Many people ask us, “How did you do that?” In regards to our low flight rate or even simply going on vacation. A lot of our friends and family make traveling sound like a foreign concept. Coincidentally, foreign countries don’t seem to think so. There are full months where parts of Europe go away from home to visit a neighboring country or further. Too far-fetched? How about I have coworkers who travel way more than we do. Kamau and I plan about 3 trips/vacations a year. Then there are the obligated travel for major family functions or visiting neighboring states by car. Or of course our favorite, impromptu visits to Canada.
Either way, my point is that there is no major secret to travel. It’s all about doing it. You have to want to do. If you don’t want to, then don’t make yourself spend money on it if your heart isn’t into it. It would become a strict obligation. For me, it’s anything but that. Of course, there are times I’m sick of stalking a flight rate as I anticipate it’s 51% drop (which really did happen for my one-way flight to Fort Lauderdale in October). Luckily for me, I can usually just baton pass it to Kamau and then he will pick up from where I left off. Teamwork. I also get to decide how to spend my time. Trying new things, like food and activities. Much like, tacos in California or pasta in Italy or walking the streets of London. Ultimately it is a time to observe and experience.
If you’re not into travel, like my youngest brother, then you most likely feel that it’s a luxury and doesn’t do much for you. And those are valid beliefs. But again, they just aren’t mine or Kamau’s. Therefore, maybe you might want to stop reading and find something else that fascinates you. Like… playing videos games in your room for hours? No judgment.
Where do you start when it comes to planning your travel? A year ago, I did a blog post about this on my website and I think these points are still valid.
Request your days off
If you are an adult, this is very important. No vacation time, no vacation.
If you work a full-time job (not self-employed), request your days off at least 6+ months a head of time. The minimum time frame should be 3+ months. Especially if you work closely with others on a team or on an ongoing project. You want to beat out everyone else for the days you want. Do this even if you aren’t definite about the logistics yet. Giving back requested days is easier than adding days later on.
If you are self-employed, take note of what you have going on and what you may potentially be working on around the time of your trip. I would advise that you wait until closer to the date you are thinking of, before letting you clients know you may be out of office on these days. If you work with others, I would let them know at least a month and a half before. Which should be around the time you start finalizing your plans.
Look for flights
I love Google Flights. It tells me when flights dip, as well as, the history of prices since I started watching them. I save specific dates to my “tracked” list. I would suggest to check on the list in the morning and evening during your commutes to and from work.
Their notifications work A LOT better since 2016. Therefore whenever you receive a notification that your flight dropped, be ready with your credit card to purchase. A friend of mine recently gave me a valuable tip, “Don’t hesitate. Purchase first. And if you need to return it, you have free cancellation up to 24hrs.” Genius.
Airbnb is my go to. Probably always will be. When traveling with someone or in a group, put places on wish lists. There is a way to vote on the saved places.
Keep in mind that there is a point when you have to ask yourself whether or not it is worth staying at an Airbnb location. When the price goes too high or it gets too difficult to find a place for your time-frame, start looking for hotels. Expedia and sites like it are best for that. Be frugal but don’t be a fool.