Girl looking at sunset

By Natalie Stoliarchuk

Traveling girl in backpack looking at sunset

In the world of professionals, being a traveler is almost always a prerequisite to being considered a well rounded individual. Having exotic vacations and spending big on travel are great goals to aim for when you make it big, but what’s to say they’re not achievable now? That’s why we’ve developed you an insider’s secret guide to the best cheap travel deals.

Getting your experiences in while still young and unestablished isn’t as difficult to do as you believe. Do you want to enjoy Paris in winter? Aim to spend your summers in Italy? Here’s a few places and things to look at to make the best of your dollar.

1. The biggest Insider’s Secret to the best internatonal travel deals

There’s no shortage of cheap, international flights waiting for you.. If you know where to look, that is. Oftentimes, airline companies won’t benefit from promoting discounted rates, either due to lack of profit return or by mistakenly offering a too-low price. Thankfully though, the internet is full of deal-sniffing bloodhounds, who catch a whiff of these deals and share them with others. These types of international flights often range from $250-800 round-trip and can take you anywhere, be it France, Britain, Ireland, South Korea, or further. There are a few great places to keep up with flight deals, but my recommendation is to keep up with sites that update offers regularly. 

One of my favorite places to look that I recommend as a great start is Scott’s Cheap Flights. The website is constantly finding new offers and serves as a great resource.

2. The secret to great stays for cheap

Bought your ticket and plan to stay in an expensive area? It’s better to start looking into accommodations ASAP. Hotel rooms in larger cities and popular areas tend to book or sell fast, so don’t wait till the last minute to find a place, the rate you’ll pay won’t be pretty. This being said, there are wonderful alternatives to staying in hotels, alternatives that are sometimes less expensive but cooler.

A great substitute to hotels are Airbnb and hostels. Using Airbnb allows you to stay in residences that have a stronger local feel and often better reflect the area. This gives you a chance to live like a true local while sightseeing abroad. Better yet, if you prepare ahead of time, your stay can even come with a wonderful view. Hostels are also great, often being cheaper than Airbnbs, with nightly stays even being less than $20 on occasion. This type of accommodation also allows you to meet lots of new people and get social while away. Be aware though, hostels don’t often provide separate rooms, so if you aren’t looking to make friends with strangers, it’s better to opt for Airbnb.

3. An Insider’s secret to the best cheap travel eats

Depending on the area you’re staying in, some restaurants can cost you an arm and a leg to dine at. That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat great on a tight budget. There are lots of amazingly well rated restaurants, bakeries, and cafes that offer deals or discounts on food if you know what to look for. A couple things to watch out for are happy-hour specials. If you’re a U.S native, happy-hour is probably something you already know and love, but did you know other countries have it too? Make sure when you’re looking into the place you want to dine at, that you look on their site for mentions of a happy-hour. Visiting during the happy-hour time can save you half off your drinks, appetizers, or entree if you’re lucky. 

Another great method for even the more frugal is discount platform apps. Platforms like Yelp and TooGoodToGo are great sources for cheap, delicious meal deals. The Yelp platform offers business run deals for some restaurants, while TooGoodToGo offers you late day food items for a fraction of regular costs.

If you find a great happy-hour at a bar, we recommend you try one of our blog’s featured drinks while you’re at it!

4. The Insider’s secret to the best local shopping experience

Roaming through expensive cities can be a bummer when you’re short on spending money, but that doesn’t mean you can buy anything at all… You just need to know where to look. If you’re a fashion lover like me, search for nearby consignment stores, thrift stores, or weekend markets to find your dream vintage haul. There are usually a few in every city, and it’s there you’ll likely find the most reasonable deals on vintage, designer clothing, bags, and accessories. The markets are also great if you’re looking for local made goods, souvenirs, or unique one-of-a-kind trinkets to bring back with you. This way, if you visit an expensive city, you can still come back with an abundance of goodies. 

There’s always more to find

While there are more ways to get deals on travel while vacationing, these are the ones that I refer to most. If you plan hard enough and get to it ahead of time, you can definitley plan the best cheap vacation as a young professional.

Like the advice and have a few travel secrets of your own? We’d love to hear them! Let us know your travel insights below. Don’t forget to tag us @sophisticatedprofessional