Friday Travel Dreaming – 6/21/13

As we gear up for our next big trip – a week from Monday we leave for 7 weeks in South and Central America! – we share with you our favorite posts and travel free opportunities of the week, to fuel your weekend travel dreaming.

Using Hidden City and Throwaway Ticketing to Save Money on Airfare

This is a really interesting take on a creative way to save potentially big money when booking flights. Often, the quoted airfare to the city you want to fly to may be WAY higher than a flight to a different city, but with a connection IN your destination city. By booking a different flight through your destination (and just not taking that second leg), you can sometimes save big money. Here’s an example:

  • A nonstop one-way ticket from Des Moines to Dallas/Fort Worth is $375 on American Airlines, for example. But a ticket from Des Moines to Los Angeles – with a layover in Dallas – is only $186. You book that ticket, get off in Dallas and don’t take the second leg into LA.

I have actually done this before myself, once or twice. Another example of this is when you need a one-way flight, but the round-trip flights are MUCH cheaper. It is often better to book the RT flight, and just not take the second return flight. Just make sure that you book the FIRST flight as the one you actually want to fly, because usually if you don’t show up to take the first flight of your ticket, the airline will cancel the whole thing.

Read more at the article; there are lots of ins and outs to this, and it usually requires even more research than a regular flight search, but could potentially save you big money.

Using Airbnb to Save Big Money on Accommodations

I’m a huge fan of Airbnb. I use it primarily to rent out my own place, making money that I can then spend on my own travel. This equates to free travel – you aren’t going to be using your own place while you’re gone anyway, right? Rent it out, use that money to pay for your travel, and voila – you’ve just traveled for free! Aside from home exchanging, this is probably my best way to travel on the free or very cheap.

But even if you don’t, or can’t, rent out your own place for whatever reasons, Airbnb can still be a great resource for renting terrific accommodations at way-below-hotel prices. And, since most of their listings are apartments and houses, there are other cost savings as well, like the savings on meals when you have a kitchen available.

This article details how the author lost her Airbnb virginity, snagging a luxury apartment in Charlottesville for only $49 per night.

5 Secrets to Enjoying all the Benefits of Money…Without Actually Having Any

This article just came across my radar yesterday, and I love it on so many levels. Mainly, because it embraces the same sort of philosophy about travel – and life – that we detail in our book, and that enables us to travel for free, or pretty damn close to it.

The author and her boyfriend (and their dog and cat) gave up their expensive mortgage to hit the road in an RV. While this sort of thing may not be for everyone, the article is pretty terrific and can be applied to so many things. Basically, the theory is this:

You don’t have to have a lot of money to travel, or to live well. In fact, a Lack of Money Buys Freedom.

Yep, you heard that right. Having (or spending) less money can really make us freer, in many ways, than more money. At any rate, as we have both found personally on our travels, spending less money and traveling for free (or as close to it as possible) actually increases our experiences, making many of them much more fun and interesting.

As the author says, you don’t have to OWN something to enjoy it….and there’s free stuff available everywhere you go. Two things that we have learned and utilize on our travels.

And lastly, here are some great contests we have found where you can enter to win free travel:

Win a trip for 2 to Washington Wine Country

Win a trip for 2 to St. Barths – including $1,000 gift card

Win a trip for 2 to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Enter DreamPlanGo’s Ultimate Ireland Sweepstakes

Win a 7 day Hawaii cruise for 2

Win a trip for 2 to Australia, including accommodations, $1000 gift card and flights from Los Angeles, Dallas or New York

Enter to win one million miles from Delta Airlines


About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."
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