Five Broke Travel Tips for Dummies

So I travel fairly often. After I'm asked “How are you?,” I usually received a super animated “So girl, where are you now?!” That being said… I love to see other black women abroad! Here are five simple tips for you to save some coins on your next trip. 

Number 1: Jesus Millyrocking Christ- Get Some Airline Miles
The cheapest way to travel will always be using miles. I am talking $6 to book one-way and $12 to book a round-trip ticket (domestically) and about $130 to book round trip internationally. Some people will tell you to stay loyal to one company/provider but I jump around a lot. It is all about finding what works for you. If you have an airline you like- stay loyal! If you don’t then jump around. I was so late to the game on this. Don’t be me! Make your money work twice for you! Those new shoes look even better with double miles sis. 

Number 2: Keep A Kitchen
Usually, if I am traveling overseas, I like to book an accommodation with a kitchen. It means I can save some serious cash on constantly eating out (depending on where you going), my body thanks me AND I have options in case I am in a country where I don’t really like the food. Trifecta! Groceries save budgets! 

Number 3: Meet People! 
I live and swear by the Facebook network. Some of you just read that with the mean side eye and some of you just read that and said “YASSSSSS Girl”! The thing is, Facebook has a ton of groups- I’m talking 600+ Million. Do a bit of research to find one(s) that meet your travel needs. You can find very localized ones for specific areas like Sistas in Australia/New Zealand and Las Morenas de Espana. You can find more generalized ones like Black Americans Abroad and Black Backpackers. Then you have your old faithful, OG level groups like Nomadness or Travel Noire.

These groups are dope channels to meet up with people who are uniquely what I like to call Foreign Locals. They look or speak like you but are living that Expat life in another country! They know where the cheap spots are, the good happy hours, the tourist traps. Use the groups and the people you meet in them to make the most out of your time on vacation.

Number 4: Tour Sis!
I’m a nerd. Loud and proud. BUT I’m also frugal as fuck-, especially in another country. You won’t catch me panhandling on those Asian streets. Most major cities these days have a free walking tour- jump all over that. Use Groupon or Groupon’s cousin - a quick Google schmoogle will tell you if there is a local equivalent. Usually can find a ton of fun local/touristy things to do for a reasonable price. 

I usually LOVE to do the Red Double Decker tour bus. It is a super affordable way to get around the city, usually comes with an Airport/train transfer, and you get to at least see most of the main sites of the city even if you don’t always pay the admission to go inside all of them.

Number 5: Remember the 3 B’s (Banking, Baggage & Be Flexible) 
1. Banking. It is 2018. Get y’all a card with no foreign transaction fees. Depending on the country, I usually find that it so much cheaper to either swipe my card or pull money straight out of the ATM machine. 
2. Baggage. Don’t do it to yourself. I usually take a carry on and a backpack. If you are scared you are going to go on a buying spree, pack a duffel. That way I can at least save money on one leg of the trip. 
3. Be Flexible on your dates if possible. Off/Shoulder seasons will save you lots of money. Sometimes you can’t help it- but if you can do a cheaper time of the year you should. Skyscanner has a great option to search by the cheapest month. Use it Sis. 

  • Written by Joy Robinson 
  • Job Title: ESL Teacher / Freelancer
  • Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia