78. Maximize Your Savings with Effective Travel Budgeting: Your Guide to Flexible Destinations and Deal-Hunting with Shelly Blancq (Part 1)

78. Maximize Your Savings with Effective Travel Budgeting: Your Guide to Flexible Destinations and Deal-Hunting with Shelly Blancq (Part 1)

In this episode of The Traveling Therapist podcast, the host welcomes guest Shelly Blanc, a teacher, and co-founder of a travel company who has successfully mastered the art of traveling extensively on a modest income. This is a two-part series!  Shelly underscores her belief that financial constraints should not limit the desire to travel and shares her experiences of traveling internationally three times a year and domestically monthly. This narrative challenges the common notion that substantial travel is beyond reach for individuals like therapists, often believed to lack the financial resources to explore the world.

The conversation takes a practical turn as Shelly unveils her budgeting advice for those relying on cash rather than travel points or miles. Her primary tip is flexibility with destinations, urging travelers to prioritize deals over specific locations. By utilizing resources like Scott's Cheap Flights, planning travel dates in advance, and being open to unexpected locales, Shelly believes travel enthusiasts can explore the world economically. This approach has led her to rewarding experiences in unplanned destinations such as Paris and Portugal. Alongside this, she suggests a budgeting strategy where 30-40% of the budget is set aside for the plane ticket, which travelers can wait to purchase when suitable deals arise. Shelly also shares additional tips for finding cheap flights, such as using Sky Scanner or Google Flights and inputting only the departure airport to discover the cheapest options.

Key points: 

  • Broaden Your Travel Scope: Instead of being fixated on a specific destination, be flexible and consider a "destination-first" mindset. This means allowing travel deals to determine your destination, which can lead to more affordable travel and unexpected, exciting experiences.
  • Utilize Travel Deal Services: Services like Scott's Cheap Flights can provide incredible deals on airfare, sometimes to major cities at peak times. Subscribing to such services and being ready to book when a good deal aligns with your vacation dates can significantly reduce travel costs.
  • Budget Wisely: Determine a comfortable budget for your trip and expect to spend about 30-40% of it on airfare. Wait for deals that fit into this budget before pulling the trigger on booking. This approach can help to ensure you stay within your means while still allowing for exciting travel opportunities.

About Shelly Blancq

Shelly is a travel expert with one eye always on the budget. She and her husband take multiple international and domestic trips a year- all on teachers’ salaries. She is committed to finding the best ways to spend your travel budget and hack your way to free flights, upgraded hotel rooms, and fancy rental cars so you can spend money on what matters most- the experiences. 

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