Welcome to the latest installment in our "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 Kimmy from AfterGlobe!
Kimmy Hayes is one half of the husband and wife team behind AfterGlobe; a site on becoming debt free and traveling the world as a married couple. She is passionate about traveling to experience new cultures, snorkeling the waters of the world and reading with her toes in the sand.
1.) How do you save money in order to travel?
Anything we can! Travel is so important to us we are willing to give up our house for it. Along with everything else we own. We are selling all of our possessions, including our house and car to give us a nice big savings to travel, as long as possible. We also do little financial things such as, not go out to eat as much and don't buy fancy coffees. There's no more buying things that we want, anymore. We have to truly need it. When it was time to get rid of my car after having it for 15 years, we sold it and didn't buy a new one. Being a one car family saves a ton. The way we travel has changed, as well. We no longer do the expensive tours and fancy meals. It's all about what we can do for free and eating cheap like the locals. It can be fun to make a game out of how little we can spend when visiting somewhere. I like to challenge us to come home with money instead of blowing our whole budget.
2.) Everyone needs to splurge now and then – describe a time when you blew your budget and it was worth every penny.
Last year we went to Maui, twice. The first trip was completely budget. The second one not so much. We were there for 15 days and got married during that trip. We lived large and didn't hold back at all! We ate at the best places on the island, 3 times at Mama's Fish House, went on a sunset dinner cruise, to a luau, snorkeling at Molokini, and every other large ticket item we've ever wanted to do there. We didn't hold back and loved every minute of it. However, our bank account didn't love it so much.
3.) There’s nothing like a bargain – name your favourite great steal of a deal?
Our favorite for this week is the week-long car rental we just got for Kauai for under $150 on Hotwire. Hotwire is our go to place for last minute great deals. It's come through for us, again and again. I also love all the free things (or almost free) you can do while traveling. There's so much you can do outdoors that doesn't cost a thing. It doesn't cost us anything to go snorkeling places we can get to ourselves. We picked up our own snorkel gear for cheap a few years back and use it all the time. We've spent so many amazing days snorkeling at the beach, seeing the most beautiful sea creatures, and it was all free! Parks and national landmarks are another great place for free or almost free all day activities. If you plan on going to a lot in one year, look into getting a national park pass. They cost the same as a couple entries and they get you in to all of the national parks as many times as you want for a whole year. We will be doing this on our Great American Road Trip to save some extra funds.
4.) What tips do you have for a traveler to get the best value for their money?
Be flexible. Flying in the middle of the week is usually much cheaper than flying on the weekend. Also see what prices are the week before or after you were thinking of traveling. You can save hundreds of dollars, per person, doing both of these. Travel in the off season. September is one of the best times of year to travel to Hawaii. The weather is amazing and there's way less tourists which means less traffic, smaller lines, shorter waits, and emptier beaches. But, best of all, it means much cheaper prices. Be open to visiting other places. You may have your heart set on France, only to find a travel deal to Italy for a tenth of the price. You still get to travel to an amazing place without breaking the bank. You can still go to France or where ever the original destination you were thinking of in the future.
5.) Time is valuable too – how do you make every moment count?
We are always on the go. We fill up our days by getting out there to explore and seeing what the local culture is all about. We don't travel to have the same experience we can at home. What's the point or fun in that? Besides, we never know where will be the next time we get back to somewhere and don't want to miss anything.
If you enjoyed this interview, you'll also like:
Save, Splurge, Steal Interview: Curious Around the World
Save, Splurge, Steal Interview: The Barefoot Nomads
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