Sometimes vacationing is all sunsets, beaches, and nice dinners…sometimes it’s you and your significant other simultaneously getting food poisoning/a flu bug/we’re still really unclear at this point, and spending hours laid up in the hotel room. (I bring you honesty folks, not glamour.)
In our most recent trip to the Dominican Republic, it was a little of both, BUT it was also full of adventure, new experiences, and much needed time to disconnect, reconnect, and wind down from the daily hustle.
A memory I will keep dear to my heart forever is the hike through Scape Park at Cap Cana: seeing snakes, lizards, fluorescent caterpillars, some of the most beautiful plant life…before finally jumping into the crystal clear waters of #HoyoAzul, or Blue Hole, which gets it’s turquoise blue color from mineral deposits in the natural spring.
It’s a ‘must-go’ in my book as far as the Dominican Republic is concerned.
Something we pride ourselves on above all is “why” we travel.
Alexander Sattler says “I would rather own little and see the world, than own the world and see little of it.”
I truly believe broadening my horizons via travel gives me the tools to walk through life a more intelligent, compassionate, and empathetic person. It’s also fun and indulgent and spontaneously hopping on a plane is the best stress-management technique I’ve found thus far.
As a freelance artist, the idea of affording travel can be daunting, both because our paychecks can be so unpredictable and because PTO, vacation days, etc, do not exist in our world.
So here are ten quick tips I’ve come up with for the ambitious yet budget-conscious traveler:
Put it on your tab. Seriously: I know everyone has this massive and often very valid fear of going in to debt, but when you believe in your art you believe the money will come. Just don’t book trip 2 while you’re still paying off trip 1.
Let go of the little luxuries. Check out Frontier, WOW, and RyanAir. Bring a comfy pillow and knock out on the flight, it’s worth saving the $100+, I promise.
Set aside actual cash money in a piggybank or similar, and make it so habitual that by the time your trip comes. you have a nice chunk of change ready to be your ‘spending money’.
Research the best travel credit card for your needs and use. that. bad. boy. I’m in the process of comparing Venture by Capital One to Chase Sapphire Reserve. I’ll keep you updated
CHANGE. JAR. 4 large mason jars full of change equal $500+, we turned that in earlier this year and applied to funds straight to our travels.
Bulk up your work schedule before and after the trip: having a check come in right before you leave, or right after you arrive home can alleviate some financial stress.
Explore AirBnb’s, hostels, couch-surfing, and other less conventional forms of housing. Better yet, hop on a red-eye and replace a night’s stay with an overnight commute.
Pack light, no one cares if you re-wear pieces on vacation. Consolidate a suitcase with your travel partner and avoid extra fees.
Plan ahead: check out Black Friday deals (how we booked the Dominican), and follow your desired flights on Hopper or similar apps. We found flights from Chicago to Amsterdam for $229 by tracking the flights and booking 6 months in advance.
Don’t limit your travel to peak season. The majority of the Caribbean for example is 80 and sunny even in the off season, and can be booked for 50% less during those slower months. Just make sure to do your research first. 😉
Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll share all the amazing small business owners I had the pleasure of partnering with on this last trip.
Where have you been that took your breath away?
What’s a destination on your bucket list?
Let me know in the comments, and thank you as always for being a part of this journey!