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Tips for Traveling on a Budget in 2016

Updated: Dec 21, 2015 09:55
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Keyatta cruising in Paris

This is something my friend Keyatta Shade wrote as a Facebook post that we’ve decided to turn into an article. It’s damn good advice. You can stay on top of what Keyatta’s up to by signing up for his awesome email list Key’s List.


My close friends know I chose a career in nonprofit because it makes me happy to help people, not because it pays well! While our society doesn’t place a high value on what doesn’t make individuals financially wealthy, my riches come from the many thanks I get when I’m able to help someone in need.

I’m not going to lie though, it can definitely be tough sometimes, especially living in a city like San Francisco.

Still, in 2015 I managed to have a great year that involved weekend and weekly travels by plane, train and automobile to 5 California cities, domestic flights to 5 states and international flights to two countries. Not bad for someone on a budget!

photo by Jesse Bowser

Here are my tips for traveling on a budget in 2016:

1. Book at least 3 months in advance [sometimes I pay half of what I would pay by booking well in advance]

2. Don’t be too proud to sleep on a couch! Friends are very generous if you just ask. [This maybe hard for people with a lot of money but this post isn’t for you anyway :-P]

3. Prepare a daily budget [food and social life]

4. Buy tickets in advance for attractions on your trip [you can sometimes find great deals on travel sites for museums, landmarks, etc.]

5. Wait to purchase gifts or souvenirs at the end of your trip when you have an idea how much is left in your travel budget!

6. Strategically plan trips around holidays and weekends so you have more time off to enjoy away. [Example: I had 9 days of travel during Thanksgiving but that only required 3 days off of vacation from work-How? We already had two days off of work during the week and the previous weekend and following weekend total gave me 9 days of a vacation]

7. Stop eating out and spending money socially (i.e. bars) a month before going out to give yourself extra spending money on your trip [for some of you this may require two months in advance]

8. Take risks but be safe [If you worry about everything that might happen to you on your trip, i.e. what your actual budget is, and yes even terrorism, you’ll never leave your safe little cul de sac-street!]

9. Do this for yourself! [Know you deserve it]

If your budget doesn’t allow you to do full weekend or weekly travels, start small, see things in your own town that you haven’t. Save for the next opportunity and build up. The point is, nourish your spirit and yourself with things that make you happy. Traveling just happens to be one of the things that makes me happy.

You only live once, find your happy in 2016! Much love to you all! Oh and don’t judge my writing! Keyatta Shade

Peace from Paris!
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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.