One of most frequent questions Twice The Baggage receives is, "How do you afford to travel so often?"
We're a young couple with good but not lucrative jobs, yet we travel internationally on several occasions every year.
That's not intended to come off as bragging, because the reason we manage to pull it off is by making sacrifices in our daily lives by minimizing what we spend our money on.
If you remember one thing from this article, it should be to always ask yourself, “Do I really need this, or would I rather spend my money on travel?"
We've listed below some of our at-home saving tips that can help you get away as often as possible.
1. Smart grocery shopping
Yes, shopping at Whole Foods/Lunds and Byerlys is nice, but save some money and shop at an Aldi, or by using coupons at Cub Foods.
TTB has seen as much as a 50 percent decrease in grocery bills on like-for-like goods when shopping at low-budget grocery stores.
2. Don't buy new, and always choose clearance
Don't buy something new when you don’t have to. You will most likely be fine if the item is slightly used, and you can then squirrel what you would have spent on a new item.
In the event you really do want something new, look for sales. Even name brand stores have sales where you can find great deals. Again, even a little bit goes a long way towards your next adventure.
3. Only use PTO for travel
There will be some days where you just can't face up to going into work, but if you're really serious about traveling then you should use every minute of PTO you accrue to get away.
Now, we understand life happens, and you might have to take off a day here or there for sickness, but in general, try and spend all of your hard-earned time off exploring the world.
4. Compromise on commuting
Driving a car is a convenience but it's an expensive one, particularly when it inevitably requires repairs. We're not saying you should cut your car out of your life indefinitely, but look for options to take public transport or get on your bike instead to cut down your costs.
Also, if like us you're living in an apartment building and have the option to pay for a designated parking spot, see if you'd be happier just parking it on the street.
5. Get yourself a side hustle
It's never been easier to get a side hustle (ie. a second job) thanks to the "sharing economy."
You have Uber, GrubHub, Bitesquad, Target and Amazon all looking for drivers, and this is a perfect opportunity for you! Between us, we have a side freelance digital marketing business and a closet on Poshmark. Whatever you find as a passion, do it as a side hustle. Even if it is just a few extra hundred dollars a month, it all adds up.
6. Be flexible with your flights, or play the waiting game
This one can be tough sometimes because there are so many variables, but Google Flights is a great tool to help you find the best flight prices.
Always check out the days before and after you plan to fly to see if it's cheaper to wait an extra day or leave earlier. Flights will be cheaper if you go midweek, for example.
And if you're not happy about the price you're being quoted, you can take a risk by playing the waiting game, setting price alerts on your trip to see if the prices will go up or down.
7. Use credit card points/frequent flyer cards
If you're a regular and don't have a frequent flyer membership, get one. It'll take a while to earn some serious miles, but eventually it'll pay off with money off your trips or possibly entirely free flights.
Also know the best cash back or travel points credit cards that will give you some money back or points for every purchase you make. We signed up for a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card that gives you 2 air miles for every dollar spent on travel and in restaurants, and 1 mile for every dollar of other spending.
It also gives you 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 within three months of opening it. (BMTN looked at Air Miles Credit Cards last year, read more here).