Tag Archives: vacation

5 Ways to Summer Travel on a Budget

When I got the crazy idea to move everything I own into storage and take off on a “summer blogging tour”, I never realized the #1 question I would be asked is “How can you afford to do this?”

While at first I was a little caught off guard by the nosiness of people, I then realized that people were just curious how I was able to visit 3 countries and multiple states on a very limited budget.  And when I say limited, I mean less than most people make in a month!

My theory has always been experiences and relationships over money and possessions. For me, traveling on a budget and making sacrifices along the way is well worth the experiences I encounter and the relationships I make.

I will warn you that this is not super plush traveling on a budget.  This is like sleeping on couches, cooking for friends, spending days volunteering instead of trips to amusement parks and giving up things like shopping, kind of budget.

These are my 5 Ways to Summer Travel on a Budget:

1. Cash in those Frequent Flier Miles.  Try to fly the same airline for work or vacation throughout the year, that way you will start accumulating enough points to earn free flights.

No, this is not a road trip, I’m flying, train riding, subway taking or bussing it everywhere I go.  I do not own a car that would make it from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, so I can most definitely tell you it wouldn’t make it from Los Angeles to Canada!

I also love that mass transportation allows you to meet new and interesting people.  It would be a little difficult to strike up a conversation with someone new when sitting in a car by yourself!

2. Trade in your Debit Card for an American Express. An American Express is not a credit card, but rather a bank card in which you must pay off the balance each month. By using this instead of my debit card each month I’ve been able to earn hundreds of dollars in gift cards to restaurants, airlines, hotels and more in the past year!

I recommend this to all my friends because it will give you the points that lead to free stuff for your travels without getting you into debt!

 3. Call in your couch crashing favors for the year. This summer there’s no hotel, motel or Holiday Inn for the LLB, rather couches, air mattresses and twin beds at the parents house.

Hotels are an extremely expensive part of travel.  At over $100 a night (and well over that in some places) my entire summer travel budget would be used up in about 2 weeks if I were staying in hotels!

I am very fortunate to meet people who live all over the country and are willing to let me “crash their house” for a couple of days. But, the great thing with social media is that almost anyone can do the same! By putting out a simple status update, “does someone have a place I can crash in Boston for a couple of days?” may get a response from a second cousin or an old friend that you could stay with and take the opportunity to catch up with while you’re in town! That’s what I like to call a “Budget Travel BONUS!”

 4. Trade in a day at a theme park for a day of volunteering. It may not seem like the “fun” option, but in the end I promise you will remember that day you volunteered to help build a home in New Orleans or helped serve food to the homeless in NYC, over the memory of riding a couple of roller coasters and eating some funnel cakes and corn dogs.

 5. Cook dinner for the friends you are staying with instead of eating out.  This is a great way to save money and say “thank you” to your gracious hosts!

Some of my favorite budget friendly meals that can easily serve 4-6 and take less than an hour to make are:

Happy Travels Y’all!!!

A Girl with a Plan, a Blog and a Craving for Adventure

“You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump. Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had.” – Don Kel 

I’m jumping into a new social experiment in blogging that involves a summer of travel and I need your help, read below to find out just what this all means!

As I approached (and gracefully passed) my quarter life mark the usual life events began to occur, friends got married (Congratulations Marin!), friends had babies (Love you Eli!),

friends graduated college, friends got new jobs, friends advanced in their careers, friends moved away and friends moved closer and I…. made food!

My life is an ever-changing adventure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Growing up, my parents (the greatest in the world in my book!) always told me to go for it, to live my dreams and to never miss out on an opportunity. I took their advice, probably even further than they expected (and maybe wanted me to) sometimes!

When I was 21 I started my first business and I loved every minute of it, but at a certain point I realized that it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That is when the crazy adventure that is, my life in LA, began.

I really had no plans in LA, but just to try something new. And something new is what I got.  I went back to school, I traveled, I made new friends and I began the ever amazing journey that is the Little Leopard Book.

The Little Leopard Book began as an actual notebook I wrote in when I first moved to LA. I wrote in the book about things that made me happy, what my goals were and what I was doing to achieve each of those goals.

Today’s post is a culmination of all those things. Over the last year I’ve realized that the things that make me the happiest and most fulfilled are:

  • People – meeting them, talking to them, being around them. I love fun people, people with interesting stories, adventurous people and my favorite, the positive people 🙂
  • Traveling –  “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustin
  • Adventures – Everything from half marathons in the mountains to hiking at the beach to camping in the woods, I’m always up for a new adventure!
  • Food – I’m pretty sure if you’ve ever read my blog before, you can pretty much figure this one out!
  • Cooking – This is my escape, when I’m in the kitchen I’m the most creative, the happiest and the most at peace than anywhere else!
  • Writing – What a release!  Writing for me is therapy. Everything from jotting down notes, to writing stories, writing recipes and writing about my adventures, I love the way the written word can resonate with people so uniquely and reach people on different levels!

I have combined all of these and come up with my latest plan for life.

The Plan:

I will be traveling to cities everywhere from the US, to Mexico, to Canada and anywhere else someone invites me!  I will be staying with friends, family, friends of friends and cooking for them.  Yup, you heard me right, I stay at your house = I cook for you! I would say the trade-off works pretty well right? In each city I want to experience a new adventure, whether it be sky diving, mud runs, swimming with dolphins or anything in between, I’m up for it!  I’ll be interviewing chefs, bloggers and interesting people in each city and trying the best and most intriguing restaurants each one has to offer!

Here’s where you come in:

  • Where should I go? Tell me where you live or where you’ve visited that I must go and see!
  • What should I do?  What adventure should I experience in this city? Do you all have the largest Jazz festival outside of New Orleans, do you have a beer festival that would put Oktoberfest to shame, do you have a secret adventure spot that only the locals know about?
  • Where should I eat? Who has the best pizza, most interesting menu, biggest pancake I’ve ever seen?
  • Who should I interview?  Are you a chef, do you know a chef, do you own a restaurant, are you a fellow blogger, are you “in” with the chef at your favorite restaurant or are you just an interesting person with a story to tell? Tell me who to talk to!

The good news:

I’ll be recording everything on the Little Leopard Book (not the original, this one, the virtual one 😉 ) and sharing my adventures, recipes, interviews and restaurant reviews with all of you!

The goal:

  • The book.  At the end of the summer I will publish my first “food and travel” book!
  • The people. I want to meet you!  You can view a calendar of my travel here! If I’m coming to a city near you, lets meet for coffee or a pint!  I’d love to hear your story!
  • The adventures. Adventures = Stories and “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself. They are the currency of human contact.” — Robert McKee                                                                                                                                                         Join in the adventure by helping me complete one of my Summer Bucket List items!
  • The food.  In the words of my girlfriends OBVI!

I need your help in this adventure!!! Comment below, message me on Facebook, tweet me on the Twitter, Instagram me (@whitneybond), tag me on Pinterest in a destination or adventure picture I have to try, befriend me on Yelp so I can see your reviews of places, share this with your friends, family, fellow bloggers, join the adventure with me!

In the end, my goal is to say this every day of the summer:

“Each day I am thankful for friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” – Unknown