secrets secrets are no fun,
so let’s talk about flying…
For the record, you do not have to be a millionaire to travel. I can assure you, your bank account does not need to dwindle just because you want to explore the world. Don’t let money take away from your life experiences. We DO NOT EVER pay full price for a flight, it’s unheard of.
Our number one inspiration for traveling started with a blog called Scott’s Cheap Flights. Scott’s works VERY hard to find extremely discounted flights that he shares with all of his subscribers. For a mere $2 a month, you too can become a part of his entourage. These flights are awesome if you have the ability to travel spontaneously or if you have something planned in mind.
If you want to travel on a budget, the best way to start is by having an open mindset and itinerary. Let the flights come to you, don’t seek the flights.
Not only does he share mistake fare flights, but he has also written two incredible books called How To Find Cheap Flights & How to Fly For Free that you can purchase for $8 altogether. These two books changed our lives! We may not be millionaires, but we sure try to travel like them.
Everyone has that friend that comes home from a trip and says “Oh yeah, I traveled for free because I have airline points.” After reading both of Scott’s books, I became obsessed with learning about credit cards and the magic of “points”, and we too, became that friend.
A few credit card companies that I love are Capitol One Venture & Chase Sapphire. I highly recommend reading the two books above before you dive into opening a bunch of credit card accounts. Disclaimer: You have to be dedicated to keeping everything organized, or you could screw up your credit. I’ve managed to stay on top of my accounts, and it’s only increased my credit score.
With credit card points alone, we traveled to Kauai, HI for FREE. We saved about $3,000 in airline tickets just by achieving bonus points with our Capitol One Venture & Chase Sapphire card. It can be done! *this is just one example*
A few other helpful websites that we love are…
- Google Flights
- Helpful when choosing which day is the cheapest to fly. There is no day of the week that is “cheapest to fly”, that is a myth.
- ITA Matrix by Google
- This is the first website I pull up every morning if I am in the market to buy a ticket.
- Great for comparing all airlines.
- Student Universe
- You do not need to be a student to utilize this website, but you do need to be 25 or younger. They also share discounted hotels!
TIP: Don’t forget about Southwest. They don’t show up on airline comparing websites!
let’s talk about lodging…
I’ll be frank with you, hotels freak us out. The thought of hundreds (maybe thousands) of humans sleeping in the same bed before me… you get the point. We try to stay away from them as much as possible. They will most likely always be the most expensive route.
Let me tell you some things that don’t freak us out…
- Making friends
- Sleeping comfortably in a home.
If you start dabbling in the Airbnb world, be mindful of clicking the giant red button that says “REQUEST TO BOOK”. Fair warning, you’re locked in at that point and could end up paying for a cancelling fee you weren’t expecting (totally happened to me). Always go down to the bottom of the page and email the homeowner first if you aren’t sure about the house. I usually read just about every review written about the house/apartment before I book.
Our favorite Airbnb life hack is monthly rental discounts. Sometimes the homeowners have a 50% rent discount if you live there monthly. *This is what we did when we lived in Washington for three months* There are some really sweet deals if you look hard enough.
let’s talk about camping…
After multiple road trips across the United States, we considering ourselves fairly familiar with sleeping under the stars.
We’re holding everyone accountable to clean up after yourself if you plan on taking this advice. Don’t be a dick to nature, it’s far more powerful than you.
Camping is awesome because everyone can do it, right? That’s just it though… everyone can do it. We’ve been dreaming about that epic peaceful campsite that has everything we need plus the quiet chirping of crickets at night. Let me rain on your parade, because now-a-days that is rare my friend. It’s more common to fall asleep to the sound of screaming children, slamming bathroom doors and the roar of your neighbors RV generator.
BUT… not all hope it lost. Let us tell you a little secret about camping on public land and the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). Note: Every state is different, so you must research was is legal and what isn’t within each state. The BLM gives you the freedom of seclusion and is encouraged by BLM, USFS (US Forest Service), FWS (US Fish & Wildlife Service), and USACE/COE (US Army Corps of Engineers).
Camping within these perimeters is also known as “Boondocking” or “Dispersed Camping”. We have found that doing your homework is a must if you’re going to be camping in dispersed areas. Don’t be scared to ask land owners if you can stay on their property, they will most likely say yes. Plan ahead because you won’t have any amenities, which is a price we’re willing to pay (that’s a joke… because dispersed camping is FREE).
If you follow us on social media, you know that we use our tent religiously. It has saved us THOUSANDS of dollars and our mattress is just as comfy as any hotel. We’re not going to lie, it’s a big investment but in the grand scheme of things, it’s saved us money on the road.
For example, if you went on a 15 day trip across the US and paid ~$100 a night on lodging that would cost about $1,500, right? After the trip you would be at a $1,500 loss, OR you could invest in a Tepui that will last you years to come at the same price of one road trip. It was really a no-brainer to us considering how much we drive.
Here are 10 reasons why we love our Tepui…
- Set up takes 5 minutes max.
- We have an incredible mattress + an inch foam pad for extra comfort.
- You will save a ton of space in your vehicle.
- You’re off the ground and safe from bugs/snakes/weather.
- You have a much better view.
- People love to talk to you about it (thus making new friends).
- The tent can go anywhere your car can go.
- You can leave all your bedding in it (no more folding up sleeping bags)
- It makes you feel like a kid in a tree fort.
- Tepui is fun to say. (teh-poo-ee)
Our main goal is to share what we have learned so that others can experience the world without draining their bank accounts. If you have any questions, we are more than happy to chat with you one on one!
-Rachel & Holt