CreditWalk’s Top 20 Canadian Travel Enthusiasts Talk Travel & Credit Cards

Wednesday 04th, June 2014 / 09:00 Written by
CreditWalk’s Top 20 Canadian Travel Enthusiasts Talk Travel & Credit Cards
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Summary

What do these hand selected 20 individuals all have in common besides their internationally recognized Canadian accents? They’re all travel enthusiasts, they’re passionate about travel enough to want to share it with others. We interviewed our top 20 favourite Canadian travel enthusiasts with an online presence. Some of them use credit cards to help finance their travels, like taking advantage of 0% interest promos, others choose to stay away, avoiding any chance of needlessly taking on debt.

Many of these travel enthusiasts find ways to earn money while traveling, such as freelance writing. Who can argue with them? The exchange rate of the Loonie, for the most part, gets great value abroad. Overwhelmingly the consensus for saving money on the road seems to be for budget accommodations or finding good deals for great eats. On the other hand, spending a little more for better accommodations or an extra excursion allows you to get more out of your travel experience.

Many travelers have their own unique style of travel, weather it be for accommodations, traveling solo, or living abroad. One alternative to save more and travel longer, is by renting out accommodations monthly – one enthusiast suggests accommodations can be had as cheaply as $500 a month in Ecuador. Which makes sense to us, flight costs can add up, becoming a large part of your expenses, this is why we’re such great proponents of travel hacking, using credit cards for travel and taking advantage of sign-up bonus offers where you can use an application spree to finance extra flights or even for getting that extra Aeroplan stopover to tick another destination off your bucket list.

Top 20 Canadian Travel Enthusiasts On Travel & Credit Cards

Ayngelina

Ayngelina

Toronto, Canada
“Four years ago I left a career in advertising to share stories of people + places behind the meals I enjoy around the world.”
www.BaconIsMagic.ca

Ayngelina, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I use a travel rewards card so I charge everything on my credit card and pay it back each week from my bank account. When I travel I try to put everything on the card but that isn’t always possible as in some areas of the world where cash is preferred.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I track spending trends with my credit card bill.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

When I first started traveling I had nearly 20k in savings. Now I blog professionally and so some travel is sponsored by destinations or brands and some is paid for with my professional work.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

The best tip to save money on travel is not to spend so much time in the act of traveling. You can live in Ecuador for $500 a month and experience so much but if you spend the month traveling through South America you’ll spend triple that amount.

Brendan

Brendan van Son

Alberta, Canada
Travel Writer and Photographer. “I have trouble standing still, have stopped fighting it.”
BrendansAdventures.com
VagabundoMagazine.com

Brendan, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

No, I don’t travel hack at all. I’m too lazy for that stuff. I only use a AMEX Platinum because the rate is right. I also have a VISA Debit Card from CIBC which is my go-to. I love that I can use it as a credit card but I don’t run the risk of spending money I don’t have. I’ve dealt with, and continue to deal with, debt issues because of my stupidity as a younger man. Thus, a debit card with VISA is a perfect option for me. I have the AMEX for emergencies. I hate charging things to credit cards.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I use excel mostly. But I’ve also been using an awesome app called Trail Wallet that is a great way of keeping me on my budget.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I’m different than everyone. I went into debt first, then headed onto the road with the debt on my shoulders. Thus, I’ve had to work twice as hard to try and stay on top of it. I could probably work in the mines for a year and rid myself of it, but I’d die on the inside. Everything I do is to travel. As such, I’ll live with the debt as long as I can make payments and still earn enough to keep travelling. I earn mostly via my blog and my travel magazine, but I also do some freelance work.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

A bit of everything, really. To save money, you need to set priorities. For a while, I decided I didn’t care about where I slept, so I saved money there and splurged on other things like food and excursions. These days, I pay a bit more for a good room, but I’ll save money by avoiding expensive flights, eating street food, and taking part in less excursions. I also drink and party way less than I used to. That seems to help!

Cailin

Cailin O’Neil

Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canadian filmmaker / traveler / blogger / webseries creator / sommelier in training
www.TravelYourself.ca

Cailin, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I do not travel hack with credit cards. I have an Amex Gold Card that I collect points on and everything I purchase that is travel related gives me double the points. I have yet to use my points for anything yet however. I like to use my debit card and cash as much as possible so that I don’t build up debt on my credit cards but I will use them from time to time especially on big ticket items so I can get more points.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

Aside from tracking it in my head nope, but I probably should.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I work as a freelancer doing many different jobs from writing and blogging, doing social media management and even working in the Film and TV industry. When I first started traveling I was traveling between jobs and now I suppose I work in between my travels. However most of my work these days can be done on the road.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

There are lot of ways to save money on your travels, however I don’t suggest sacrificing your comfort or not seeing or doing something cool that you really want to do just to save a few bucks. My suggestion is to save up as much money as possible for your travels so that way once you start traveling you can afford to do extra things like visit the top of the eiffel tower or have an extra beer at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich or treat yourself and stay at that nice hotel instead of cramming yourself into a hostel.

However saying that don’t be afraid to stay in hostels. There are some awesome ones around the world that are clean and nice and they are a great way to meet new people. Also look for sales on plane tickets, search for coupons on tourist maps for entrance fees and tickets to things and another good suggestion is have your big meal at lunch time when prices are cheaper and eat less for dinner.

Candice

Candice Walsh

St. John’s, Newfoundland
Professional experience collector, travel fiend, Matador Network editor, MatadorU Lead Writing Faculty, NFLD blogger, all around badass
www.CandiceDoesTheWorld.com

Candice, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I wouldn’t call myself much of a travel hacker — I know people who basically travel for free with points quite consistently, but I’m new to the game. I use an American Express Gold card for collecting points because it’s easy and basically designed for travel. I’m also definitely a “charge ALL the things!” type user, BUT I’m diligent about paying off my cards on time. Especially with that Gold card. The interest rate is killer.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I USED to use the MINT app — it was so great because it’d even send me notifications letting me know when my bank account was getting low. But it’s hard to keep up with it all while on the road. I use Google docs to track my income now, but not so much my spending.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I’m fortunate to be entirely freelance at the moment, so most of my work comes from clients back home in Newfoundland. I write some travel, some marketing, some technical… a little bit of everything. It can be stressful because there are some days when you just want to get out and enjoy the sunshine, but instead you’re forced to do work. I suppose that’s what we call a “first world” problem. I probably shouldn’t complain. I try to work one day on and one day off now. I’ve been in Europe for about three months and it’s been hard. It’s much easier if you set yourself up with a base, but moving from hostel to hostel adds up. I haven’t entirely blown my budget, somehow.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Honestly, it’s not hard to travel for cheap (or free)! Most people I know take up jobs working in the service industry, or volunteering at hostels or hotels, etc., in exchange for food and board. It’s a perfect set-up. Websites like Help Exchange and Work Away will help you find the perfect gig. I worked on a farm in Lesvos, Greece, and didn’t spend a penny for weeks. I did crave a good beer, however.

EhCanada

Colin & Greg Girard

British Columbia, Canada
Canada Travel & Adventure Website & Magazine Blog
www.ehCanadaTravel.com

eh Team, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

Yes, we use credit cards. As for a favourite? That is easy… which ever has any money left on it. We operate in cycles. We use the credit cards mostly for our 1 to 4 extended research road trips we take every year and use the rest of the year working hard so to pay them off. Although this is not written in stone.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

When we are working on the road and researching travel and adventures we collect receipts to make the Government happy and we document everything on a note pad. Yes, we are old fashion and use paper and pen. One reason for this is that there is no power, smart phone reception or internet for technology where we go for adventure. Once back on home turf it is all loaded up into the computer.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

We work very hard, putting in long hours on all our projects every day generating revenues so we can reward ourselves with adventure and play every other day. What we have learned over time is that gas is not getting any cheaper so your best means of transportation is always good hiking boots, a canoe and mountain bikes. It is cheaper to explore than gas and a heck of a lot more fun!

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Set out a weekly travel budget. Do your research! I know it sounds like a broken record but it holds a lot of weight. Camping is the best way to explore Canada and keep your sleeping costs low if you do not mind the outdoors and doing your own cooking. If you like wilderness camping, there are free campsites in many parts of Canada. Some take effort to reach, some do not. Hostels are another good choice for accommodations if you want a bed, to save some money and meet new people. However there are communities where motel rooms are just as affordable as hostels. For transportation on the cheap always have a good road bike.

Janice Waugh

Janice Waugh

Toronto, Canada
Author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook and publisher of Solo Traveler.
SoloTravelerBlog.com

Janice, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I don’t travel hack – at least, not intentionally. I use the TD Visa First Class card and I use it for everything from a cup of coffee to large purchases. If it’s accepted I use it. Then, when I’m booking travel I research the best deals online but book it through Expedia for TD so that I receive 9 points per dollar spent rather than the usual 3 points per dollar spent.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I set out planning to track my spending on the road but I fail miserably at this. On the upside, I’m not an extravagant person so I know that I don’t spend more than necessary. If I’m tempted to splurge I consider the decision in terms of its long term enjoyment: is this an experience I’ll always remember? If yes, I go for it.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I’m like most people. I work, make money, and make travel a priority. I have a dedicated savings account for travel and money is transferred to it automatically every month. I collect points whenever possible and I use those points so that they are not lost.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Accommodation is especially expensive for solo travelers since there is no one to share the expense of the room with. This is why we have just published the Solo Traveler Accommodation Guide (http://solotravelerblog.com/the-solo-traveler-accommodation-guide-src/). People can download it free from Solo Traveler (http://solotravelerblog.com). It includes 159 places to stay in 51 countries – every one of them was recommended by solo travelers. Almost half of the recommendations are hostels. There are great hostels out there. I choose a hostel over a hotel with the same price every time.

About Janice Waugh
Janice Waugh is author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook, publisher of Solo Traveler, the blog for those who travel alone, and moderator of the 45,000-strong Solo Travel Society on Facebook. She has spoken internationally about solo travel, including at The Smithsonian. Janice has been interviewed on television and radio, including NPR, CBC, and Global. She has been quoted in media outlets from CNN to the Oprah Blog, the Globe and Mail, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times and USA Today. On Twitter she is @solotraveler. She is also founder of Full Flight Press, publisher of The Traveler’s Handbooks series.

Jessica Dawdy

Canada/Thailand
Roaming expat. Traveler. Blogger. Lover of Full English breakfasts. I just want to see everything.
WaysOfWanderers.com

Jessica, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I applied for an American Express Air Miles Credit Card before I started traveling, hoping I could use the points towards flights along the way. Honestly, it hasn’t been that useful for me, because I’ve always been the kind of person who only uses credit cards when I have to, plus I’ve spent a lot of my travels in very cash-based countries, so I’ve found my credit card use has declined even more since I left Canada.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I generally use Excel to track my daily spending – I experimented with a few apps, but I never found anything I really liked. I’m sort of on-and-off when it comes to tracking my spending, though. I think it’s, obviously, important to have some idea how much you’re spending, but counting every penny can be a little exhausting after a while, and really impede your experience if you overdo it.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

My boyfriend and I saved up for about half a year before leaving Canada, and then spent our first few months doing work exchanges, in which we received free accommodation and meals in exchange for volunteer work. This kept our costs quite low, because we basically only had to set money aside for transport. After that, we spent two years teaching English in Asia, and now we’re making our income through freelance writing.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

It varies a little depending on where you travel. For example, in Japan I saved a lot of money by cooking at home; whereas in Thailand, where I am now, it’s often more expensive to buy all the ingredients to cook, than it is to just buy a meal from a street vendor. That said, I’ve found Couchsurfing really helpful in pretty much all countries. Not only do you save on the cost of accommodation, but you have the chance to get to know a local in each city, and it really helps you to see the place from a different perspective.

Jodi

Jodi Ettenberg

Montréal / Vietnam for now
Food-obsessed world traveler, soup expert & former lawyer from Montreal. Author of The Food Traveler’s Handbook.
www.LegalNomads.com

Jodi, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

No, I don’t. I use them when needed (airplane tickets, etc) but most of the places I live in do not accept credit cards and are cash-based economies.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

No, I do not.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

Answers here: www.legalnomads.com/2014/04/faqs-legal-nomads.html

Short answer is I worked as a lawyer for 6 years to save up, but had no desire or plans to travel long-term, just for a year. Opportunities arose to continue funding travels as I traveled, and I took them, so here I am :)

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

No tips. I just eat street food all the time, which keeps costs down. I don’t specifically plan for budgeting, I just enjoy the places that have street food which also happen to be cheaper places to live.

Kristen

Kristen Sarah

Toronto
Actress, host, travel junkie, YouTuber & blogger.
HopScotchTheGlobe.com

Kristen, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I’m actually way behind on this. I don’t have a rewards credit card, but really need to get one considering I’ve missed out on thousands of travel points. I need to spend some time researching the best credit card for me. All I use right now is the standard Aeroplan card. I use my credit card right now just when I absolutely need it. I would highly recommend others get a rewards credit card though. Don’t follow in my footsteps and procrastinate.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I use Excel.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

Travel is my full time job. It’s taken me nearly 4 years to get to this point, but now I get to travel and make videos for my YouTube channel, blog and production companies back home in Toronto. I am also currently producing a series for Flight Centre Canada and YTV (a major television network in Canada). So, I make money from my video productions as well as from freelance writing, ads before my videos on YouTube and acting/hosting back home.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

I have many ways of saving money on travel. I actually have an entire series on all the ways I save on travel up on my YouTube channel. I upload new travel tips and advice videos every Tuesday and Thursday. One of my favourite ways to save money is to Couchsurf as well as walk as much as possible. I’d rather spend the day walking around a new place than spend money on any other form of transportation because it allows me to end up somewhere I may not have discovered otherwise and meet fascinating people. These are usually my favourite and most memorable travel experiences.

Laurel

Laurel Robbins

Canadian – now Munich, Germany
Hiker, award-winning travel blogger, cat-loving social media time optimizer, many hats, one Canadian in Germany.
MonkeysandMountains.com

Laurel, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I typically travel with 3 credit cards, since not all cards will work in all places, but my favorite is my Gold American Express Aeroplan card. I’ve gotten free flights, car rentals and hotels from using it. When given the opportunity, I will charge everything on it. It also makes it easy to track how much money you’ve spent.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

Not really, but if I am tight on cash, or if bank machines are accessible as was the case on my recent trip to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, I give myself a daily budget and stick to it, and keep that separate from the rest of my money.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I’m fortunate that a lot of what I do – offering online courses that show people how they can get results from social media in minutes a day, can be done from anywhere in the world, leaving me free to travel. I also get paid for traveling – don’t hate me! It’s not usually a lot of money and not as glamourous as it sounds, but I’m definitely not complaining! That’s definitely a lot different than when I was employed full time and used to finance my trips through saving.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Stay in apartments which can be found on sites such as Air BnB, Wimdu or Go with Oh. You can often find a really nice apartment for a fraction of the price of a hotel and you save money by purchasing your own food. If you’re on a tight budget you can also rent just a room from someone, which is a great way to meet locals and saves you even more money.

Laurel Robbins is an award-winning travel blogger at Monkeys and Mountains documenting her quest for adventure by day, luxury by night. In addition she is a social media time optimzer at Laurel Robbins Social Media and co-founder of Big Sister Summit, a women’s entrepreneurship conference. You can also follower her adventures on Facebook or on Twitter @Laurel_Robbins.

Leigh

Leigh McAdam

Calgary, Canada
Avid world traveler. Craves adventure – & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project – a book on Canadian outdoor adventures.
www.HikeBikeTravel.com

Leigh, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I use a CIBC Aeroplan card that costs me $120/year. It’s the only credit card I have and I put everything on it. Aeroplan definitely lets me down much of the time but I always end up finding ways to use up my points. I like the fact that there are some decent places to visit with only 15K points.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I don’t track it at all.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

When I was younger I worked in the “bush” as a geologist and made great money – 98% of which I banked. So early on I was able to travel without going into debt. At one point, when I had no money and I had two young kids, I had a tremendous urge to go trekking in Nepal – with my husband. We ended up finding babysitters for a month and I put the trip on a new credit card that offered 0% interest for 6 months. We had the trip paid off before the interest kicked in. Now, we’re at a stage in our life where the mortgage is paid so there is more money for travel – though we still can’t go wild and I’m always on the lookout for deals.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

I’m way past staying in hostels but I have found local 3 star hotels have often been super clean and incredibly friendly. They have also provided much more of a window into a culture than any fancy resort – not that once in a blue moon I don’t mind those resorts. I find buying our own wine and having a drink before dinner can save us a bundle – at least in North America. I like B&B’s because breakfasts are included; lunches are never very elaborate when we’re traveling so I don’t mind splurging a bit for a good meal at the end of the day. I also camp a lot and that’s usually pretty inexpensive or free. I used to hitchhike a lot – on my own – in North America, Australia and New Zealand but haven’t done that in a while.

Marie-Eve

Marie-Eve Vallières

Montréal
Canadian travel blogger and ex-Europe expat. Anglophile. Fine things enthusiast. Chocolate aficionado.
www.aMontrealerAbroad.com
www.EuroTripTips.com

Marie-Eve, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I always found credit card hacking to be very time-consuming! Instead, I opt for a points-based credit card that gives me points every time I make a purchase. I currently use the TD Canada Trust Platinum Travel Visa card, which gives me 3 points for every dollar spent, as well as a welcome bonus of 15,000 points. I also get an extra 6 points for every online dollar spent on travel via Expedia Canada.

I am definitely more of a “charge ALL the things to my credit card” gal because I get to accumulate points much faster that way. But that’s a risky strategy that isn’t for everyone, as I need to pay close attention to my spending and pay my balance in full every month.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I do think it’s important to track my spending, because I tend to get a bit overwhelmed otherwise! I use the Trail Wallet app — created by and for travellers! My blogger pals Erin and Daniel created this app, which lists all expenses for a trip, from food to accommodation to miscellaneous souvenirs. I strongly recommend upgrading to the paid version to add more items and track different currencies.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

Being a travel blogger means that I am a digital nomad and that I can work from anywhere as long as I have a good WiFi connection. I pay for my travels by freelancing my travel writing, by advertising on my blogs and by doing a few translating gigs here and there (being bilingual definitely helps foot the bills in my case!).

This has definitely changed since I started travelling back in 2008. I only did it for fun back then, opting for low-cost everything and by travelling on a shoestring. After a few months I just knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I worked very hard towards achieving that goal. And now I travel for a living!

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

I think the best way to save money on travel is to really ask yourself what matters to YOU — do you prefer a gourmet local meal, a comfortable bed, an active social life, etc. The value of money can be interpreted in many, many ways. Some people would rather spend on museum entries, others would rather go binge drinking and make new friends.

My favorite way to save money and still enjoy the comfort of a hotel (I am a bit fan of cozy, snug experiences) is to book private rooms in luxury hostels. You get all the facilities of a hotel (private ensuite, free WiFi, stylish rooms) but at a fraction of the price. Plus you get the social side of hostels but minus the noisy bunk mates!

Matt

Matt Gibson

British Columbia, Canada
Freelance adventure travel writer and photographer, HuffPo columnist, ♥ outdoors.
www.Matt-Gibson.org

Matt, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

To be honest, I’m a pretty bad travel hacker. A lot of my trips are paid for because they are for work, so I’ve never needed to delve into travel hacking as much as some other people have, but there are a few things I do. I have an Aeroplan Visa card that I use for pretty much everything that I buy. Each month I simply pay off the card so that I won’t accrue too much interest. That’s the main way I collect miles. Since I spend a lot of time on planes, I don’t often take longer routes to accrue miles, and I’m too cautious about fees to sign up for other credit cards, though I know I could gain a lot of miles that way.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I keep a basic budget each month. I created a simple Excel spreadsheet with fields for each of my bank accounts, my PayPal account, and credit card account. Each month I go online, check all of my balances and type them in. It only takes a few minutes, and the spreadsheet will calculate my total income for the month, my total expenditure, my total savings, and how much I saved or lost compared to the previous month. It’s pretty basic, but gives me a good idea of how I’m doing financially.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

My first trips were self-funded, mainly with money that I made teaching English in Taiwan While living there, though, I worked very hard to break into travel writing and photography. Now I do writing and photography full-time and work remotely. So, sometimes tourism boards will pay for my trips because they’d like me to write about their destination. Sometimes I pay for my own travel as well. In both cases, I’m pretty much always working while I’m on the road, which is a very different travel experience than that most people have. It’s strange to be at a resort hanging out with people on vacation and to tell them you can’t join them for activities because you have to work.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Traveling and vacationing are two different things to me. A vacationer spends a lot of money to have a worry- and work-free experience for a short period of time. If a person is traveling long term there are several things they can do to save money. Travel slowly and rent accommodations by the month from local classifieds, like Craigslist or Kijiji. Cook at home and to learn to rely on public transportation. Basically, do all the same things to save money that you would do at home living on a tight budget. It’s not rocket science, but it requires more effort than a normal vacation.

Matt Gibson is a travel writer, photographer, award-winning outdoors adventure blogger. He’s a Huffington Post columnist, the About.com Snowboarding Guide, who also freelances for publications like AFAR and companies like Kijiji.

Murissa

Murissa

Okanagan, British Columbia
Living the delicious Okanagan lifestyle. “When I’m not blogging about British Columbia, Canada I am traveling the world for culinary adventures.”
TheWanderfullTraveler.com

Murissa, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I had to admit I am not an authority on this topic. But I have started to pay more attention to ways on scoring big on points for less. Right now I am using my CIBC Aerogold Visa card. I used my points to book a roundtrip to Paris from Kelowna this June. I needed to redeem 63,000 points but then I also had to pay $600 in taxes and fees. I had compared this with what it would take me to redeem Ventura points for the same flight. It was 90,000 points! While Ventura doesn’t charge taxes and fees you still have to wait to accrue that many points. I am impatient and would rather get the 50% off flights every 2-3 years than wait to gain 90,000 points which usually takes me 4-5 years to gain.

To help gain points faster with my Aerogold I jump on any opportunity to double or triple my points. For example you can shop on Shop.ca to gain 15X the points. I purchased 3 pairs of jeans for $100 each which netted me about 4000 points where I would usually only get around 300.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

Do not track spending with any app.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

My boyfriend does work up north as a foreman and this is how he is able to afford our upcoming trip to Venice & Paris for 2 weeks. I work full time selling environmentally friendly building materials and budget myself month to month. I automatically put $200 minimum – $500 in my savings account each paycheque. Every time I come into some unexpected money it goes straight into my savings, not towards my credit card.

The first time I traveled over to Europe I wasn’t very budget savvy. I took cabs, I ate at bad tourist spots, I over-shopped, I carried around a huge 50 lb suitcase. But the more you travel the better you get. This next visit to Europe I am only taking a carryon and a day bag saving me baggage fees and hassle. I’ve done research to know where to eat and ways to save on museum visits (pssst book online before you go or buy a Museum Pass).

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

I usually travel with my family and if you follow the blog you may know that my parents are not hostel people. Instead we look for apartments that offer a good location and a working kitchen. This way you can explore the markets as the locals do and dine at home. The markets are one of my favourite ways to interact with the culture.Lesser known towns are also a great way to avoid blowing your budget. Venice is lovely but very expensive. If you can’t afford to stay in Venice you can always stay in Verona, Vicenza, Padua, Mantova etc. and take day trips from there. Verona and Vicenza ended up being two of my favourite towns of all the 11 cities I explore while in Italy. They offered delicious food that weren’t geared toward tourists, hidden gems, UNESCO sites that are must-sees, and hotels that offer larger rooms than what you would find in Rome or Florence but with small town budgets.

Nancie

Nancie

Canadian
A long time expat discovering the world with my camera, and my taste buds; one country, one photo, one chili pepper at a time.
BudgetTravelersSandbox.com

Nancie, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

When I’m traveling I pretty much charge all my purchases, including cash advances. I have an Asian issued card, so there are no extra charges. However, I always pay off at the end of each month.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

When I’m traveling in South East Asia I don’t have a formal tracking system. Traveling in that part of the world is fairly cheap, and know how much money I have available. I keep a mental tally in my head. When I’m in Europe I keep a daily tally on my iphone. I use a the notes app.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

The money I earn teaching 2 fifteen week terms funds my travel. Plus, I often pick up writing gigs on the road. I’ve been known to carry some “travel debt” in the past, but stopped that about 15 years ago. The feeling of coming back from a trip debt free is fantastic!

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Budget for those more expensive, must-do adventures. Travel slow. I pick a base, find long term affordable accommodation, and travel from my base to see the sites. In more expensive countries I have found AirBnB to be a good alternative.

About Nancie

Nancie left her home province of Nova Scotia in late 2000, and has been enjoying the Expat lifestyle ever since. She combines her love for travel with her passion for food and photography. You can read about her adventures at BudgetTravelersSandbox.com

Nick and Dariece

Nick & Dariece

Canadians
For Adventurous & Off-The-Beaten-Path Travellers. A nomadic couple encouraging a sustainable, free lifestyle. Location independent & showing how you can be too!
www.GoatsOnTheRoad.com

Dariece, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

We like to travel with multiple forms of currency in our wallet. We always have some US Dollars (if we’re in a bind, these dollars are accepted almost everywhere!), local currency, Debit ATM Card and Credit Card. Typically we use our Debit Card around the world for withdrawing cash. It has worked in almost every country. We really like having our TD Canada Trust Gold Credit Card though for emergencies. We’ve used it to withdraw money when our bank account was frozen, we bought a meal at an international airport when we were low on cash and paid for an overly priced hotel room! We always bank with TD Canada Trust and find their service, bank accounts and credit cards really suit our travel needs. So, to answer your question, we think of our credit card as being strictly for emergencies!

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

Yes. During our first 13 month trip, we tracked our spending using the old school method of paper and pen! We had charts written up in our notebook and kept track of our budget that way. Nowadays, we use Google Docs to make our charts. We refer to our online banking to keep track of our withdrawals, and our charts keep track of the cost of transportation, hotels and visas for each country we visit.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

You’re right in saying that there are many ways people fund their travels. Although we think it’s fantastic that someone would want to see the world so badly that they’re willing to go into debt for it, we personally wouldn’t do that. There have been numerous ways that we’ve funded our travels. For our first trip, we both saved money from working at our jobs back in Canada and sold our condominium and car. For the second trip, we worked again in Canada for a year to save up for a 16 month journey around the world. After that, we taught English in China for a year, which funded our trip through Mongolia, Central Asia and the Stans.

At the moment, we are pet sitting through Trusted House Sitters, which means that we don’t have to pay for accommodation. Obviously, not having to pay for a room each night really helps the budget. We are also sustaining our nomadic lifestyle from the earnings on our website.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

There are many ways to travel on a budget and make your money last! If you know your travel plans ahead of time, definitely start looking for flights and hostels/hotels online as early as possible. Typically the best deals can be found if you plan a little bit. We once got a beautiful, 2-level apartment with swimming pool in Greece for $15/night by booking online a few weeks in advance. Couchsurfing is a great tool for not only receiving free accommodation for the night(s), but you’re able to meet up with local people, have an authentic experience and make new friends. Staying in hostels, or better yet, camping, is another great way to save some cash on accommodation. We also suggest eating locally or cooking for yourself. If you’re always searching for a burger or pizza, rather than a local stir-fry, that’s going to cost you!

Having said all of this, we try to look for value rather than cost. If there is an amazing room just down the road, but it’s $5 more a night, we’ll take it over the cheaper, dark, damp room. Value for money is what we’re all about these days.

About Nick and Dariece

Dariece is half of the team over at Goats On The Road, a travel blog that helps inspire others to live a life of freedom, travel & adventure. On the road for over 4 years, Dariece and her husband, Nick have visited some of the least touristy places on Earth and they find adventure wherever they go. Check them out at www.GoatsOnTheRoad.com or follow them on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Nora

Nora Dunn

Canadian
The Professional Hobo. Writer. Traveler. Been traveling the world full-time since 2007 in a financially sustainable way.
www.TheProfessionalHobo.com

Nora, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I’ve used frequent flyer mile credit cards actively for over 12 years now to pave my way to free flights. In fact, most of my long-haul flights are in business class, and for less (all in) than the cost of an equivalent economy ticket.

I have two current favourites: CIBC Aerogold (which is changing to TD next month) for its longevity in my wallet (which perpetuates a favourable credit rating), and the Alaska Airlines Mastercard for its hefty sign-up bonus and the flexibility of redeeming Alaska Airlines miles. In order to accumulate miles passively, I use my credit cards for absolutely everything I can. And when traveling, it’s actually quite secure, since if there is a case of theft or fraud, the card can be replaced and I’m not liable for the fraudulent activity. If I’m carrying cash or have my debit card stolen, the money is gone with no recourse.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

Every penny! I publish my personal costs of full-time travel annually, so it behooves me to track my expenses – and I find it both illuminating as well as a good tool for ensuring I don’t go over budget.

When I had an iPhone, Trail Wallet was my favourite expense tracking app. Now I have a Windows phone and haven’t found an app that works well for me with my travels and currency needs, so I just record everything in a spreadsheet on my smartphone and transfer it to my computer each month for analysis as needed.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I specialize in full-time travel in a financially sustainable way; thus I earn money as I go. (In addition to publishing my annual expenses I also publish my annual income. My income largely comes from freelance writing and operating my website; something I can do from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. The other element to financially sustaining my travels has been in creatively keeping my expenses low; I specialize in getting free accommodation around the world with techniques such as house-sitting, volunteering, living on boats, and more.

The principle of this combo has been the same since I started travelling full-time (7+ years ago), however as my income has gone up over the years, I’ve employed fewer free accommodation tactics (often to compensate for the time required to work). In 2011 I spent $173 in accommodation – for the year. Now in 2014, I’m renting more places to afford myself more time and freedom, and effective spaces for working.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Hands down I’ve had the most culturally enriching and varied experiences with free accommodation – which is often the steepest cost in our travels. I’ve lived in places like Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, England, Switzerland, France, Panama, Grenada, St Martin, the BVIs, and more – all for free.

I also love to cook, and even more so I love to shop in local supermarkets. Another way to save money and have a culturally enriching experience!

Pamela

Pamela

Québec City
traveler. lover of culture. always in transit. searching for excitement. indulging in fresh local eats.
SavoirFaireAbroad.com

Pamela, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I do a little credit card hacking, mostly with my Amex Gold Card. I like to find ways to compound my points to get the most out of my rewards (and to get rewards faster). I use the Amex Gold Card as it’s easier to redeem for travel. They have less restrictions. Yay! In terms of use… I use the credit card for just about everything. I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to points and it kills me to lose out.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I do keep track of spending as it’s easy to get carried away. I use to cringe when I thought of looking at my bank balance and avoided it, which was so bad. I use a spreadsheet in Numbers to keep track and file the receipts. It’s helpful for when tax time rolls around and makes that process a lot easier.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I mostly fund my trips through freelance work, and brand partnerships at this point. In the beginning I had saved a little before quitting my job to travel and write. I’ve never been a ‘saver’, I’ve always been a ‘doer’, which can be good and bad depending on the situation.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Being self-aware. It’s important to know where you stand in terms of your travel budget, but it’s also important to satisfy your needs to enjoy yourself. Know your limits and be creative. If you go crazy one day, that’s fine, just remember that you may need to eat peanut butter the next day to level yourself back out.

WAVEJourney

Viv and Jill

USA & Canada
Co-Founders/Editors of WAVEJourney
WAVEJourney.com

Viv and Jill, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

No. We don’t travel hack with credit cards. We don’t like any of the airlines or hotel chains enough to be bothered.Although, we did get our Capital One card when they had a “match miles on another card” deal – we ended up with $1,100 to use for erasing travel expenses.

We have a Capital One credit card that gives us cash rebates that we then apply to past travel-related purchases to eliminate the charge. Prefer it to accumulating miles with a particular airline or hotel. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees.

We use credit cards as much as possible – far easier than carrying a load of cash or withdrawing from ATM’s – we like the rewards, too (it’s free $).

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

We track every expenditure (at home and during travel) and we like the old-fashioned method – pen and paper. It’s the best way to know where our money is going and how much we spent in each category – food, transport, alcohol, lodging, entertainment, etc…

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

Travel is our business – we make an income from our website and consulting with travel companies and hotels.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

We save money while travelling by taking public transport as much as possible rather than a taxi, finding a happy hour at restaurants instead of going out for dinner, we also love to visit local grocery stores and make picnics, we also prefer staying in an area that is less expensive. That can all add up to well over $100/day – so if we’re on the road for 60 days we’ve saved $6,000! It all makes a huge difference.

Waheeda

Waheeda Harris

Toronto, Canada
freelance journalist, traveller, pop culture obsessed, lover of spicy food – sharing stories & photos from my wanderings around our planet
GoneToSwanTravel.com

Waheeda, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I’m a strictly for emergencies kinda credit card girl. In my previous life in pr/marketing before I became a fulltime freelance journalist, I was a travel hack with credit cards. That said, I encourage it – especially for those who want to travel more and keep more money in the bank account.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I track my spending via two excel spread sheets – one for travel, one for home. As soon as I started doing it I learned where I was making the right decisions and where I needed to reconsider spending options.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I’m a full-time freelance journalist, so many of my trips are part of my work – and for those that aren’t, I use points or wait for sales to book tickets to see my parents and friends. I’m lucky enough to travel monthly, so with this kind of travel lifestyle I often add extra days to a work trip to have a short vacay in a destination or add on a flight when I can to see family and friends.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

Planning before you leave. Reading blogs, asking friends, using social media, all of these are a good start to start finding ways to save money. I like going to local markets to eat, and to ask hotel/motel/hostel employees where they like to eat, go to shop or to have fun. But don’t plan everything – go with the flow!

Will

Will

Canadian
Media Communications, Travel Writer, Photographer. Love Latin Jazz, Social Media, & Travel
IWillTravelBlog.com
BarranquillaLiving.com

Will, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

When I travel I always take two credit cards, my Visa, and my American Express. My favourite one to use is my Visa, because I have been able to use it any where in the world. Don’t bother taking your American Express if you’re visiting countries that have a U.S. Embargo, i.e. Cuba.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

When I travel I charge big purchases and expenses on my credit card. Things like meals, souvenirs, I pay cash. Things like hotel rooms, flight tickets, and big excursions I use my credit card. Yes, I also do track my spending and my favourite way to do it is by using an Excel spreadsheet.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I have always saved up to travel and this has not changed. Even if I use my line of credit to purchase an expensive trip in advance, I always make sure that I will be able to pay off the credit line balance before the beginning of my trip.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

To save money on travel is do your research. I can’t say stay at cheap accommodations because that really depends on where you will be traveling – try finding cheap accommodations in Monaco or in Bermuda. But if you do your research you can save money on flight tickets, all-inclusive resorts, accommodations, and even on tours and excursions.

What about Americans – How Do We Differ From Them?

Mike

Mike Richard

Founding Editor / Vagabondish
Massachusetts
www.Vagabondish.com

Mike, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I charge almost everything to my credit card. This is for a few reasons: zero fraud liability, keeping my bank (read: debit card details) safe from hackers and of course to earn miles. I use Capital One almost exclusively because they don’t charge foreign transaction fees. Their Venture Rewards card provides 2 miles for every dollar spent which adds up fast if you use it for every purchase abroad!

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

Because I’m a professional (well … almost) travel blogger, I have to track my spending if only for tax purposes. The same Capital One card I mentioned (I swear I’m not a paid shill for the company!) breaks down spending in my monthly statements which is nice. For a broader overview, I like Mint.com which is free and able to compile all of my spending and earning in a single, easy-to-use interface.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I quit a cushy corporate gig a few years back to work full time on Vagabondish.com. Since then, I’ve made my living exclusively from my website – advertising, product reviews, sponsorships and the like. Although I’m certainly not above donating blood or stripping for a living if things ever go sideways.

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

The most expensive aspects of travel are almost always: transportation, accommodations, food. Target one or more of those and you can save a boatload. The one universal tip that’s saved me money no matter where I’m traveling is cooking my own meals. I love a great meal out, but they can add up to $20-50 (USD) per day even in moderately priced destinations. Learning to cooking your own meals well is one of the most financially liberating things a budget travel can do for themselves.

Kristen

Kristin Luna

Nashville, TN
Magazine Journalist, Travel and Food Expert, Entrepreneur, UT Vol, Guidebook Author, Digital Media Strategist, Southern Belle
www.CamelsandChocolate.com

Kristin, do you travel hack with credit cards? What is your favourite credit card to use and why? Are you a “credit cards are strictly for emergencies” or “charge ALL the things!” type of credit card user?

I use credit cards for all things–I figure if I’m already going to do the spending, I might as well get the points! The two cards my husband and I use for our shared expenses are the AmEx Gold and the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Obviously, an AmEx isn’t for everyone as you have to pay it off monthly (and the fees are quite high), and therefore I think the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best universal credit card for travelers because there are so many partners with whom you can use your points.

Do you track your spending? If so, what is your favourite way to track it (app, Excel, etc.)?

I should be better about keeping a monthly budget, but I have everything plugged into Mint.comso that more or less does it for me. My husband and I own a couple different small businesses on the side, and as he works at a CPA firm by day, he t keeps track of all of that income and expenditures via QuickBooks (a program I’ve yet to learn). Since I’m an independent contractor, I get paychecks from as many as 50 employers annually. I use Excel spreadsheets to track payments and invoicing.

There are a wide range of travelers out there — some work in the mines or oil patches for months to pay for long-term travel, other work while on the road, some go into debt — how do you finance your trips and has this changed since you started traveling?

I’ve been a journalist for more than a decade. Early on in my career, at the age of 22 actually, I got my first gig as an international correspondent and also landed my first guidebook deal. Since then, the majority of my travels have been work related, meaning a magazine or ad agency sends me on assignment and foots the bill. Sure, my husband and I also travel occasionally for fun, but these days, those trips are few and far between. Unlike many bloggers who travel full time, I have a home base in Nashville (where I own both a house and a condo). So I’m more stable (geographically, at least) than most =)

What’s your best tip to save money on travel (hosteling, hitchhiking, staying in cheap areas of the world, cooking your own meals, etc.)?

This summer we are going to Europe for three weeks for my husband’s 40th birthday. Little did we know when we started planning this that prices are exorbitant (for example, the same Nashville to Italy route that we paid $850 a ticket last year is now more than $2000 each!). So we did a fine bit of travel hacking by combining Delta SkyMiles and AmEx points to get our flights covered (well, minus $150 in fees per ticket). In my early 20s, I did a whole lot of hosteling and Couchsurfing, but my style of travel has changed the older I’ve gotten. Plus, when you’re traveling with a husband (and a lot of expensive electronics), you value privacy and a safe, nice place more than you do when you’re younger. We’re big fans of Airbnb and tend to use it at least 75 percent of the time when I’m not traveling for work and needing to review hotels. Typically, you get more bang for your buck–and often a larger, more homey space–and can self-cater if you want to save funds further.

Wrapping Up

A big thankyou to everyone who participated in this interview. Without you we would not have been able to have all this fantastic insight into how people financially plan for travel. Also a special thanks to Vanessa from Vanessasmoney.com for coming up with the initial questions and taking initiative to reach out to some of our favourite travel enthusiasts. There were so many great candidates, we couldn’t help but feature 21 Canadian and another 2 American enthusiasts to our list.

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6 comments on “CreditWalk’s Top 20 Canadian Travel Enthusiasts Talk Travel & Credit Cards”

  1. Leigh says:

    This is a fun, interesting & educational post to read. Thanks for including my thoughts on the issue.

  2. Thanks for including me in this article. I can definitely use a lot of these advices myself.

  3. Thank you for including me in this article. There’s some great information here!

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