Travel More, Spend Less: 6 Tips for Traveling on a Budget

by Tiffany Paul


Sure, the memories made and experiences had while traveling are said to be priceless, but let’s be honest, travel can become expensive. That’s why this month I wanted to share six easy travel tips to help plan your next getaway without emptying your wallet. From eating smart to packing light, here are a few easy suggestions for traveling on a budget.

Create a Budget

Before you even set foot on a plane, dip a toe in the ocean or take a sip of a pina colada, the most important part of traveling on a budget is understanding exactly how much you can afford to spend. Establish a reasonable budget before you spend a dime. Flight and hotel are usually the first two things to come out of this budget, so once those are booked, allocate the remaining to food, entertainment and shopping. With a budget in mind, you can make smarter decisions every step of the way.

Be Flexible

As you start to look for airfare, it can be a great money saver if you’re willing to be flexible in the dates you travel. Tuesday and Thursday departures and arrivals are considered the cheapest travel days. You might also consider traveling during the offseason. Although the Caribbean makes a great winter escape, it will always be cheaper to visit during the spring and summer. And while popular destinations like Paris, London and Rome are packed during spring and summer months, consider visiting in the fall or winter.

Limit the Length

When you’re spending good money on a plane ticket, it’s common to want to get your money’s worth and stay at your destination for as long as possible. However, cutting your week long vacation to 5 days, or your 10 day vacation to a week can have significant savings. Not only will it save on hotel, it eliminates the cost of eating out and entertainment for those extra days. If your budget included $200 a night for hotel, $100 a day for food and $75 for entertainment, that’s a savings of $750 if you reduce your trip by two days.

Pack Light

Most airlines charge for checked bags, so an easy way to save money is by packing light and avoiding or limiting your checked luggage. Packing light is all about preparation. Make a list so you know exactly what you need and stick to the list. Take the time before you depart for your getaway, to learn about the local climate. Follow the weather forecast for the week leading up to your trip so you can get a better idea of the recent weather patterns and therefore a better idea of what type of clothing to pack. Favor pieces that can be worn with multiple outfits or multiple ways. When it comes to accessories, stick to black OR brown, gold OR silver. Lastly, shoes are often a huge space hog, so try to limit the number of shoes whenever possible. Wear your larger shoes like sneakers or boots on the plane to save room and pack smaller shoes like flats and flip flops in your carry on.

Self Guided Tours

If your budget doesn't allow for pricey guided tours, then consider grabbing a guide book or downloading an audio tour instead. The best way to experience a city is by visiting the local landmarks, parks, museums, and beaches and they all have a story. Spend your plane or car ride to your destination reading up on the history and fun facts before arriving. Not only will you know the hot spots to visit prior to your arrival, you will be able to appreciate it more, knowing the back story. Rick Steves is always my go-to for guidebooks and he also offers free audio tours on his app.

Bonus Tip: If the places you want to visit are a bit too far on foot, renting a bike is often an affordable and fun way to get around. You can also try public transportation in lieu of renting a car or taking a taxi.

Eat Smart

If you want to travel on a budget, you need to eat smart. Food represents a large portion of your travel budget, so without proper planning, your food budget can quickly get away from you. The easiest way to take control of your food budget is by visiting the local market for snacks and meal items. Not only is this budget friendly, it’s also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and see how the locals live. Stock snacks in your hotel room as well as your purse or bag for when you’re on-the-go. For a meal, bring your food to a local park or city center and enjoy a nice picnic, along with some people watching. Try alternating meals between the market and dining out and you’re sure to save significantly. When dining out, remember that lunchtime meals are going to be more affordable. For dinner, you might consider splitting an entree to keep costs down.

Bonus Tip: Guided food tours double as a meal and entertainment. Often 3+ hours long, food tours are my favorite way to learn about the city I’m visiting, while also trying the local cuisine. Tour guides will often take you off the beaten path which allows you to see a part of the city, you might not have otherwise. Since tour guides are all locals and have a passion for good food, be sure to ask your tour guide for affordable restaurant recommendations before you leave. They’ll often point you in the direction of hidden neighborhood gems v.s. tourist traps.

It is possible to travel the world without breaking the bank or accruing unnecessary debt. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or not, following these tips will ensure your hard earned dollar does not go to waste. What tips do you have to save money while traveling?

 


What's in my carry-on?

by Tiffany Paul


Anytime you’ve ever boarding a flight, after you’ve checked your baggage, you must have felt that familiar sense of worry. What if you make it there, but your bags don’t? Well, you can save yourself that panic-inducing notion by packing your carry-on like a boss. After many years of traveling, both for business & leisure, I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten to know what my absolute carry-on essentials are.

 

 

You can click through the collage above & read on below to see why this is what’s in my carry-on.

 

 

  • My Sleeper Scarf. I never travel without my Sleeper Scarf & this means I always arrive to my destinations well-rested. Also, it’s an absolutely lifesaver on chilly flights. After I have touched ground, it’s easy to just take the air out of the pillow and wear it as a scarf.

 

  • Headphones; a great pair of headphones will never go unappreciated. Your Frends headphones will be your best friends when you need to escape into your own world.

 

  • An extra outfit; keeping an extra outfit in your carry-on will save you in the case that your luggage does get lost.

 

  • A healthy snack; pack a healthy snack for the plane or your hotel room.

 

  • Two reading materials. It is always best to take two reading materials just in case your mood should change from wanting to be inspired to wanting to know Hollywood gossip.

 

  • Olay facial cloths. These Olay facial cloths work magic to wipe away the makeup after the long day & will clean up any mess.

 

  • MAC pressed powder. This MAC pressed powder will keep your shine at bay & it is great to freshen up just before landing.

 

  • Sugar Lip Treatment. It is very easy to dehydrate your skin on a flight & your lips are  no exception. Make sure to keep them nourished and exfoliated with this lip treatment.

 

  • 3D Lash Mascara. When you’re in a pinch applying some mascara will instantly help make you look awake until you can truly sleep off the jet lag.

 

  • Eye Mask. Studies have shown that we are more likely to go to sleep in darkness; an eye mask will help you get whatever shut eye you can on any flight.

 

  • Notebook & Pen. Inspiration has been to known to strike at the oddest of hours; never be unprepared to jot down that million dollar idea or your itinerary down.

 

  • Wrinkle Releaser. Downy’s wrinkle releaser is my secret weapon for any wrinkle I need to fight on the go & just before any corporate meeting.

     

    What are some of your carry-on musts?

     


Celebrity Airport Look: Miranda Kerr

by Tiffany Paul


Miranda Kerr Airport Style


One of the reasons I love this look is that it reminds me of the old days when people proved their sophistication at the airport. Most of us don’t look this glamorous at the airport, but something about this classic look had me dying to test it out. I decided to try it on my next business trip, when I usually go the extra mile to look a bit more presentable since you never know who you'll run into on the plane or in the hotel lobby.

    I went on a mission to find that perfect, summertime travel dress that would be comfy enough for the plane, but classy enough for business travel. You can check out my video here for some shopping inspiration. I tried on a couple of different dresses before finally settling on the one that was most flattering to my body type, travel-ready, and made me feel as glamorous as Miranda Kerr looked. I paired it with a navy blazer, nude pumps (back up flats in my purse, for the plane ride), Ray Ban sunnies and a thin brown belt to pull the whole look together. 

     Check out my look & click through collage to find the pieces. You can also check out the collage above for some Miranda Kerr styled pieces, with budget-friendly options.


5 Airports that will get you excited to Layover

by Tiffany Paul


When it comes to airports, most are simply a means to an end, a place to hop on a plane and go on your merry way. However, certain airports go above and beyond when it comes to delighting travelers and enhancing the overall travel experience. The Miami airport for example, hosts a therapy dog weekly sporting a “Pet Me” vest to entertain and ease travelers with some puppy love. Stop in at the World Duty Free store in London Heathrow airport to take advantage of a complimentary mini massage, facial or make-up touch up. Order up food and beverage to your gate with the touch of a button using complimentary iPads installed at both La Guardia Airport in New York and the Minneapolis St. Paul airport.

Airports are certainly upping their game when it comes to offering amenities that make your layover feel more like a “playover”. Here are 5 airports that will get you excited for your next layover.

Vancouver

Get in touch with nature during your visit to the Vancouver airport. Start by enjoying some sea life at the airports’ 114,000 liter aquarium hosting 850 indigenous sea animals and a 3,800 liter jellyfish tank with 100 moon jellies. From there, be sure to stop by the impressive 55 foot tall self-sustaining Green Wall featuring 27,000 plants. While you grab a bite to eat or do a bit of duty free shopping, enjoy the indoor creek that flows throughout the terminal. If you have a bit more time, stop off at Chester Johnson Park situated just outside the international terminal and escape in a tranquil oasis featuring lush greenery, a waterfall and pond.

Enjoy the indoor creek running through the Vancouver airport terminals

Enjoy the indoor creek running through the Vancouver airport terminals

Escape to Chester Johnson Park right outside the International Terminal at Vancouver airport.

Escape to Chester Johnson Park right outside the International Terminal at Vancouver airport.

San Francisco International Airport

Leave it to a CA airport to help you find your zen while traveling. SFO airport offers a 24 hour complimentary yoga room along with reflection and reading room for visitors. You can also relax at the Xpress Spa located in terminals 2, 3 and International Area G. If retail therapy is more your style, check out the 80 shops including high end stores like Burberry, Hermes, Coach and Gucci. Also on-site to keep you relaxed while waiting for your flight, is an Aviation Museum and Library, aquarium and several local art exhibits. If you have children that need to be entertained, check in at the information desk to get directions to a scavenger hunt taking place throughout the terminals. If you find yourself in Terminal 3 craving some local fare, check out Boudin Bakery for some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl that’s sure to hit the spot.

Keep calm with a moment in the complimentary yoga rooms throughout SFO airport.

Keep calm with a moment in the complimentary yoga rooms throughout SFO airport.

Munich Airport

Munich’s famous Oktoberfest celebration is not the only place you can sample Bavarian brews and tasty treats. Munich’s airport is packed with restaurants serving authentic Bavarian food. In fact, Munich Airport was named the World's Best Airport for Dining in the 2013 World Airport Awards. Popular food venue Airbrau takes it to the next level boasting its very own brewery, which you can tour for a small fee. They also offer complimentary entertainment featuring local up and coming artists. If you’re lucky enough to fly out of this airport during the holiday season, check out the Munich Airport Winter Market featuring hundreds of decorated Christmas trees, an outdoor ice skating rink and venders selling crafts and local goods. If you’re flying out during the summer time, check out the indoor wave pool and give surfing a shot!

The Munich winter market features an indoor ice skating rink. 

The Munich winter market features an indoor ice skating rink. 

Catch a wave in the complimentary wave pool at Munich Airport each summer.

Catch a wave in the complimentary wave pool at Munich Airport each summer.

Hong Kong

Kill time before or after your flight with a round of golf at Hong Kong airport’s nine-hole golf course just outside Terminal 2. The airport makes it easy with luggage storage and club rental so all you have to do is show up. Not into golf? Grab a bite at their Michelin star restaurant Hung’s Delicacies, watch a movie in the airport’s IMAX theatre, or visit the Aviation Discovery Center. There’s also plenty for kids to do at the Dream Come True Education Park where children can explore different careers through a variety of interactive activities.

Skycity Nine Eagles 9-hole golf course offers club rental and luggage storage while you play.

Skycity Nine Eagles 9-hole golf course offers club rental and luggage storage while you play.

Singapore Changi Airport

Expect to be dazzled by this airport! Singapore Changi Airport has long been considered one of the world's best featuring one of a kind amenities like the world’s first Butterfly Garden at an airport, a 12 meter indoor slide and a Balinese-themed swimming pool. If you have at least 5 hours to spare before your departure flight, you can take advantage of a free 2-hour guided tour of Singapore highlighting all the main attractions of the city. What’s more, is this airport was voted one of the best in the world for sleeping, due to its several free rest areas featuring specially-designed snooze chairs equipped with head and leg rests.

For a small fee, enjoy the beautiful pool deck, towel service and a non-alcoholic beverage.

For a small fee, enjoy the beautiful pool deck, towel service and a non-alcoholic beverage.

Let your inner kid (or your actual kid) enjoy these mega indoor slides.

Let your inner kid (or your actual kid) enjoy these mega indoor slides.

Catch a few zzz's in these complimentary leather snooze chairs found throughout the airport.

Catch a few zzz's in these complimentary leather snooze chairs found throughout the airport.

These airport designs and amenities will make it impossible not to enjoy the normally mundane layover. If you ever have the opportunity to land or takeoff at any of these airports, try to leave yourself plenty of time to explore. Careful though, you may start to love your layovers! What's your favorite airport to layover in?