Budgeting 101

Elesha Williams

4 Budgeting Tips for Solo Travelers

So you’ve decided to go on a trip! Now you’re super excited about being just a few months away from exploring a new country. You’ll be enjoying all the culture it has to offer. You start looking at restaurants you wanna eat at, hotels, and festivals, but wait how do you plan to finance this wonderful adventure? By creating a budget that’s how! Here are four tips that will ensure you’re able to experiences all that you want and stick to a budget at the same damn time!

Catching flights 

Your flight is usually one of the most expensive purchases when planning a trip so when you pick your destination begin searching flight prices. Checking websites like Skyscanner can be a huge help with discounts. I would recommend checking for bundle deals like Expedia offers a discount when you bundle your flight and hotel. I’ve noticed sometimes if you opt to do a bundle deal you’ll be able to qualify for a hotel upgrade which is always a win in my book. If you are a frequent flyer or plan to be, I would also recommend joining your favorite airlines’ rewards program (Not the credit card ones but the free register your email address ones). When you do that, over time you gain perks such as flight discounts, free drink coupons, free class upgrades, and sometimes even a free flight. Airlines have cheap flights at certain times of the year so you need to be proactive about your travel plans. This could make the difference between getting that 59 dollar flight or having to pay 400 for a roundtrip TRUST me! 

Home Away from Home

Now here’s another expense that can be costly, where to stay. If you’re a solo traveler you don’t have the luxury of splitting the cost with someone so getting bang for your buck is a must! If you’re like me and have expensive taste Airbnb might be a good way to go, because you can usually find a REALLY nice place in a central location for the RIGHT price. Hotels usually charge a tax or resort fees, which often makes them the more expensive option. If you plan to do a group trip an Airbnb is the best choice because you’ll have the entire place to yourself. Which means more space for the group and you can split the cost. Before you book anything look at the prices of Airbnb vs. a hotel. You should utilize travel search engines such as Expedia or whichever you prefer. If you have a certain hotel in mind do not forget to check their website for rates and call the hotel directly. They usually are able to match cheaper rates found and they occasionally offer an added discount to get you to book directly with them. Once you arrive at your destination ask for a complimentary room upgrade. (Now this doesn’t always work but it doesn’t hurt to ask!) There have been a few times where I have been able to get a free room upgrade at check-in just because I mentioned it. As far as safety is concerned solo travelers have to always take this into consideration. I can admit being in a hotel does bring a little bit more safety due to the cameras in the hotel and the 24-hour hotel staff being present. Hotels often have their own security team in place as well, so those are some pros about hotel stays that should be noted. 

Girl Get Your Money Straight

Deciding how soon your trip will be is a big deal because the farther away a trip is scheduled the more time you have to save and plan. If you have a trip 6 months away you can decide to put aside 2-300 dollars a month for trip expenses. Putting money aside for my trips is how I afford to travel so much. I have a travel fund, even when I’m not planning a trip I am still putting money to the side for future travels. Ya’ll (this is not a typo it’s how us southerners say you all lol) if you want to be an effective solo traveler open up a travel bank account. It usually takes about  5 dollars to open a bank account. That way every time you get paid or anytime you have extra money put it in the account! You will be surprised at how much money you DO have to travel, so you can get rid of that as an excuse not to travel. This way if you do want to take a last-minute trip you’ll already have the funds. Being proactive and budgeting for travel will ensure that your favorite destinations are not a huge financial burden. 

Shop til you drop 

I have made this huge mistake just like many of you, buying tons and tons of clothes for each trip I go on. That was in my rookie travel days. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT go crazy shopping before a trip it’s a waste of money! Money that could be used to shop once you touchdown at your destination. You do not need a brand new wardrobe every time you go out of town. Use and reuse the clothes and shoes that you already have! Now it’s okay to buy a few new pieces when traveling maybe a cute new swimsuit or some new shoes, but it’s very important that you don’t go crazy! You wanna be able to have more than enough money to explore and participate in all the wonderful things your destination has to offer. I am sure you will be shopping like crazy once you hit your destination (I know I do). So don’t waste your money before you even get there!

With these tips, I am sure you’ll be able to afford the trip of a lifetime!




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