1. Purchase Ahead of Time
"Timing and planning are so important. I try to book my train/plane tickets way in advance while seats still tend to be cheaper. I avoid traveling during peak periods when I can, but as a teacher with fixed time off, this is often difficult. Instead, I use the inflexibility of my schedule to my advantage— Since I know exactly when I’ll be on vacation, if I find cheap tickets, I just book them right away."
2. Select Your Destination Carefully
"Location is everything! While $100 might not get you through the day in France, it could last you for more than a week in Southeast Asia. A lot of travel newbies let airfare prices make the decision for them but that can be a mistake. For a more realistic view of travel costs, you’ll want to consider the cost of transportation, accommodation, and activities."
3. Get Rid of Your Excess Baggage
"When I decided to go traveling, I advertised stuff for sale on Craigslist: books, kitchen appliances, furniture, old cameras, games, perfume, clothes: everything. I sold a lot of stuff and put all of the earnings straight into my travel fund. I made over $1,000 from this."
4. Make New Friends
"The more you travel the more amazing people you meet from all over the world. And if you’re lucky, they’ll help hook you up in some other places in the future. For instance, I met Nathalie, an amazing Danish doctor, while I was kite-surfing in Portugal. When I visited Copenhagen, she was kind enough to have me stay at her apartment. This makes for cheap travel."
5. Utilize Travel Hacks
"If you’re in the U.S., it would be a big waste to not take advantage of frequent flyer miles. Residents of Canada and the U.K. can do this too, to an extent. Just by signing up for credit cards, you could get free flights! Travel hacking can get really complex, but you can always start small. Signing up for just one good credit card might get you enough points to fly for free."
6. Sign up for Loyalty Programs
"If you don’t travel for work or don't want to sign up for a credit card, it’s worthwhile to sign up for loyalty programs. They’re free and you might as well accumulate whatever points you can get. It’s even better if you can stay within the same brand every time because a large amount of points in one place is better than a few points at every loyalty program out there."
*Some points edited for clarity and/or length.