For as long as I can remember, I wanted to see the world. Growing up poor, it didn’t seem like an option. At the age of 25, I’m tired of talking about how I want to travel and now I am focusing on actually doing something about it. For those of you who think you can’t afford to travel, hopefully part 1 of this blog helps you. The first part of this blog is my planning. I plan to go to Amsterdam with a good friend of mines from May 7th to May 12th. I want to share with you guys how I am budgeting, finding low round trip ticket prices, and where I plan to stay. Part 2 of this post will come after I purchased my ticket for Amsterdam and where I plan on staying while in the Netherlands. Ok! Let’s get into it!
Where is the money coming from?
When I search “traveling on a low budget” all I get are people who dropped their lives and just moved to a different country. I mean hey, that seems cool and all but, if your’re like me, you can’t just drop everything you have. I have bills unfortunately! And I’m sure you do to. So the first thing I did was estimate how much extra income I have left each month after paying my bills. So after some in depth calculations, I figured I had about $700 left over each month to spend on either food, gas, necessities. I didn’t calculate food, gas, and other things out of that $700 because it’s not a fixed amount and I have wiggle room around that. Honestly, $700 isn’t a lot left over in 1 month when you think of traveling the world but I was motivated to find ways around it.
Ticket Search (Tips)
Skyscanner, Skyscanner, Skyscanner!!! Oh did I mention Skyscanner? I am so happy I found this app. When you type in cheap plane tickets into google you get all types of flight search engine sites trying to find you the best deal but they are still so expensive! It took me forever to find out about Skyscanner and I want to share it with you. So, Skyscanner is a mobile app that has cheap prices for flights, hotels and car rentals.
Here are the reasons why I love this app.
- When you search for ticket dates, Skyscanner shows you through red,green and yellow dots when is the best time to fly for the cheapest price. You can see from this picture why I chose to go in May. look at that minimum price range! I have been tracking this flight down for the past 3 months and the price has actually gotten cheaper. The first time I used the app, my round trip ticket was $720 and then $718 and now $716. I know that doesn’t sound like that much but every dollar counts! I wanted to see if this price was actually the cheapest it can get and it was. Similar flights started around $1200 round trip. Skyscanner already is saving me $500! Even though I won’t be able to afford to buy my ticket until November, I wanted to see how easy the process was booking through Skyscanner. So I went through with “purchasing” the ticket without putting my credit card information in there. There were no hidden fees! Read the fine print though, if you are carrying extra bags then their might be extra fees for that.
- You can watch the price of your ticket by “staring” the flight you want if you can’t purchase right away. Every time the price drops or goes up (which thankfully hasn’t happen yet) I know!
- You can make sure you are getting the best price! It will show you flights from different air carriers across different 3rd party sites. If for some reason you do find something cheaper after you book your flight, you can do a free cancellation after 24 hours.
Flight Search Tips to save money
Ok, so now I know I need $716 to at least buy my ticket. I came up with a way! September is gone so I only have this month and until the end of November to purchase. I just figured I can save $360 per month and that will still leave me some leisure money left to play around with. If you are working on a tighter budget, make it work for you! Just plan out your trip a little further so that you can actually afford to save and not go completely broke. I actually set up my banking account to draft these funds from my paycheck in to my savings account so that I don’t even see the funds…it’s better I don’t see lol.
Tips that helped me!
- Check airports all around you. Sometimes an hour drive is worth the $300 deduction in ticket price
- Multiple destinations. Sometimes these flights are cheaper. I definitely don’t mind a couple of layovers if it saves me money.
- If you end up browsing plane tickets in your search browser, do it on incognito! It has been confirmed that ticket prices increase once you begin to search for it a lot. You will even see pop up ads based on you search on most websites you visit. Skyscanner does not give you this headache!
- Buy early! If you are flying international it is best to buy your ticket at minimum 6 months ahead of time for the best prices. (That’s why I am purchasing in November!)
- If you have air miles, use them! I do not have any air miles and I don’t own nor want a credit card to earn some. I use the website emiles.com to earn air miles by just taking some surveys. You can cash it in for miles or gift card s! So far I have 700 miles. It’s not much but it’s better than nothing!
THE SCREENSHOTS BELOW ARE A VISUAL OF WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE BOOKING THROUGH SKYSCANNER
I hope you guys enjoyed reading how I plan on getting started on traveling to Amsterdam on a low income. Make sure you are subscribed so that you are updated to when I actually buy my ticket and plan where I am staying in part 2! If you have any suggestions for me on finding even a cheaper price than $716 please let me know in the comments below! Have a great day!
This post is not affiliated with any of the companies I mentioned above. I just wanted to share my process of traveling with you all. If you do have any questions please visit my disclaimer page.