Tricks to Travel More With Less Money and Time

If you love the idea of traveling, but don't think you have enough money or time to get away, it’s time to reframe your mindset about chasing adventure. Whether you can only get away for long weekends or take extended tours, find out the tricks experienced travelers use to see the world on a budget.

Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #540

If you love the idea of traveling, but always seem to find excuses not to book your next trip, it’s time to reframe your mindset about chasing adventure. Whether you only get away for long weekends or take extended tours, it’s possible to do it all on a budget.

The trick to traveling for less, known as travel hacking, is to tap multiple tools—credit cards, alerts, and reward programs—and to be creative. Often, assembling your trip piecemeal, rather than buying a package, is the secret for snatching the best travel deals.

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To learn more travel secrets, I interviewed Jen Ruiz, who wrote The Affordable Flight Guide: How to Find Cheap Airline Tickets and See the World on a Budget. After realizing that travel made her happy, she decided to make it a priority before turning 30. In 2017, Jen set out to take 12 trips in 12 months, while holding down her full-time job as an attorney for a non-profit.

Jen surpassed her goal and completed 20 trips to destinations including Greece, Argentina, Thailand, and Iceland. And she did it on the cheap, with flights that cost as little as $5 one way and averaged $300 roundtrip.

Jen’s budget travel tips have been published in many top outlets, including the Washington Post and ABC News. The Naples Herald named her on their Top 40 Under 40 list. She documents her travels and budget tips on her site, Jen On a Jet Plane.

Some money-saving topics we cover include:

  • How she flew to New Zealand for less than $38
  • The fastest ways to accrue airline points for free fares
  • Smart ways to use credit card travel rewards
  • Tips for using one-way flights to your advantage
  • The best ways to let deals and error fares to come to you
  • Best search tips, including Google Flights and going incognito
  • Why you should get all airfare deals, not just those from nearby airports

I decided that I wasn't going to let not having a travel companion stop me from traveling. - Jen Ruiz

[Listen to the interview using the audio player on this page or on Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify]

The following tips were contributed by Jen Ruiz.

Flight Myths Debunked: 7 Common Booking Misconceptions That Are Costing You Money

There is so much misinformation circling the internet about how to find a cheap flight that it’s easy for first-time travelers and frequent flyers alike to become overwhelmed by the prospect of hunting for a flight deal. When I first started booking airline tickets on a regular basis, I tested every strategy out there in hopes of stumbling across one magic solution that would reduce all my future flight costs in one click.

Through trial and error, I realized that great deals exist and are accessible to everyday people, but there’s no magic site or travel hack. Finding a valid airline ticket at a steal price requires a combination of opportunity, timing, flexibility and a willingness to put your money where your mouse is.

To help you navigate the flood of information, here are some common misconceptions about booking flights that are costing you big bucks.

Myth #1. The best day and time to book is “X.”

You may have heard that the best day to buy a flight is Tuesday, or that the best time to book is six weeks out from a trip. All that is conjecture. At the end of the day, the best time to buy is when a deal pops up, and not a second later. Don’t wait to share it with your friends or verify that you have the time off from work. Book first, ask questions later. Which leads me to my second point…


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.