Welcome to the latest installment of the "Save, Splurge, Steal" interview series. Getting great value when I travel is always such a fun challenge for me and I love to learn how other people get the best possible experience for their available time and money. I'm asking top travel bloggers to share their expertise and I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I do!
Meet Colleen of Ad-Lib Traveller!
As somebody that aspires to travels as often as life allows, Coleen hopes to share the idea that with motivation follows the dream; we can all aim to make the most of our travel opportunities whether it is at home or abroad. There isn't a set plan or agenda for where or when Colleen travels - she looks at her schedule and plans within her means for an impromptu trip.
1.) How do you save money in order to travel?
I budget - a lot! Whether it's with clothing, eating out or days out at home, I try to think a little closer about what I'm spending at a home and whether or not it's really worthwhile. I also rely upon cash-back websites and credit card rewards to balance out my spending. I'm lucky to be quite good with organisation my finances which makes it much easier to justify my income versus outgoings. When it comes to my travel, I always shop for a bargain. If I know in advance about a trip then I'll keep an eye on fluctuating prices and buy at the optimum time rather than make a hasty purchase.
2.) Everyone needs to splurge now and then – describe a time when you blew your budget and it was worth every penny.
My splurge regularly occurs whilst I'm travelling as that's when I really want to experience something new. I'm a foodie so I love to indulge myself when travelling. From a cooking course or a fine dining experience to a day trip at sea, I like to return home with new memories of something that I can specifically allocate to that trip.
3.) There’s nothing like a bargain – name your favourite great steal of a deal?
When I'm at home I use cashback websites for daily spending; I've literally saved thousands of pounds just by making purchases through the right channels. I was recently able to use the cashback to fund a large portion of my solo trip to New York before travelling onwards to Jamaica. It was a last minute booking that I would have had to think twice about otherwise.
4.) What tips do you have for a traveler to get the best value for their money?
Take some time to research the flying route, accommodation and transfer availability before booking directly with an agency, quite often you might be able to arrange your own package that offers greater money-saving value.
In 2012 I travelled to from London to Thailand to visit Bangkok and Koh Samui with a group of friends. I had researched and arranged an incredible price that achieved flights and five star accommodation for two weeks at half the cost of some travel agencies including private transfers from the mainland to the island and onwards to Koh Phangan. Despite calling around the mainstream agencies, none of them could come close to the deal that I eventually secured.
5.) Time is valuable too – how do you make every moment count?
When I'm in a destination with limited time I have a 'must-see' list of things to do and then anything else is a bonus. Mixing with local people takes you right to the heart of the community, so that's a great way to learn fast as well.
Follow Colleen's latest adventures!
The Blog: http://adlibtraveller.com/
If you enjoyed this interview, you'll also like:
Save, Splurge, Steal Interview: Curious Around The World
Save, Splurge, Steal Interview: Active Planet Travels
Save, Splurge, Steal Interview: Tammy and Chris On The Move