Trip Planning 101: How to Travel for (mostly) Free

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Trip Planning 101: How to Travel for (mostly) Free

 
 

“I really wish that I could travel more.”

If I had a coin for each time I heard someone say this, I would have already been to California and back on another’s dime. When this happens, I’ll typically ask them what’s holding them back. Among the many excuses I receive, the number one thing that I hear is “I can’t afford it.” Assuming that you have expendable income (which most people do) you can always set up a plan to afford whatever it is that you want. You just have to want it bad enough. I believe that if you don’t value a good or service then you tell yourself that you can’t afford it. But this blog isn’t about your personal spending priorities, it’s about detailing a few of the ways that you can travel affordably or for free. 

Who doesn’t love free stuff?

 
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The number one way that I’ve been able to travel for free are rewards programs. Literally every hotel, rental car company, airline, or credit card company has a rewards program. If you want to dive into these benefits, spend some time deciding how you spend the majority of your dollars so that you can pick the best fit for you. Ask yourself a couple questions:

  • Do you travel internationally or only within your country?

  • Do you only fly with one airline, rent with one car rental company or stay in one hotel chain?

  • Do you prefer a more authentic experience like AirBnb?

  • Do you own a business?

 
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If you are an entrepreneur, the business credit card programs are definitely worth investigating. Especially if you are providing a service where you are purchasing goods that will eventually be reimbursed by your clients. You are essentially earning points for money that your clients are spending. 

Even when you book free travel using your rewards points, you can still accumulate points for that booking. For example, I haven’t paid for a flight in three years for my husband and I and we have traveled (within the US) 3 times per year. Since I normally book 6 free flights per year by transferring my Chase rewards points to Southwest or United, I can still claim points for those free flights through my rewards program with Southwest or United. I could talk about point programs forEVER and I would be happy to help you figure out what’s best for your situation.

 
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Hey Yogis, this one is for you!

If you have your yoga certification you can stay for free at luxurious resorts and other beautiful accommodations around the world with Yoga Trade. Facilities list what they are willing to trade in exchange for you to teach yoga at their establishments, typically offering unique experiences with these opportunities happening all around the world. I have not yet checked this out personally but it’s how I plan to escape the Michigan winter coming up.

Do you have friends and family that like to travel? Group travel can save you significantly on accommodations. If several of you go in on a house, you can usually stay in some amazing homes and places for a lot less than it would cost you and your favorite travel partner. 

Last but not least, if you have the luxury of planning ahead, sign up for Groupon or any other discount service in the area that you are planning on visiting and watch for deals for dining or excursions that you were planning on partaking it.

That wraps up my favorite ways to travel for free. Did I miss anything?

 
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What is your favorite way to travel for free?

 

 
Images by Personal Branding Maven  Elise Kutt  at  Mod Bettie Portraits

Images by Personal Branding Maven Elise Kutt at Mod Bettie Portraits

My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.

I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.

My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.

Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Trip Planning Wizard

 

 
TravelAnna VanAgtmaeltravel, free