• Di Ma

How to travel around the world on the cheap

Updated: Jan 22

This is a summary of my last Instagram Live session on Sunday, 11/30/2020 at 7:30 pm EST. Next week, we will discuss 529 accounts and general savings goals. Dan from England will report on British tabloid news.


  1. Skyscanner.com: click home airport, select "everyone" as the destination, and pick the whole month.

  2. I am willing to drive to an international air hub domestically to save costs. For example, I use all NYS airports and Hartford and Boston. For Europe, I fly budget international airlines (1 carryon bag) into Paris or Spain because it is cheaper to travel intra-Europe from those cities thanks to RyanAir, trains, and tour buses.

  3. Accommodations: Every 2 years, those with excellent credit can take advantage of branded offers like this one

Earn up to 125,000 bonus points with IHG® Rewards Club Premier credit card or 75,000 bonus points with IHG® Rewards Club Travel credit card. Not sure if the offer is expired but please take a peek at the requirements and fees!


I highly recommend staying in hostels. Even for families. Just get a more private room!


4. Go to Viator.com and find tours of interest. Route the same tours using public transportation.


5. Because I use rental cars or public transit, I am able to use services like Airbnb.com to book accommodations further away from touristy attractions. I believe this gives me a more authentic experience. It is also more generous on my wallet.


6. On most airlines, kids under 2 years old are free if sitting on the parent's lap. This is exactly why I started Elle at 6 months old. She only cried on 1 flight for a brief period of time. Some airlines offer kids' fares but it is a hassle to book those tickets. There are travel agencies for students but coronavirus...


7. My travel bag is always packed with the essentials: U.S. Passport (expired in 2020), toiletries, emergency cash, clean undies, etc. I exclusively use a backpack when traveling because a lot of older cities are not ADA-compliance friendly. When I traveled with Elle, I carried her on my chest and packed our stuff on my back.


8. I use Charles Schwab debit card while abroad because the bank waives ATM fees around the world and converts currency for me at each terminal.


9. I love visiting third world countries because I grew up in rural China and my money actually makes a difference in some locations (I travel a lot domestically and support small businesses as well). It is my belief that we should generously spread our culture and learn from others. Based on my experience, strangers around the world are very friendly because we all seek the same sense of belonging and acceptance. At the end of the day, we all want a better future for our kids than the realities that we are living in.


10. This is all of the previous "secrets" rolled into one: I travel like a local in areas with low costs of living and soak in the local community. I wish others would do the same for areas around me in Upstate New York.


Thank you for reading my first blog entry. Do you have any tips to add? :)



Warmly,

Di

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