3 Ways to Enjoy Traveling Without Breaking the Bank

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tourists using electronic...
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Who wouldn't want the chance to travel more? Unfortunately, many of us feel limited by our finances. Let's face it: vacations aren't cheap, and other goals should come first. These three ways could let you travel without breaking the bank.

1. Don't Pay with Money: Instead Use Points and Miles

Serious savings are available with the miles and points you can earn by signing up for and using certain credit cards. This is not for you if you're in debt, don't normally use credit cards, have a bad credit score or aren't experienced in managing credit. However, if you are a good money manager, understand how credit works and are not tempted to spend more than you have in cash (or more than you need to, period), leveraging credit cards may be a great way to score a travel deal.

Many companies offer huge signup bonuses when you apply for a new credit card. By putting your regular spending on cards, you can easily rack up points to pay for a free flight or hotel stay or get a discount.

Many airlines and hotels also offer perks for people who hold one of their credit cards. Be careful and do your own research before trying this trick for travel savings. NerdWallet is an excellent resource for information on reward credit cards and responsible usage. Google (GOOG) "travel hacking" for more great tips.

2. Visit Friends or Use Airbnb

Missing a friend from college? Do you have friends in different cities you haven't seen in forever? Plan a trip and stay with them. People love showing you around their city. I love being a tourist to in my own town.

The sharing economy is built around the idea that we can share (or rent) the items that we don't use all of the time. Think bikes, cars and even rooms in our homes. Airbnb connects travelers with locals who have a spare room or apartment. Rates are typically much cheaper than chain hotels. Plus, by staying with people who know the area is invaluable. They can point you toward the best spots to see off the beaten path and the tastiest places to eat that no other tourist knows.

3. Join the Club

Not sure how some people seem to travel all the time and pick up great perks from different hotels, airlines or restaurants? It might be because they're part of the club. Anyone can join loyalty programs with a variety of brands. You'll usually receive some sort of card to scan when you shop or member number tied to an account where you can rack up points or rewards.

Jump onto travel mailing lists, too. Companies like Travel Zoo send out a weekly newsletter containing great deals, discounts and sales.

Pick up other helpful tips from frequent travelers who run blogs, such as Nomadic Matt.

Sophia Bera is a financial planner for millennials and the founder of Gen Y Planning. You can sign up for the Gen Y Planning newsletter for more tips on millennials and money.

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jwells1008

Lame article, thought by headline it would be real.

July 01 2014 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jwells1008's comment
ted_wilson7

What site did you think you were on, the WSJ ?

July 01 2014 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Albert Pike

craigslist has a section where you can rent rooms by the day off of home owners.

July 01 2014 at 1:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Albert Pike's comment
ted_wilson7

Or you could just check into the Bates Motel.

July 01 2014 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Albert Pike

Those credit card points programs only work for people that travel a lot and get reimbursed from their employer.. Even when that employer is their own company. I looked into Capital One, and I would have had to spend $9500 a year just to get the $95 worth of points for the annual fee to break even.... I am one of the best money managers you will ever meet, and I understand more about this world of commerce than pretty much anyone who works at a bank below the Federal Reserve. I have more discipline than anyone you will ever meet and am very quick to spot a marketing scheme in just about everything. It is insulting that this idiotic writer assumes being stupid and using a credit card to get the rewards means you are intelligent with money. I got the capitalist system down 100% and get anywhere from a 30-50% return from my investments annually. Good luck finding that kind of advice at Edward Jones. I can predict recessions.. While most of the world thinks this recession was caused by a housing crisis, I know better. The banks got caught sitting on freight and commodity futures when the Chinese stopped buying after the 2008 Olympics and that is why your precious credit card limits were cut in half and lending came to a screeching halt.. The banks had to pay off their losses after betting big on China's consumption and need to ship commodities after a good 8 year run. Anyway.... Credit cards don't do anyone any good. Small businesses get raped by credit card companies who charge 50 cents per transaction. If you really wanted to support your local small businesses, then you would not be using a credit card where that small business has to pay a portion of their profits to the credit card company. You would let the small business owner keep their 50 cents by paying cash. Also, unless you are like JD Rockefeller and are keeping books for every nickel you spend, screwing around with credit cards is going to make you spend more than you probably want to. I have a credit card for the sole purpose of upping my credit score. That credit card sits in limbo and has never been used. It will never be used. Low and behold, I understand how money works and know a credit card will boost my credit score, I also know never to use the damn thing.

when it comes to travelling.... try a motorcycle. They get about 70 miles per gallon on a 500cc bike and you can go 1000 miles on about 15 gallons of gas (15 gallons times $3.50ish equals about $50 to $60 bucks to go 1000 miles.) Try finding a flight that is nearly as fun or even close to being that cheap. I can go from Chicago to Las Vegas for around $80 each way.. Motorcycle insurance is about $100 a year too. It kills me that people go walking in the woods or kayaking, cliff climbing etc and drive up in a Volkswagon to do it when riding a motorcycle is a lot more fun. If you want to save planet earth and cut down on carbon emissions, try getting a Kawasaki Ninja 500 and everyday is a thrill ride.

July 01 2014 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mac2jr

There is a website that features the American Southwest and it has practical ways to save as it provides the user, traveler, with not only the 'expensive' tourist sights and sites, but all the minor, enjoyable, and inexpensive sights and sites that are within a few miles of the major place or on the way to the major place.

Over 2,100 places are listed complete with links, gps, visitor comments, and caution notes.

Caution Notes can save a traveler money, as the notes keep the traveler from taking the wrong roads, going during the wrong weather, camping in fire prone areas, driving thru flood prone areas, etc.

June 30 2014 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bocavert

Join the club, Who are you kidding? Pay full price for a room, then they give a free night after 2, 5, 7, or how many nights at full list price. There are legit discounts out there.
Stay with a friend, yea and buy them meals, cook and clean up after yourself. They ain't on vacation, and how many friends do you have in Panama City FL?
If you buy your credit card or pay a yearly fee you "Might" get something back.
What a foolish article !

June 30 2014 at 8:43 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bocavert's comment
Albert Pike

I actually do have a friend in Panama City, FL named Doug T***ert... and one in Tampa Bay... and another near Miami. I have a friend in New York City and San Antonio, TX. I have a friend in Silicon Valley near San Francisco. Another friend in Seattle. Another one in Houston, TX. I have a friend in New Orleans, LA. I have a friend in Nashville, TN..... But, I would feel like a douche bag if I ever asked to stay with them and inconvenience them because I was too much of a cheap ass.

July 01 2014 at 1:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply