It’s New Year’s Eve. Which means it’s time for 2018 resolutions. If you’re anything like me, you have a long list of promises to exercise every day, read more books, never eat sugar and lose 15 pounds.
And while I’m all about being aspirational – heck, I write about travel – I figured I should make my 2018 New Year’s Resolutions a bit more attainable this time around. So here are eight resolutions from a panel of travel hackers on how they plan to budget while on the road.
Go on the cash diet
My 2018 resolution is to get back to using cash to keep within my budget. I find that setting aside a fixed amount each month is a great way to make sure I keep my finances in check for travel. Using cash to pay for things like coffee dates and diners has helped me see exactly where my money goes and has prevented me from overspending. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and revert to plastic during the holidays but in 2018 I’ll be back on track!
Francesca Murray is a California native who left her job in marketing to pursue her dream of launching her own travel guide series. She is an expert on Caribbean travel, and is the author of the world’s first digital Guide to Martinique from an American local perspective. Her wanderlust has lead her to 20 countries and counting. Follow along her adventures on Instagram.
Use more miles and points
My money saving travel resolution for 2018 is to use miles and points more. I’ve accumulated so many. I used to use them frequently, but have basically stopped except for upgrades. Now with mileage qualifiers for many loyalty programs I’ve been concentrating on spending to reach my levels. But in 2018, I plan to use miles and points more, and save a lot of money on my travels. I’ve earned them, I may as well use them!
Lee Abbamonte has traveled to every country in the world as well as both the North and South Poles. Dubbed the called the “Marco Polo of the 21st Century” by Arthur Frommer, he is a multimedia travel expert, national television personality and adventurer. Lee has appeared on CNN, Fox News and the TravelChannel, as well as the New York Times, USA Today and Washington Post. Follow his adventures on Instagram.
Consider a hostel over an airbnb
If you’re planning to stay in one city for a couple of weeks or even months, it can be worth checking out local hostels instead of renting an apartment or Airbnb. In recent years hostels have evolved beyond the budget backpacker market, and private rooms and small dorms can be surprisingly spacious, upscale and comfortable. In some cities the price difference won’t be that significant and you can ask the front desk if they offer discounts on longer-term stays. Hostels also have the added benefit of a built-in social network and knowledgeable locals in place to help with travel advice and city exploration.”
Stay loyal to one airline and hotel group
In 2018, I’m going to be more loyal to travel providers. Recently I’ve slacked at flying the same airline provider or staying at the same hotel chains, but no more. There are so many cost saving benefits (and reward points to be earned) by staying loyal to brands.
Nicole Brewer is an English Language teacher, and travel blogger and freelance writer. She has traveled to over 40 countries and lived abroad in South Africa, Germany, South Korea and presently in Oman. The author of “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad,” and Co-Founder of the I Luv 2 Globe Trot website and community, she has zest for the expat lifestyle. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
Hitch a ride…the safe way
Ride sharing with strangers. Now this sounds a bit scary, but it’s usually people that I’ve met at the hotel, hostel or while exploring a cool sight. Offering to share or split a ride or taxi is a great way to save if you aren’t taking public transit. All it takes is to ask. Since most accommodations are located in the same area in smaller or medium size cities, I’ve found that people are generally heading towards the same directions or same sights.
Nadine Sykora is the top female travel vlogger on YouTube and a top female travel influencer where she has made over 800+ videos gaining over 40 million+ views. Nadine has spoken at the CMPA, ILHA, Women in Travel Summit, Travel & Adventure Show, VidCon and more. Her passion for travel is contagious and she loves to share the destinations she visits in her videos. Follow along her adventures on Instagram.
Check exchange rates before picking your destination
You know that feeling of packing a bag and flying out to a city without hesitation or prior planning? We’ve all been there. But, not so fast! Look where your currency is strong before booking flights. If you want to save money while traveling, the best thing to do when planning a trip is to check the exchange rates.
A Togolese by birth, an American by upbringing and a traveler at heart, Tayis Lawson is currently traveling throughout Southeast Asia. In the past 16 months while studying towards an MBA in London, she managed to travel to at least 10 countries, and is currently traveling throughout Southeast Asia. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
Consider using a tourist pass
Take advantage of Tourist Passes around the world. Most big cities have passes that will save travelers money on multiple tourist attractions. In Peru, we recommend the Cusco Tourist Ticket officially called “Boleto Turistica del Cusco.” This allows tourists to gain entrance to multiple attractions in and around the ancient city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The full ticket is the most popular as it includes a 10 day pass to some of the region’s most spectacular sites including Sacsayhuaman Archeological Park, countless museums and archeological sites throughout the Sacred Valley including Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Chinchero and more. There is also the option of partial tickets that vary from one to two day options.
Mery Calderon started working at her mother’s souvenir store at an early age, where she developed a passion to meet new people. Born and raised in Cusco, she studied tourism at university and then worked for some of the best hotels and travel agencies around. She founded Kuoda Travel in 2004 after seeing the need for a company that would better serve visitors to South America, by offering truly personalized and unique travel experiences.
Save 10% a year for travel
Erin Bender: My father always taught me the 10/10/80 rule. 80% of your income for expenses including house, food, car and other needs. Then, set aside 10% to give to charities. And then another 10% is to save, either for travel or experiences. As I got older I found my 80% creeping up to 90% while travel became an “if we saved” expense, meaning that it was no longer allocated.
In 2018, I’ll making a travel-resolution to bring travel back to my 10% savings and give it the value it really is.
Erin Bender is a thrill seeker who has explored the world for the last five years non-stop with her two kids. But what happens when you stop nomadic travel? How does an abnormal family fit into a normal world? Whether you are planning on taking off or staying home we’d love to help you find your feet and maybe, just maybe you could help us find ours. We invite you to explore with us or follow our adventures on Instagram.
Feeling inspired? Share your budget travel resolutions in the comments below. I’m going to try to use miles for all my airline tickets in 2018. Can’t wait to read your ideas for saving money on the road.