It genuinely makes me so sad to see how so many people pay so much to travel. It’s terrible. We want to help you stop doing that and while you’re waiting for more concrete content, I want to share a little bit of the basics right now to reward your patience: a reminder of THE most important thing to travel for less.
Here are the details.
(And this week I’ll also share another basic, the one simple concrete action to find the best option EVERY part of your trip; sign up for our free newsletter!)
THE most important tip
THE most important tip… is to just invest the time required.
Traveling for cheap is not complicated.
Not always easy, but the concept and principle are not complicated: you just have to take the time.
Investing the time required will save you a lot of money on literally every aspect of travel (but will also make travel more enjoyable often). The more time you put in, the less expensive your trips will be. Directly related.
I’ll explain the 3 ways to invest the required time in a minute.
But it’s important to understand that most people are objectively terrible at traveling for cheap because they don’t want to invest the time and effort (or can’t… but honestly it’s mostly that they don’t want to).
Or also, sometimes they don’t know how to do it — but would put in the time if they knew how. At Flytrippers, we want to help you know how and how to do it!
For starters, you can take the time to read the teaser of the 130+ pro tips in our free ebook on how to travel for less (yes we’ll also be making videos for each tip soon, for those who prefer to learn in that format).
Our ebook includes the top 7 tips that allow us to travel for infinitely less than just about anyone else. So at least read these 7 tricks and just with those, you’ll already be almost in the top 1% of savvy travelers who know how to travel for less (if you take the time to apply them obviously…)
More simple OR more lucrative
Before I say the 3 concrete ways to invest time to travel for less, I want to explain that it’s not rocket science. Because it’s good to keep in mind the basic premise behind all this for all the decisions you make, if your goal really is to travel for less.
It goes back to the most basic concept for everything in travel (or in life actually, as you’ll see with my cheese example).
It’s that you always have a choice between:
- More SIMPLE
- More LUCRATIVE
It’s almost always one OR the other. In everything.
More simple is when you choose what takes the least amount of time and effort, and is therefore necessarily less lucrative. Because many people are too busy/lazy to make any effort whatsoever and they pay more for it.
There are always going to be some who choose that and it’s almost always going to be more expensive for them. It’s still possible to save money if you want to put in zero effort and zero time, but it’ will be much less savings than if you put in a bit of time.
More lucrative is when you choose something less simple, which necessarily takes a little more time. Many people always want to save money and are willing to make the choices accordingly and it will almost always save them money.
There are always going to be options for people who understand that the excuse that many people use to justify the simpler, less lucrative option (“time is money”) is complete nonsense if you don’t take that time you saved to actually make extra money by working more (which very few people do with the time they save).
The real way to turn time into money (for those who don’t want to work more) is precisely to trade some of your time for more money: taking the time required to save a lot of money on your travels (and why not then invest that money saved, and really make more money in the long-term).
Finally, to make a parallel that even less experienced travelers will understand, think about the fact that shredded cheese at the grocery store costs a lot more per gram than brick cheese. It’s the same cheese, but it’s easier and saves you the time and effort of shredding it. So it’s more expensive, always.
The same goes for everything related to travel.
(Speaking of groceries, lots of people earn just 1% or 2%… instead of 5% or 6% or even ≈ 7.5% with the best cards for groceries. Because again, it’s more simple! It’s way less effort to use a terrible card you already have… than to take the time to read up on the ones with much better earn rates and fill out an application that will ALSO give you a huge welcome bonus for your next trip — like the 2 million dollars our savvy readers have earned in free travel!)
How to invest the time required
Investing the time required is 3 things.
1st step to invest the time
You have to invest the time to learn the tricks first.
There are plenty simple tricks, but most people just don’t even know them.
For example, many people don’t even know that NEXUS will help you avoid almost all wait lines. And so many people wrote to us complaining they had to sleep in the Fort Lauderdale airport because of the flooding that canceled flights this week… every good card has flight delay insurance for free and nobody knows about it.
So learn by reading the free ebook with 100+ travel tips I mentioned.
But also, stay tuned for more in-depth content on each tip!!! To help you concretely to… put them into application.
2nd step to invest the time
You have to invest the time to apply the tips of course.
There is no magic recipe that does works on its own with no effort. If there were, everyone would be doing it and everyone wouldn’t be so bad at traveling for cheap.
There are lots of magic tips that are great and very simple — like the self-transfer tip we shared recently that is one of many pro tips for saving on flights — but no one is going to do it for you: you still have to invest the time to apply it. And we are never better served than by ourselves!
A lot more details to come on all those tips.
3rd step to invest time
You have to invest time during the trip too sometimes.
This one’s more optional than the first 2, but again: the more time you invest, the cheaper travel will be. Lots of money-saving tips involve sacrificing some of your time while traveling to save a LOT of money.
To give just a few examples, direct flights are almost always more expensive, you have to get over avoiding connections (you will survive, your kids too: guaranteed).
It’s the most important one that will save you literally thousands of dollars in total over the course of your travel life if you stop being too precious to have a connection (get one of the cards that pay you to access airport lounges, they make layovers a lot more enjoyable).
But there are plenty of smaller examples, hundreds and hundreds of examples.
Canadian cell phone roaming plans are literally the worst scam in the entire travel world, but everyone uses that to save the 10 minutes it takes to download an eSIM like Airalo (or to save the time it takes to go buy a local SIM card). Airport cabs are the other most overpriced thing possible, but everyone takes that to save like 20 minutes of transportation. Etc.
In short, if you’re willing to be flexible and invest some time, it’s so much easier to travel for less… and therefore be able to travel MORE OFTEN. And traveling more often makes up for the time you had to invest.
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There is no magic recipe for cheap travel for those who don’t want to put in any effort or time. It just doesn’t exist. There are plenty of simple pro tricks though, just by taking the time to learn a little, you’ll save a lot and we’ll help you do it. And the more time you invest, the more you’ll save. Simple as that!
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Featured image: Cinque Terre, Italy (photo credit: Sung Jin Cho)