MONEY. MONEY. MONEY.
Money is always on the mind, especially when it comes to traveling anywhere. It is also the biggest excuse I have heard for not chasing after one's travel dreams. Of course money is needed in order to travel, but not that much to be completely honest if you do your research, are flexible, and add a smidgen bit of frugality to your regular lifestyle.
People ask me all the time: Kimmi how do you do you travel so much? I ask them how do you get your nails done all the time or how do you go out to eat so often? Cutting back on certain things in life can save so much money! Think about what you can cut back on and put it towards your travel aspirations.
How do you get cheap plane tickets?
This is probably the biggest expense of your whole trip. Do not fret or let this first sentence get in the way of your dreams! It is easy to purchase a plane ticket; you have to make the jump.
Use different sites and compare them. Skyscanner (my favorite for looking all over the world to find a place to go with the 'Everywhere' destination option), Priceline, Expedia, CTrip (very good for flights to and from Asia) and a multitude of other sites offer flight searches. They also have the option to show their competitors' prices for the same flight.
Some other websites to look at for flights are through airline carriers since they may not show up on these flight search engines. Norwegian Airlines and IcelandAir (great for a stopover in Iceland, read more here) are great for flights to and from the US to Europe, but may not come up through a general search on other sites.
Overall, expect to pay between $500 to $1300 for a return plane ticket from the US to Europe and visa vera as well as from the US to Asia. It's a wide range because it depends where you fly to and from, when you purchase the ticket, and what season (summer is high season, winter low season) you plan to visit. This fare range can also be applied to one-way tickets, too.
When should you book a ticket?
Whenever you are ready and want to book, do it (I will be the cheerleader voice behind you)! But it does help if you plan a little in advance to get the best price. Best prices from the US to Europe or the US to Asia are three to six months in advance or more. Sometimes last minute ends up being surprisingly cheap still, but quite often can be sky high in pricing. Many sites allow you to create a 'price alert' for the flight that you're looking for that will send you emails if the flight price rises.
Should you plan an itinerary for a trip with multiple flights?
It depends on the type of person/traveler that you are. Do you want to be secure with your plans or do you want to let the wind take you as it may? If you have a time limit, an itinerary will help you get the most out of the days that you have reserved for travel. If you don't have a limit, being flexible may lead you to many places.
If you are planning a European or an Asian trip and exploring the continent, an itinerary may be best to use if you are using multiple ways of travel (car, bus, train, ferry, or plane) look at budget carriers. There are so many budget carriers that go to many places throughout Europe and Asia, with one-way flights costing as little as $20.
Here is a list of popular budget flight carries in Europe:
Here is a list of popular budget flight carriers in Asia:
There are many other ways to help you travel cheaply. More posts on that later. Other ways you can see the world is slow travel by living and working abroad as an au pair or as an English teacher.
So start that flight search now and make the leap and JUST DO IT. Buy a ticket and go explore what the world has to offer you.