Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How To Travel On A Budget

One of the most common questions I get is, “how are you able to travel so much?” So for today's post I wanted to share some insider secrets. Let’s be real – I wouldn’t label myself as someone who has a ton of money and I get around 12 days off a year (plus holidays). I'm pretty much your average 20-something-year-old. I like to think I just travel smart. This year alone I’ve been to, or have planned, the following trips:

Sedona, Arizona
Dominican Republic
Washington DC
Costa Rica
New York
Des Moines, Iowa
Washington DC (again!)
Spain (Christmas, 2016)

**Not going to lie – I had to look through my Instagram to remember everywhere I’ve been**

Even looking at this list, I’m pretty impressed with myself - that’s a lot of places! So I wanted to share a few of my tricks on how I’m able to plan more than 10 trips in one year.

Work Perks

One of the many things I love about my job is that I am offered opportunities to travel. Not only does our company have a yearly cruise to the Bahamas but I’m also able to travel for my clients.

If you’re looking for a new job, one of the first questions I would ask is if the company has any allowances for travel. I went to New York this year to help promote Fujifilm’s grand opening in the Flatiron district and then I was able to Go Blog Social in Iowa for work as well. Don’t be afraid to tell your supervisor you’re interested in any opportunities for travel – you’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Insider Tip: Take some initiative and find a professional conference that you want to go to that you can tie back to your job. Ask your boss if the company will sponsor you to go and then you can come back and teach a session of everything you learned with your peers!

Basically where I spent my entire Dominican Republic trip.


There’s no reason why you need to stay in an expensive resort when you travel. I’m a huge fan of Airbnb. Not only do they offer really unique places to stay, but also a lot of hotels actually list their availabilities on the site. My hotel for Costa Rica was listed on Airbnb and I only paid about $45 a night. Split with my roommate that’s a little over $20 a person!

I’m still finalizing the details of my Spain trip for Christmas but I already know I’ll be booking my stay with Airbnb. It’s a great way to save some money and still have awesome accommodations.

Insider Tip: Book your trips around a holiday weekend so you use less PTO days. I always print my company’s holiday schedule during the beginning of the year and then plan my trips around it.

Sedona, AZ with my Daddy!
Credit Card Points

I have about two credit cards at any given time – it’s great for building credit and many have benefits for travel. I was approved for the Chase Sapphire card earlier this year when they were running a promotion that if you spent $4,000 within the first 3 months you would get 50,000 bonus points. Well, that covered most of my flight to Spain. I also had points left over from my American Express Delta card so my $400 flight to Vegas was completely free!

Insider Tip: Make sure you’re applying for these cards when they have a promotion going on for extra points. I highly recommend following The Points Guy – he’s a great resource for which cards to get.

This was the view from my Airbnb hotel in Costa Rica!
When in Doubt, Book It!

To some, traveling seems like a lot of planning and work. Well, it doesn’t have to be! Start small. I recommend just booking the flight and then a few weeks later look into the accommodations and things to do. There’s no reason you need to stress yourself out all in a one day trying to book everything. Sometimes the best trips are the one’s that have little planning.

Insider Tip: It helps to have a ride-or-die friend when it comes to traveling. I’m lucky enough to have a roommate that when I ask her about booking a trip she impulsively says yes and then 5 minutes later it’s booked. So my challenge to you is to find the Christina to your Meredith. 


  1. Gorgeous images of the places you've been. I'm quite jealous!! I would love to learn more on how to budget traveling with 3 children ;)

    1. Thanks, Carmen! Maybe one day when I have kids I can help you with that ;)

  2. Great tips!! I'm all about combining work and business ;)

    1. Thanks, Ariana! It definitely helps when you want to travel to see if your company will help!


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