My mantra is, “Travel by Deals not by Destinations.”
Travel has always been a part of my life. As a young child, I did not care where one was going. All I knew is I had to be in that moving car, train, boat, or plane. Then I got my break. My very first international trip as a teenage to Montego Bay, Jamaica. My mother worked overtime day and night to make this dream a reality for me. It was actually a surprise.
I was amazed at how others interacted and lived outside of my bubble of the United States. I also met a guy by the name of Jeffery while in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He worked at the hotel where we were staying. I believe I spent more time with him than my mom and aunt. He showed me the sights, and we ate at some of the weirdest looking places. It was my first time tasting pizza made with goat cheese. It was super nasty, but I tried it. Oh yeah, plus I could drink at my age of 16. I do not recall telling my mother this part LOL!! Yes, I enjoyed some Pina Coladas.
Upon departure, I cried like a baby. I met a great friend, and now I had to leave.
After my first trip, my travel heart kicked in to explore more worlds. I began my journey at our public libraries, reading every book about other cultures and how the world ticked on the other side. I had this awesome blueprint of all the places I was going to visit outside the US.
Then, of course, adult life kicked in. I went to college, had a child, got married, and then the infamous divorce. I traveled throughout the years, but not as much. It wasn’t happy travel. More so stressful travel. I was exhausted with too much stuff going on. It seems as if my love for travel was slipping away from me, but one day it returned with a vengeance.
It all started again with Cancun, Mexico. It was my first trip outside of the country since life’s nonsense came to a halt. It brought back that adrenaline I needed, but it also reminded me how costly travel was.
A high school classmate of mine, Chauntel, who also is my Facebook friend was on a trip to Dubai. I got some info from her about her trip. Her trip looked so amazing, and she did not pay an arm and a leg. We chatted for a little about her trip, and I began my research for my bucket list.
The trip of a lifetime which stayed at the top of my list, Thailand. Oh boy, airfare of $1300, no ma’am. The accommodations, activities, and food were inexpensive, but getting there was the issue.
As a researcher by nature, I lucked up and landed airfare from Chicago, Illinois to Bangkok, Thailand for $620 round trip during June of 2016. Airfare, hotels, spending, activities, and flights in between Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket this trip set me back about $1400 for 11 days. My mother and co-worker did tagalong, which helped with accommodations, but if they did not go, probably would have spent a little more. However, accommodations were super cheap and nice.
2016 was a great year. I traveled to Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket), Canada (Niagara Falls & Toronto), Arizona (Phoenix), and Nevada (Las Vegas). Total year set me back about $3500 which included airfare, accommodations, spending, and activities.
In September 2016, I started my Facebook travel group “She Travels The Globe.” Then my blog followed a few months later https://www.shetravelstheglobe.com/.
She Travels The Globe is where women of color who love to travel can come together to share their traveling experiences. It’s a place for finding travel buddies and establishing friendships with like-minded women.
We do more than share travel photos. We scour the internet, research, and breakdown the dos and don’ts of travel. We are the “no girl, abort mission,” “don’t do it,” give it to you straight, deal or no deal crew. We travel this world without spending thousands on trips that cost hundreds.
April of 2018 I traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland with another travel buddy of mine. The land of fire & ice, but fire & brimstone to your pockets. One of the reasons behind this trip was to show my travel group; She Travels The Globe, you can travel there on a budget, and not sacrifice a thing.
Iceland was a challenge for my budget-travel ways. However, I was able to stay under my $1000 budget and did not sacrifice a thing. Of course splitting some of the expenses with my travel buddy helped a lot.
Reykjavik, Iceland – 4 Full Days/3 Nights
- $300 round trip airfare from Chicago O’Hare
- Airport Parking & Shuttle $62/2=$31
- Airbnb accommodations $167 (split between 2) $83.50
- Blue Lagoon $146 (round trip transportation included)
- Rental car 2 days $225 (split between 2) $112.50
- Rental car gas for two days $66 (split between 2)$33
- Taxi $35 (split between 2) $17.50
- Food $125
- Duty-Free/Souvenirs $50
- Total cost $898.50
My goal is to show people you can travel this world and not break the bank.
Chauntel who is now a close friend of mine and my travel buddy is the reason for a lot of this, and I thank her for giving me the push I needed.