Episode 102: How To Define Your Travel Style

How to define your travel style?

What is your travel style? Travel isn’t one-size-fits-all, and there isn’t one way to see the world, only what works best for you. When I started traveling after landing my first job after graduate school, my funds were limited. I was making around $50,000 per year, and I had ambitious goals of paying off my student loan debt while saving for a house. But I still managed to stash funds away for travel because travel was a financial priority. Nevertheless, my travel funds were thin. As a result, I had to be creative.

I learned how to find cheap flights and other travel deals. Also, I became the go-to in my family and friends circle for travel hacking and credit card rewards. I also found creative ways to save for travel and save money while traveling. But most importantly, I discovered my travel style which helped me align my spending with the items and experiences that mattered most. In this episode, learn how to define your travel style and how it impacts your finances.

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Welcome to The Thought Card, a podcast about travel and money where planning saving and creativity leads to affording travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are the financially savvy travelers.

Hey financially savvy travelers and welcome back to another episode of The Thought Card Podcast. I'm really excited about this episode because I've had it been mulling over in my mind for a really, really long time. This concept of defining our travel style. So, what's your travel style and no, I'm not talking about fashion.

Travel isn't one size fits all. So that means there isn't a best way to see the world only what works best for you. When I first started traveling after landing my first job after graduate school funds were limited. I was making around $50K per year and I had ambitious goals of paying off my student loans while saving for a house. But you know, I still managed to stash funds away to travel because travel was a financial priority for me. It wasn't optional. It was and still is a must. Nevertheless, my travel funds were thin. I'm talking very thin. As a result, I had to be creative with my funds.

Tasked with having to make it all work. I became a financially savvy traveler, which I detailed all about in episode 69. I learned how to find cheap flights and other incredible travel deals. I became the go to in my family and friends circle for travel hacking and credit card rewards. I also discovered creative ways to save for travel and save money while traveling. But most importantly, I discovered my travel style, which is a fundamental principle for what it means to be a financially savvy traveler.

In this episode, we're going to unpack what is a travel style, ways it impacts your finances and how it can change over time. But first this episode is made possible with the support of Knack Bags.

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So what is a travel style? Every traveler has their own unique travel style or a way of traveling that reflects their interests and values. Your travel style dictates what you do on vacation and what you spend money on while traveling. It's less about the type of traveler, you know, budget versus luxury traveler or the types of travel, like cruises, all inclusive resorts or group trips. But what you enjoy spending money on. By understanding your travel style, you can better align your finances with what you value and skip the rest. Figuring out your travel style is an extension of value based spending. When you figure out what we care about first and foremost and spend according to our values.

Your travel style takes into account the things you enjoy when you travel, the comforts you prioritize and the things you don't mind skipping out on or spending less money on overall. So how does your travel style impact your finances?

Defining your travel style will help you to spend according to your values. You're gonna be spending money on what you care about. You're going to stop spending on what you don't value. You're going to end up actually wasting less money overall and you may even find that you have more money to travel, take more trips, extend your travels or make travel an even greater part of your lifestyle. And you know what, your travel style can and will change.

Here's how my travel style has evolved over time. So, when I was single before I even met Kyle or had a baby or any of those wonderful things, when I was flying, I was always looking for cheap flights. Always economy class. I've never been in business class, always economy. Also, I was looking to prioritize carry-on only. So I was not interested in spending any money on luggage so I was only usually having a backpack or something very light and small that I can just fit as a carry-on in the plane. I was also open to red-eye flights to save money and taking flights at really odd times to save money as well. I also flew budget airlines like Spirit; do not recommend, do not recommend.

In terms of my accommodations. I stayed at hostels or shared spaces and Airbnbs. I didn't really care about accommodation and I was willing to stay further away from the city center to save money on lodging. Overall, I would take the public transportation or I would walk everywhere. I was known for skipping meals to save money and the majority of my budget went to activities and things to do at a destination. Now. Fast forward. Here's my travel style now being married and having met Kyle.

So when it comes to flying, I still love a cheap flight. I really do. But when I'm flying in economy, I would rather spend a little extra to have more leg room. You know, I don't want to be squished anymore and Kyle is also six ft tall. So he's not going to appreciate being squished either. I don't mind checking my bags, I enjoy being hands-free at the airport and I find flight times that work best for us so we can sleep in and not have to stress and rush to get to the airport at different times. We really do enjoy staying at Airbnbs. Yes, instead of hostels. I don't mind hostels at all actually, but Airbnbs are a lot more convenient for us. We usually just rent out the entire space so we have it all to ourselves and we absolutely do care a lot about where we stay. We want a nice hotel or even a resort.

So last summer I went to Disney World and we actually stayed at a beautiful Disney resort. It was a pretty penny and we enjoyed every second of it and we didn't mind spending more for that experience. When it comes to transportation. I'm more leaning towards Uber and car rentals. I don't mind taking the train or the bus. But if Uber is there, that definitely piques my interest more these days. And Kyle and I are foodies, we are a craft beer enthusiasts. So nope, we're not skipping any meals when we're traveling and you know, outside of travel hacking, the majority of our budget goes to accommodation, it goes to food and drinks and activities. So as we can see here, things have changed a lot. I enjoy a lot more things than I did in the past and that's okay and our travel style again, like I said before it will change and that is expected and you know what, I'm really curious to see how my travel style will continue to change now that we have a little one.

Thinking back, you know, some of my favorite travel memories include climbing the Great Wall of China, eating and drinking our way through Epcot at Disney World, zip-lining through the rainforest in Ecuador, hitting up the hot pots in Iceland, snorkeling between shifting tectonic plates in Iceland and many more. And part of my travel style is these experiences when I'm traveling, it's these activities that I have when I'm traveling. All of these items I just listed off -- climbing The Great Wall, going snorkeling and zip-lining, these all cost money to do. But to me that's money well spent.

Today I prioritize experiences food and drinks and accommodation while traveling. So that's where the majority of my budget will go to. It's gonna go to these categories. I don't really necessarily care about spending money on flights. It would be nice to get business class, but I'm not necessarily willing to part ways with too much of my funds for that. So I'm going to spend less on airfare and/or travel hack my way to getting better airfare or getting a better air experience. But my funds, my hard earned money, will go to experiences, food and drinks, and my accommodation. Those are what again I value.

So overall defining your travel style will help you to align your spending with your values, spending on items and experiences that bring you joy that make you happy and fulfilled. So now I ask you, what's your travel style and how will it influence the way you plan your next trip?

Before I sign off. I'm writing my next travel and personal finance book and I'd love for you to join my waitlist for updates where you get free chapters and be the first to know when my next book comes out, head over to thoughtcard.com/waitlist. That's thoughtcard.com/waitlist.

I hope you enjoyed this episode and it gave you food for thought. This is something that's been on my mind for years and I finally had the words to put down on paper of what this means, what it means to know and have a travel style. Everyone has it so definitely hit me up on Instagram. I'm @thedanielledesir on Instagram or Twitter @thethoughtcard and let me know what you prioritize in your travel style. Let me know if you had any 'aha moments' in this episode. I'd love to connect with you. Until then, see you next time. One more thing. If you're curious to hear what it was like to climb The Great Wall of China, which is absolutely epic and stunning. Check out Episode 47, where Kyle and I recorded an episode live from The Great Wall of China. It's an experience that I will never forget and I'm so happy, I was able to capture it and share it on the podcast.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. But don't forget there's way more where that came from. When you become a supporter of the show, you'll get bonus episodes, additional tips on affording travel, real time updates, as well as strategies for building wealth and creating multiple income streams. Head over to thoughtcard.com/join to support. Also be sure to follow me on Instagram. I'm @thedanielledesir. Slide in my DMs and share with me your thoughts about this episode. What did you enjoy? What stood out to you? Let me know. I'd absolutely love to connect with you outside of the podcast. See you in the next one.

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What Is Your Travel Style?

In this episode, we cover:

  • What it means to have a travel style
  • Ways your travel style impacts your finances
  • How your travel style can change over time

What is a travel style? 

Every traveler has their own unique travel style or way of traveling that reflects their interests and values. Your travel style dictates what you do on vacation and spend money on while traveling. 

It’s less about the type of traveler (budget vs. luxury traveler) or types of travel (like cruises, all-inclusive resorts, or group tours) but what you enjoy spending money on. 

Understanding your travel style can better align your finances with what you value and skip the rest. Figuring out your travel style is an extension of value-based spending – determining what you care about first and spending according to your values.

Your travel style takes into account: 

  • Things you enjoy when you travel
  • The comforts you prioritize 
  • Things you don’t mind skipping or spending less money on 

What is my travel style? 

Although we fly economy, we are willing to pay extra for more leg room.

We prefer to check-in our bags so we can be hands-free at the airport.

Finding flights at convenient times matters to us.

We prefer Airbnb and luxury hotels or resorts.

We do not skip meals.

Overall the majority of my travel budget goes to accommodation, food and drinks, and activities when traveling — this is my travel style.

Resources Mentioned

Affording Travel (book): Learn how to regularly save for travel and how you can set money aside to make it part of your lifestyle, even if you don’t have a lot of money right now.  

How to Travel the World on 50 a Day (book):  This book offers a practical, step-by-step approach to get you traveling the world from start to finish on $50 a day (or less). Nomadic Matt reveals the tips, tricks, and secrets to comfortable budget travel and he interviews dozens of other travelers about their success on the road and how you can apply that to your own trip.  

Vagabonding (book): Veteran travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel.

Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy

Why You Need a Travel Fund – Episode 2

How I Became a Financially Savvy Traveler – Episode 69

How To Organize Your Finances To Achieve Multiple Financial Goals – Episode 92

Connect With Danielle Desir Corbett

Instagram: @thedanielledesir

Twitter: @thethoughtcard