One thing is clear whenever we post an article about Black women seeing the world: Although many of you have traveled extensively, others are itching to see the world, but don’t have the budgets to do so. After every article we publish on travel, inevitably, many chime in with, “that’s great, Clutch…but HOW?”

Well, Clutchettes…I’m in the same boat. I’m gearing up to take my very first trip to UK and have been wracking my brain (and the internet) to find THE best deals for my trip. Although I’m no expert (feel free to weigh-in!), I’ve found a few things to be quite helpful.

So, here are 3 tips for budget travelers looking to see the world!

Plan, Plan, Plan! One way to save THE most money seems to be to start with a good plan. Although you can fill in the details about what you’ll do at your destination once you get there, take some time to check out deals, travel sites, magazines, and homie recommendations to plan the best (and cheapest) trip possible. While you can find last minute travel deals at Budget Traveler, LastMinute.com, and TravelZoo, proper planning (months!  In advance) allows you to save money as well as lock in lower prices.

Skip the Hotel: I know what you’re thinking, “No hotel, no way!” But being opening to different accommodation options may be the key to finally going on that vacation. Hostels, Bed & Breakfasts, Motels, and couch surfing are all cheaper options. For example, hotels in London are notoriously expensive. So as an alternative, I’ve been checking out AirBnB.com. Sites like AirBnB, CouchSurfing.org, VRBO, and CraigsList all offer cheaper housing options for vacations. Instead of having to pay hundreds of dollars a night for a hotel room, you can rent a room in an apartment or an entire flat for half that rate.

Be Flexible: The biggest way to save money and travel cheaply is to be flexible. Traveling to popular destinations during the off-season is one of the best ways to save a ton of cash and avoid large crowds of tourists. Also, don’t be afraid to bid on plane tickets, hotels, and rental cars. Sites like Priceline.com can save you upwards 40-50%, so bid till your hearts content!

Still wondering how you can afford a trip? Consider cutting something small from your budget, Starbux, Netflix, those shoes you love to buy when you get paid, and stack your chips. While you may not be able to go to Moroco tomorrow, after you’ve saved your money for 3, 6, or 9 months you might be able to afford it. And if not…you’ll be WELL on your way.


Clutchettes and Gents…how do you save money on travel? Share your tips with us! 

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  • tags

    I just recently wanted to become a world jetsetter and found a great website that does trips on a budget esp for the 18-34 crowd! http://www.gadventures.com/trips/yolo/ I’m planning a trip in jan to egypt for my birthday and with the prices this site lists its been really easy and not super heavy on my pockets!

  • grace

    Traveling is definitely doable. I make less than 35,000/yr and I did a Eurotrip this past summer. I stayed in cheap hostels, Some ppl who were more daring than just practiced hostel-hopping—which is, they made friends for the sake of having a free place to stay for the night. Even more daring people just slept on trains in between traveling from city to city (whether you are willing to take those risks are up to you).

    For college students, look into Fulbright Scholarships after your graduation in the location of your choice. Granted, some locations will be harder than others (for example, in France it is hard to teach English if you have limited French proficiency), but of course, you must know yourself.

    The plane tickets and the hostels are the hardest to plan and save for. If you are planning to go to France or Italy, it is better to buy a ticket going to Dublin, Ireland and THEN to France or Italy (rather than straight to France or Italy). It’s much cheaper. I had a friend who bought a round trip ticket from California to France with stop overs in Dublin to and fro. It came out to $600 and she was able to travel around Europe from there. Mine were about $1000, but I did not do my research well enough.

    @chanela, I don’t know anything about your expenses, your timeframe for possibly traveling, nor about where you would like to go, so I don’t know how much you can set aside each paycheck. Even if you could set aside $25 each paycheck, on a bi-weekly paycheck that would be about $225 around june of next year. You should be able to find a cheap getaway in the carribean on that, and there are plenty of deals. I’ve even done some crazy things like sell off Ipods just to make the trip to Europe. Anything is possible if you have a dream and even a small source of income.