Budgeting for travel does not have to come with rules!
Whether it is your next Family Vacation or a Weekend Trip away, enjoy the time & experience!
Over the years I have managed to do a fair amount of travel, especially around Central & South America. Plus Mexico where I currently am based during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The comments that I receive from a lot of my friends are; “you have a life of riley” or “do you ever do any work, you are always travelling!”.
Yes it is true, I do a lot of travelling, and I post photographs to show the places I have been, or I am currently. This is also to keep my family informed of where I am anywhere in the world.
But it does not come easy, and I have to spend wisely to be able to afford & enjoy the places I visit. Plus, a lot of them are combined with working too. The opportunity to enjoy “down time” from my job gives me freedom to explore and appreciate the areas I visit!
Many people who say to me, I cannot afford to fly to places I would love to visit. The airline tickets are too expensive! Or others say, I find it hard to book good hotels at short notice, especially if they have a long weekend from work.
It can be easy if you have the right information at hand, and it can all be done from the comfort of your mobile or cell phone!
The right Apps and the correct approach can make the process so much easy.
For example, I have one particular App on my phone which I use regular when searching for airline tickets: SKYSCANNER
I suggest you download this app and make good use of their search system. You can find single, return or multiple flight options, and once you have your flight search, Skyscanner will direct you to the relevant airline company offering the fare you have found.
It is so simple, and the amazing thing about Skyscanner, you choose what time of the day you prefer to fly, your price budget for flight tickets, and which route you would like to fly. Plus, if you have a favourite airline you fly with, especially if you have points or airmiles, then you can choose all the specifics for your travel.
When you have exhausted all your effort searching through the websites of individual airline companies, just to price compare and see who offers the best deal. Let Skyscanner help you with that burden.
Of course there are other companies offering the same services, but choose a flight portal like Skyscanner to make the process easy & simple!
Which hotel do I choose?
The most important part of the trip, where are we going to stay, what hotel are we going to book?
Everybody has their own wishes on the standard of accommodations they prefer. Most people choose because of budget & location. Others want a little more luxury for their weekend stay!
It is up to the individual, but what if I say you can have it all, and you can save money too, even if you are not on a tight budget. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge, and knowhow about which hotel company you stay with.
Everybody has heard of EXPEDIA right? But not everybody knows that they own or have affiliation with over 20 other different booking portals.
For instance these few below are some of the most common:
Many people are familiar with these companies, and will have these popup on their screen when you are making a hotel search or a flight search, but they are all operated by EXPEDIA.
So why again use all your time & energy when searching for hotels, when they have it all under their own brand website.
Well, as an extensive traveller to Panama, Peru, Colombia, and even further afield to Europe & UK, I have always used Expedia has my booking agent.
Just being a member of Expedia provides me huge benefits when booking hotels & accommodation. I am also rewarded every single time I travel.
Not only do I receive Expedia Reward Points with my my booking. I am also offered free room upgrades or VIP Access on hotels anywhere around the world.
What does it cost you to join Expedia?
Absolutely nothing, all you have to do is make your reservation simple & easy online! Now here is a little tip I learnt about getting the most from Expedia when booking through the Expedia App!
By using the Expedia App, I am offered double points than if I used the reservations via my laptop or PC. No catch!, in fact Expedia encourage you to use their App more often.
If you need proof of just how I managed to get an amazing deal from them, please see below a hotel I reserved in Playa Del Carmen for 5 NIGHTS in;
Live Aqua Boutique Resort, Playa Del Carmen
with ALL INCLUSIVE, and the total cost to me $186.25 USD!
I had accrued enough points with Expedia to be able to enjoy a relaxing 5 Nights in this hotel right in the heart of 5th Avenue, Playa Del Carmen, plus All Inclusive food & drinks, and a VIP Upgrade Suite.
This is my current account to date, and I still have Expedia Rewards Points pending to add to this total. Below that is the price breakdown of the hotel in Playa Del Carmen.
This is just one example of many hotels I have stayed using my accrued Expedia Rewards Points to gain upgrades, free nights, or VIP Access. Plus, I am still getting the best price deal out there on the market.
My advice, make the most of your money, and keep it in your pocket ready to spend on your next break or holiday.
Become a member of Expedia Rewards Program and start enjoying the benefits they offer!
Occasionally I stay in a particular city or holiday destination for a few days or even a week or more! I do not use Travel Agencies when I am looking to package a holiday with flight, hotel, car etc. I use the major brand travel companies like Expedia or Skyscanner, but also other companies.
Why?, because I like the flexibility of travelling on the day I want, and to stay for however many nights I choose, or even swap hotels after a few nights and stay in another part of town or resort.
It´s all about being flexible, and getting to experience the most of an area you are visiting.
For example, in December 2018 I spent a month in Panama City, Panama. I managed to catch up with friends and was already taking a hiatus away from work. Over the course of that month I stayed in 3 different hotels & Aparthotels!
I wanted the freedom to enjoy home cooking for a couple of weeks in the centre of Panama City. It also gave me the opportunity to do some personal administration, and all the offices I visited where close. So an Aparthotel was the best option for me!
Marriott Executive Apartments Panama City
Then it was time to enjoy the countryside & wildlife, so I moved away from the city and stayed in the Gamboa Rainforest Resort for 5 nights.
I was close to nature, and the surrounding area where ideal for me to walk the trails for a few kilometres into Gamboa Rainforest. The tranquility of this peaceful hotel is a huge contrast from the hustle & bustle of the city after 2 weeks there.
I suppose what I am trying to write is, with Flexible Travel you have the freedom to explore. See more of the places we go for holidays or short weekend breaks.
Don´t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Make the most of what can be achieved with a little knowhow, and a little easy planning.
THERE IS A BIG WHOLE WORLD OUT THERE, GO AND FIND IT!