Travel Basics

A lot of people are asking me how I’m able to afford so many trips. And how I’m able to travel so much with only a few weeks of paid time off (PTO) per year. Here are some travel tips I live by.

1. Book flights well in advance

I tend to book flights AT LEAST 4-6 months in advance. The longer you wait to book something, the more expensive it will become. It’s simple supply and demand, so prices do fluctuate. Sometimes you can luck out and get an inexpensive flight close to your departure date. But personally, I wouldn’t chance it.

Sunset over Reykjavik

2. Try departing from a different airport

I live 15 minutes away from an international airport in Connecticut. But by departing from New York or Boston I can easily save myself a couple hundred dollars on almost any flight. Sure, I have to travel an hour or two out of my way, but it’s well worth the savings.

New York by night

3. Master the art of the 5 day trip

Because I have a finite amount of paid time off (PTO), I have to be strategic with how long I make my trips. At this point, I’ve mastered the art of the 5 day trip. Typically a Thursday through Monday. Therefore I’m only taking 3 days off from work. Most of the trips I take aren’t to relax on a beach, but to explore a new country or city. You can explore almost any city in just 48 hours, if you plan properly. You may need to recruit the assistance of a professional guide. And you may have a jam packed itinerary. But you’ll have made the most of your time.

Quick snap in front of the Eiffel Tower a few hours before our return flight

4. Check multiple sources when booking flights and hotels

Wise consumers always hunt for the best deals. Exhaust all resources when planning your trip. I tend to start with Google Flights. I also refer to and to name a few.

5. Start a travel savings account

Put a little money away each pay period for future travels. $50-$100 if possible. Or whatever you can afford. This way you’ll have a nice little nest egg to throw down on any flight deals you may catch.

Icelandic Krona

6. Travel during off season

Who goes to Iceland for Christmas? I did. And it was affordable because it was the off season. Most people are put off by harsh winters. I’m not. And we fortunately experienced unseasonably warm conditions during our trip. Sure the skies were grey and there was only 4 hours of daylight each day. But we got to fully experience a new country. Blue lagoon, ice cave tours, hiking glaciers, black sand beach, waterfalls, northern lights hunting, and a traditional dinner. All in just 4 days.

The point is, it’s more expensive to travel during peak season, typically summer months. But consider traveling in early spring or fall. You’ll see a major difference in prices.

Ice cave tour

Affordable travel is possible if you plan accordingly. By booking shorter trips well enough in advance, you can see the world without breaking the bank.







One response to “Travel Basics”

  1. I’m Back! – Diary of a PTO Vacationer Avatar

    […] you read my Travel Basics post, October through April is the cheapest time to travel almost anywhere (excluding end of year […]


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