When I set my pre-25th birthday bucket list, I realized that travel was a priority and a goal of mine, so I knew I’d be hop, skipping, and jumping around the world in 2015. What I didn’t know was that I’d be able to see so many countries without having to sell my
body soul mind studio apartment! Here’s how I traveled to 5 countries in 2015, with all flights totaling less than $1500.
This post builds on one from earlier this year about how I travel on a graduate student’s budget, so if you’re looking for travel related money saving tips, go check out that post!
In January, I took my first solo trip and chose Curacao based on a deal I saw on TheFlightDeal.com. I was able to relax, do some leisure reading, and ended up doing a lot of introspection over the course of four days. I stayed in an AirBnB which totaled $137, which made this trip my most affordable one overall. Read more about my trip here.
In March, my mom and I took a girls trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, using the famous Etihad glitch fare on Christmas Day which most people used to go to Dubai. Our two flights were 850.80, and my parents paid for the hotel costs, so my own portion of the flight was a bit over $400. My mom had never been to another African country outside of Nigeria, so we were able to explore, go on a safari, bond, and do a hair event! Here’s part 1 and part 2 of our trip.
This one is a bit unfair, but getting your travel paid for IS a way to save money on travel so I decided to include it. I went to Lagos, Nigeria for the Nigerian Natural Hair and Beauty Show, and my travel and accommodation costs were covered by sponsors. This was my first time having international travel comped for a hair event, so I was really overwhelmed and grateful! I was even able to extend my trip an extra week to spend more time with my family in Lagos and in Umuahia, which is where my grandparents and lots of family members live.
In what turned out to be the greatest purchase of 2015 – partly because it was SUCH a good deal, and partly because I came back with a sparkly piece of jewelry for life ? – Bae and I caught a flight deal to Dubai with a 3 day layover in Milan in early September. Long layovers (also called stopovers) are the secret gem of the travel hackers world, and allow you to visit two countries for the price of one. If you find a flight with a layover in a country you may want to visit, check with the airline to see if you can extend the layover! Here’s what we did in Milan and Dubai.
So the grand total we’ve got from 5 countries, from January to September, is $1441, less than $1500!
I’m currently in Nairobi, which was not a flight sale, to spend Christmas with Bae’s family. This flight cost $1300 – close to what I paid to visit 5 countries all year! Just goes to show that travel can be expensive or cheap, depending on how you swing it!