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Want to get out and travel more this year without breaking your budget? Learn how you can use travel hacking as a couple to get great deals on your trips!  

Travel Hacking Together

As we move into May, I’m hearing more and more couples talk about travel. With better weather and after an unprecedented – yeah I said it – two years, many are looking for a change in scenery. 

According to Trip Advisor, 68% of Americans are looking to travel domestically and 29% are considering a trip abroad. Travel can be a fantastic way to shift our perspectives and rest a bit. 

Because many in our community are trying to work toward financial goals as well, it’s even more important to find ways to get deals on vacations. 

That’s why I want to pull from the archives and share an interview I had with Peter and Ruby, from  A Journey We Love.

They had some wonderful travel hacking tips on keeping your trips low stress, fun, and affordable. 

During our chat, we got into: 

  • their process for finding deals with their trips
  • how they budget during their travels
  • tips for first-time travelers

Hope you enjoy it!

If you want to hear from a couple who travel with kids in tow, please check out my interview with Dan Miller. 

Travel Hacking Resources and More

Want to learn more about travel hacking? Here are some resources to check out:

Don't forget to send in your marriage and money questions for our upcoming listener mailbag episode!

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Traveling More as a Couple

Elle Martinez: A lot of couples want to travel more. Either more, little, I would say mini breaks within, they don't want to wait 30 years before they retire and go travel, but you bring up a good point traveling as a priority to you guys.

I'm curious – was that something you wanted to do from the beginning as a married couple? Or is that something after you got married, you started having the conversation?

Ruby: It's basically started like me mostly because I've always wanted to travel full time, but I lived in the Philippines most of the time. And I'm living in a third world country. Don't get as much options as you do, like living in a first-world country.

But that was like my main driver back then. Then I met Peter and then he eventually said, ‘okay, let's get on board'.

Deciding Where to Travel

Elle Martinez: Okay. So you guys are working together with your finances and with travel. How do you guys decide where you're going to go and how long you're going to stay?

Ruby: That's hard. We randomly go where ever the deals are, but it's kind of restricted because of my situation, since I hold the Philippine passport.

So sometimes there are deals that come up like two months from now, but we can't go because I need a visa for it and doing a visa run. Yeah. You know, it takes a while to get the documents and get finally get your passport stamps. So, yeah. Yeah.

Peter: So it's really deals essentially. You know, if we see if, if we have a vacation, you know, vacation days that we can use, let me see a grid view.

Let's say that, you know, American airlines is running the sale, but yeah, I know if it fits our schedule, then we'll definitely book that. Because we know that they'll deal go fast. And if it's a, if it's a destination that we like. Then we'll definitely go book the flight and then we'll worry about hotels and everything else later on.

Budgeting for Travel Expenses

Elle Martinez: Okay. So is typically the airlines the biggest expense, or is it hotels? Ho how does that work out?

Ruby: So in the first year, 2015, right? I think the hotels were the biggest expense. But now we travel so much, we use a convict, we'd found a way to like give hotel points and Airbnb. I think it's still the hotel accommodation.

That's the most expensive. Yeah, I

Peter: think. Yeah. And the food. Yeah, but I would say, I would say if you look at our cab destinations that we've been to over the last three years, usually if it's a big destination, let's say Brazil or the Philippines. Europe then most of those flights have either been free, not free, but they're very low cost because we've used points.

Airline points for those or mistake there's and they've been, they're very cheap hotels on the other.

Hotels don't run that many sales, quite frankly so we either go with Airbnb or some of the hotel points that we do have, but usually be focused kind of our big, biggest energies on getting that airfare pretty low and then we kind of deal with the hotel later on.

Elle Martinez: Well, when you go on vacation, which one of you is the planner, like, okay, we gotta go here, here, here. And which one of you kind of wants to just relax?

Ruby: As soon as we booked the flight, like start researching. I have a book. I carry around their notebook. Like every year I have like four or five of them. So sometimes like I have so many notes and then we don't always go to all the places I ride, but at least I've picked off a few of them.

Elle Martinez: I was looking at your list for just 2016, you know, you've been everywhere around the country and then outside the country, any favorite spots this year?

Peter: I mean, I guess we can, I'll go first and then it will be, I mean, my, this year. I did triple off, we went to Europe for the year, 2016 soccer championship or the European soccer champions championship. We went to France for about a week. And then I think we had a one day in Switzerland and then about a week in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

So I would say though that one week in France the most specialist, because he was just friends.

We went to Leon, we didn't actually go to Paris, so we did not be parents. So we didn't be on a really beautiful historic city. And then a couple of other smaller cities, I would say that was the highlight for me and Ruby.

Ruby: My hammock would have to be me like a ski resort down in the mountains. So we taught glaciers. We actually dropped inside the glacier. Or the gloves or the gloves. I don't know how you pronounce it, but yeah, those are the highlights of my trip because I grew up not knowing or seeing snow until I was like to see that much snow and walking in the glacier.

Elle Martinez: Fun! Are there any tips or tricks you've picked up along the way?

Travel Hacks: Packing Tips

Ruby: So while we normally do it, like we checked it back very light. So we normally have like one bag between both of them. That should be like lessen the stress between us. Cause you don't want to lug around four luggages.

Yeah. And extra clothes. When you go somewhere. Yeah, that could be prone to fights. And then like you have to set expectations if Peter wants to go on the four course meal, but just a bit more expensive, we actually make it up the next day by going for like somewhere cheap. So that way we don't overspend.

I kept would be like, if you have a partner and you guys want to go traveling somewhere, just make sure that you guys are in line and how much you want to spend. So it doesn't mean that you have to spend a certain amount every single day. You could say, okay, for. We were going to spend $500 on food. So one day you could spend a hundred dollars, but the next few days you could spend money dollars each.

So that way you can still have the best of both worlds. I know Peter gets a bit too caught up with food.

Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Elle Martinez: So say if a couple's listening right now and they want to make plans for 2017 and to travel more, what would you say is a good place to start?

Peter: Yeah, I would say, you know, if there's anything on how many vacations they have.

So, you know, w w w one thing is they actually left to do is for yeah, like weekend, weekend trips, or for example, for like, if there's a holiday, like veteran's day or Columbus, You know, Indiana three-day weekend, don't be afraid. And just look at your local deals. Look at your, this budget airline deals.

For example, in July, we went and did a three-day trip to Asheville, North Carolina, actually. And so it was just, it was a quick three day trip. It was a Friday, Saturday.

Ruby: Friday evening, come back Monday morning.

Peter: So you don't really like miss much of work, really. You know, you kind of just do like a half day 50 minutes and, but then you, you know, you have the whole weekend to explore the Asheville, North Carolina and kind of drive around the blue Ridge Parkway.

So we kind of like these three-day trips and these weekend trips you know, and if it's a weekend trip, obviously, can we fly as much? We can still drive around and kind of explore your state where. So I would say, get, get yourself in that attitude that okay. For that three-day weekend, instead of kind of like relaxing or all this, you know, just kind of say, okay, what's, what's close enough that we can fly to, or maybe drive to for a nice two three-day weekend trip.

Ruby: Yeah. Don't discount. What your state has to offer. Like theater. Hasn't seen much of Florida before me, but then now he sees.

Peter: Yeah. I would say the main purpose of our blog is to show people that even, even for people with full-time jobs and responsibilities, that those people can still travel.

If you do certain things. So. Because we love to travel. We love to see the world would be, you know, kind of seek experiences and adventures all over the place. And, you know, knowing that you only have a limited time to visit each place. We kind of make sure that the way we live our life, we can save enough money living our, I guess, domestic life, so that as we can travel all over the world and afford it and not feel ashamed or, or bad about spending money on travel, because this is really our main.

Ruby: That's the reason why we wanted to do a financial independence and retire early, so we can travel full time without really worrying about money anymore. Right.

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This episode and show notes have been updated in May 2022.

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

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