Aside from family reunions in the South and a couple trips to Wisconsin for water parks, I hadn't done much traveling growing up. After I took my first solo trip to New York and figured out the world was a lot bigger than Chicago, booking trips, adventures, and trying new restaurants in new cities became my favorite hobby. Here's 7 tips on how to live your best life, but not break the bank featuring insight from two dope melanin girl flight attendants from Indianapolis that I got the chance to chop it up with; Akia Perkins and Alyssa Walker.
1. Just Do It!
"Money comes and goes but the Experiences don’t. Totally not saying make irresponsible fiscal decisions. Just saying we spend money on clothes, material things, and eating out at restaurants, so why not spend it on travel?
Cut back your leisurely spending habits such as eating out or movie theatre trips, even for a short period of time. 10 dollars a day for lunch actually adds up, cook at home instead of eating out. That money could be used towards a travel budget. Use the PTO, or take the extra day off for those work- a- holics out there. Enjoy yourself. Your existence is not purely to work, pay bills, and die. You have to live too." -Chare'A
2. Go Solo!
"I understand it can be scary and you should definitely be cautious at all times ;however, traveling solo allows you to do what you want when you want. There is nothing worse than having to cancel a trip because someone doesn’t come through.
It can be really stressful, but planning out the crucial details of your trip including transportation to and from the hotel, currency exchange, daily activities, etc. can alleviate that stress. Try and find a hotel/Airbnb/hostel that provides all of these things so that you can spend less time planning and more time finding outfits or making money for the trip! Oookkkkuurrrrr! "- Alyssa Walker
3. Remix and Stunt Again
"Purchasing a whole new wardrobe just to go out of town can be expensive. Plan ahead for your outfits while on vacation. Purchase pieces individually to combine with a pair of shoes or pants that you already own. Add a purse you haven’t worn in some time to a new outfit or remix a look you've worn before with a whole new vision. Planning outfits also helps lighten your luggage and luggage fees by reducing the weight of unneeded clothes. Don't let social media make you think you need to have a complete gucci fit in order to look good. Spend your money shopping or trying some new delicious food instead." - Chare'A
4. Don't Be Surprised if they ask where the Cash at!
Let your bank know about your travels before your trip. Nothing would be worse than getting somewhere and not being able to use your card to make a purchase. Get cash before you leave. Sometimes the bank you bank with isn't the common bank in the area your traveling to and this also avoids extra fees from using a different ATM from what you bank with. Bring a credit card because some countries don’t take debit cards or they don’t work well in there. It's also great to have for security in case of emergency, but don't use it as a way to spurge beyond your budget.
5. Don't spend a lot on accommodations
"Nine times out of ten if you're looking to travel more you're most excited about exploring your destination . You definitely do not want to spend an arm and a leg on where you will basically just be laying your head for the night . AirBnB and even finding hostels through the app Hostelworld will be your best friends when traveling on a budget . Just think of all the other excursions and tours you'll be able to do just by saving on accommodations!"-Akia
6. "Must Do's"
"Prior to arriving on your vacation make sure you plan out your "Must Do's" . Your "Must Do's" are a list of 3 to 5 things that you absolutely have to do or see ! These can be anything from seeing that famous landmark to trying that fancy restaurant that the travel channel raves about . Having "Must Do's" give your trip some type of structure even if you have a more "go with the flow" type personality! "- Akia
7. You wanna be booked and busy?
Alyssa has 4 Great websites/apps for you to use when traveling on a budget.
There's so much of the world to see and experience. Do it ! But the goal is to travel and create experiences now, while still securing the bag and achieving your goals for the future.
Use these tips and live your best life in real life. See the world, shift your perspective, and meet new people along the way! Follow these dope melanin women's instagram pages to see some great views from places around the globe.
Peace and Light