Save Money Travel By Catherine / September 17, 2014 Share Tweet Pin Share Share I am a wanderlust gypsy. If I could somehow make a living traveling the world, I would. I would gladly give up having a permanent address, and a “home” if it meant I could see every corner of the earth, maybe even take a trip in space?! My latest addiction is Europe and i am determined to see all if it! Unfortunately I am also a mid 20’s college graduate with loans that have been known to make me cry myself to sleep at night, only some times. My two selves are constantly at battle so I have to find a way to please them both. Here is my list of ways to still feed that traveling bug, whether it’s deep down or bursting at the seams. 1. Don’t pay for your flights with dolla dolla bills ya’ll Mileage credit cards I know what you are thinking, really? I am already in debt and you are telling me to get even MORE in debt? This is different though, this is using a credit card that you are most likely already using but earning money BACK on it. Most cards also come with an incentive to join with them, such as one or two free flights after spending a certain amount of money in an allotted time. I spent a lot of time researching to find the one that would fit my needs best and went with: Southwest Miles credit card, My two absolute favorite parts about this one is: 1. You are allowed to purchase a one way ticket to at least bring the total down a little if you do not have enough points for a round trip flight. 2. There are zero blackout dates, I have found with most other cards to purchase with your miles you have to go to a completely separate webpage, but on Southwest they make it so easy to use your points. 2. Cheaper lodging can be better Now a days there are so many ways to save money on your lodging choices and they can usually add to your adventure. I will highlight my three favorites. 1. Hostels, these are not new by any means, but they do have kind of a bad rep for being dirty or only for a younger crowd. Hostels have grown a lot and can come with completely private rooms and bathrooms if you pay a little extra (which would still be cheaper than a hotel) They also come with all sorts of characters who have most likely traveled everywhere you want to go and can give you tips. A really cool site i have found helpful is here you can be specific about the type of hostel you are looking for. 2. Couch surfing, now this is a semi-new development that mainly single or double travelers use. Basically the deal is you join this couch surfing community and you open up your couch or spare room up to travelers and in exchange you can be welcomed in free of charge to a locals home of the place you are visiting, if you are lucky they will show you around and offer you a home cooked meal. 3. AIR BnB, This is the newest trend in affordable travel, but is growing rapidly, how this one works is simple, much like couch surfing you have to join, but the difference is it is more like a hotel than couch surfing. Most of the people involved in this site have rooms,boats, sometimes even houses for you to rent making it more convenient for larger parties traveling such as families. 3. Do not always eat fancy This can be hard, especially if you are going to some place like Italy, you feel you always have to eat at a 5 star restaurant. I am not saying to always eat at hot dog stands, but a lot of places in Europe will try to haggle with you to get your business, hold out and treat yourself to one nicer meal a day. The less expensive smaller places can also offer a lot more character most times (you see a pattern? I really like to find places with character) 4. Quit buy that 2nd cousin twice removed tacky gifts Yes, your going to a beautiful country. Yes, you are an amazing friend and love your family so dearly. Yes that tacky “I Heart -Insert European country here-” is only 4 Euros. I have one piece of advice for you, Put the key chain down and walk away, no run. No one will be offended if you don’t buy them something especially tacky key chains or other items that look like they came from an airport. If you really want to show them that you thought about them on your trip send them a postcard from where you are. It’s a small gesture but in an age where snail mail is slowly dying a post card form another country is always exciting! If you are worried about figuring the whole postage thing out there is a hand app called “Postagram”, it lets you send personal pictures you have taken to loved ones back home. 5. Do not buy yourself those tacky gifts either If you would not buy it for your loved ones, please do not buy them for yourself. Your memories and pictures are worth more than anything you could purchase on your trip. I have my own tradition of collecting sand from every place I go and I display them in pretty glass jars back home. It’s small and most importantly it is a free keepsake to remind me of that trip. If you must buy something make it something you ONLY buy where you, if its something you can order online when you get back home and earning money again, than slide that colorful Euro bill back in your pocket, eat a nicer meal because of it and thank me later. Well that is all the advice I have for you today, I hope it was helpful, entertaining and most of all sparked a desire to go out see the world!