $10 or $20 on a pre-paid gas card every week. If you commit to only eating at certain fast-food restaurants while you’re driving, you can load that much per month on a gift card or their app.
And if you want to pre-pay for your groceries, you can either get a pre-paid grocery card like Publix, Kroger, or Winn-Dixie — after you make sure there’s one close to your Airbnb before you go. (You’d hate to get a pre-paid Kroger card only to discover that there are no Kroger stores south of the Florida state line.
Use Credit Cards That Award Points
The travel and credit card industries have worked hand-in-hand for decades which means there are plenty of credit card rewards options for travelers to take advantage of.
You can get points for hotel rooms, flights, and other amenities just by using their branded credit cards. For example, the American Express Delta Gold Card gives you Delta miles; Chase credit cards have several options including United and Southwest Airlines; and, Citibank credit cards can help you earn American Airlines points. There are also cards for most major hotel chains as well.
There are people who will use their credit cards for regular household purchases, like groceries, gas, utilities, and even rent or mortgage. Then they take the money they would have spent for those bills and pay off their credit card instead.
Then, they use the points they accumulate to pay for the various trips they take each year, like a cruise or a flight to another country.
There are other methods you can use to have a frequent traveler lifestyle. Some people use house sitting and pet sitting websites to find a situation where they can stay in someone’s home for a few days or even a few weeks. Or they live like a digital nomad, traveling in an RV or converted van. Or they just take regular weekend “single-tank” trips, staying in a new city that they can reach in a single tank of gas.
Do you lead a frequent traveler lifestyle? How did you achieve it? How do you manage to travel so frequently and so far? Share your ideas on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: SplitShire (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)