How We Afford Family Travel (You Can Too)
One question that we get asked often is, “How are you guys able to afford so much travel?” If you are wondering the same thing, then this is the post for you! To over-simplify it, we do lots of little things to add up to one of the major goals that are important to us, traveling. This is how we afford family travel (you can too)!
Like with most plans, we set out on our path by setting actionable goals, performing research, and putting in the hard work. Lifestyle changes have played a part in our overall goal setting as well. This shift took place even more-so once our family expanded.
Click Read More for the ideas that can get you there too!
Flying typically takes up a big chunk of the travel budget for families. With plane being the preferred mode for most family travel at 54% (Expedia Group), it’s a no-brainer that we would want to save money in this space! Researching the most affordable routes comes naturally for us now as well. We use a variety of resources to ensure we are getting the best deals on flights and have been known to book through Scott’s Cheap flights on more than one occasion.
Additionally, we will only fly to places where there is an excellent deal. If the destination is somewhere like Europe, we will book the cheap flight to the major hub and then opt for cheaper domestic flights to other countries. In 2017, we booked round trip tickets for two from Portland, OR to London for about $900. From there, we took a domestic flight to Venice, Italy. Booking it this way saved us hundreds of dollars! If you are flexible on location, this is an excellent way to save money and explore new places.
PRO TIP: Google flights is another tool we use to ensure that we aren’t missing any carriers during our research. (Southwest does not show up in this search engine though)
This one might not make much sense at first, because why on earth would you want to use your investments to fund a trip. This option is not used on every single one of our trips, but for the larger ones, we have cashed out one share or two (of a growth stock, never a dividend-paying stock). For example, Amazon stock was at $1889.65 a share in October of 2018, but if you held on to that for 2 years, you are looking at a share going for $3272.71. Aside from that initial investment, you are looking at a difference of $1383.06 that could be funding a portion of your next trip. Of course, you want to take tax implications into consideration as well, but you understand the overall point of this tactic. For beginners, Stash is a great way to introduce yourself to stocks. For those looking for a more advanced platform, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are others we personally use.
SELLING ON AMAZON, EBAY AND POSHMARK
For items that we are no longer using or have outgrown, we will typically give back to the secondhand community. Not only does this lighten our closet and house space, but it also put cash back into our pockets. Our family is also a fan of recycling, so this option is one of our favorites. Alternately, we also purchase items and home decorations through thrift/resale sites, to save money too. One of our favorite sites for gently used clothing is ThredUp. Use this link to get $10 0ff your first purchase!
If you’re serious about selling you can sign up for an eBay seller account here or if Poshmark is more your speed, you can use the code WEDTOWANDERLUST to save $10 on your first order!
Selling brand new items is an extremely profitable stream of income. We recently started an Amazon store as well. This was an idea on our list for a while, but now it’s a reality! We did much of the research ourselves but have weeded out some of the not-so-helpful resources. Two websites that have been super resourceful are TheSellingFamily.com and FulltimeFBA.com. Leave a comment below if you would be interested in hearing more about this business idea!
While selling items falls under side hustles, I want to expand your mind on other ways you can make extra money! An awesome way that I earn passive income is through my Etsy store selling printables on demand. This is an easy-going side hustle to get in to. Julie and Cody from Gold City Ventures helped me get set up with their comprehensive E-Printables course.
Another way to step outside of the box with affording family travel is to think of what can be covered, at no cost to you! This could require extra effort, yet if that is not an issue, you should give this a go. If you have an online presence, this is a plus also! A prime example of this was a previous partnership we had with TravelWiFi (formerly TEP Wireless). We pitched this company for internet coverage while we were traveling abroad, in exchange for a social media package through our online channels.
If this is something that interests you, we have some great resources to share with you! Drop a comment below.
BUDGETING AT OUR DESTINATION
Spend some time learning the culture. This is always on our agenda wherever we travel, but we also have found this to fall in the budget-friendly category. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- See the free sites
- Download a free walking tours app
- Visit local markets to soak in a little bit of everyday life
In addition to this, we will try to book an accommodation that has a kitchen so that we can cook some meals at home base and save on eating out. If that’s not on your to-do list, sharing dishes or catching happy hour can add to your savings.
USING CASH BACK APPS TO BOOK TRAVEL
Yes, you can absolutely offset some of the cost of travel by booking with cash-back apps or through cash-back sites. One of our favorites is through Rakuten. But we also like to use Capital One Offers with our Venture card.
Above you’ll see an example email of how we earned cash back from a purchase through Capital One offers for booking with Orbitz.
REDEEMING CREDIT CARD POINTS
The quickest way that we earn points is by using our credit cards for EVERYTHING. All our bills and recurring payments are paid with our credit card. Then we just pay that off with the money in our checking accounts. Signing up for rewards credit cards with bonuses also helps build up mileage quickly.
A valuable resource that helped us get on this part of our journey was The Points Guy. This website has a number of blog posts and recommendations to help you get on your next trip, for cheaper.
The image above showcases an example of where we secured airline tickets to French Polynesia using points to get a significantly cheaper flight total.
Last, but certainly not least, this blog here. Sharing travel knowledge and lifestyle tips with others pays! This is through affiliate marketing and partnerships. If you are interested in starting a blog, head on over to our blog resources. We are happy to help you get started there!
YOU CAN TOO
Some of these may have been expected answers, but for those who found some of these tips refreshing, please let me know what you think below in the comments!
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