How To Travel On A Budget


I love to travel. There is just something so soul-fulfilling about exploring a new destination, experiencing the culture, and eating the local food. It just fills me up inside and leaves me longing for my next adventure once I return home.

As much as I'd love to travel full-time, traveling can be very expensive. So expensive that some people never even leave their country of birth or just wait until retirement to finally begin traveling.

I'm not one of those people. And you don't have to be either.

In the last 3 years, I have traveled to 16 different cities, both via road trip and international flights, and I'm off again in 5 months to Bali, Indonesia for two weeks. Only being in my 20s, I have picked up a few tips and tricks to keeping the costs low while still being able to have an amazing trip!

@lattesandlifestyle // The view outside of my window on my way to Honolulu, Hawaii in 2018
#1 Check The Currency Exchange Rate / Cost Of Living
This is an amazing one for picking an international destination - and one of the defining factors that helped me pick Bali, Indonesia as my next destination. Visiting places where the exchange rate is low and the cost of living is low means you have way more money on your hands. You can easily do this by using the Google Currency Converter or get an app on your phone.



#2 Plan As Early As Possible
This is something I cannot stress enough. The earlier you begin planning, the more time you have to keep an eye on fluctuating flight and accommodation prices. And you generally have more time to save up money! I recommend planning 3 months prior for road trips and 6 months minimum for international flights.

#3 Create A Travel Budget
Have an overall idea of how much money you are willing to spend on this trip. How much on flights? Rental car? Gas? Accommodations? Attractions? Food? Creating a budget helps you stay in control. The budget may fluctuate depending on your destination, but if you're finding it impossible to find flights or accommodations within your budget, choose a more affordable destination.

#4 Track Cheap Flights
Keep an eye on flight prices and price trends to your destination to ensure you are getting the best deal possible on your flight! There are lots of free apps that help you do this but my favorites are Skyscanner and Hopper. I browse between the two to find the cheapest flights and get notifications right from my phone when the prices drop.

If you're really on a tight budget, I'd honestly recommend picking the more inexpensive flight available for your destination. The flight is only a vessel to get you to your real adventure. I mean, no matter if you're in economy class or first class, you're still getting from Point A to Point B.

If you have a little extra money to spare, especially for international trips, I'd recommend taking some time to read reviews of the three cheapest flight airlines to see which will give you the best bang for your buck (not only financially, but also for service and experience). 

#5 Stay In A Hostel or Homestay
If you're a solo traveler or just traveling as a couple, consider hostels or homestays. They are significantly less expensive than hotels and are a great way to meet other young travelers or digital nomads.

#6 Book An Airbnb
Airbnb is one of my favorite ways to find inexpensive accommodations. Not only is it cost-effective; but it is also great especially for families and large groups - as you can all stay together instead of booking multiple hotel rooms. I talk about Airbnb a lot on this blog and if you're interested in learning more reasons why I just love Airbnb over hotels, check out this blog post here.

GET UP TO $46 CAD OFF YOUR FIRST AIRBNB BOOKING

#7 Price-Check Booking Websites
In areas where Airbnb isn't as accessible and you aren't comfortable with staying in a hostel, I highly recommend you check out a bunch of booking websites and price-check the rates of hotels and resorts. A hotel could be one price on one website and a completely cheaper price on another website.

#8 Travel In A Group
If your squad is down to travel, definitely consider traveling in a group. While romantic getaways are fun and solo travel is spiritually uplifting, traveling in a group helps keep costs low because you can split the price of accommodations, transit, and food with multiple people. There are some attractions that will even give you a group discount.

#9 Join Location-Specific Travel Groups
Community forums like this are an amazing resource to ask questions, look for recommendations, and research affordable alternatives. On my trip to Bali coming up in October, I joined a Facebook group filled with travelers who regularly visit Bali. Most people in this group ask for recommendations for local prices (so they don't get ripped off by locals), drivers, restaurants, hotels, and so much more!

#10 Look For Free Attractions
If you're really on a tight budget, do some research on free attractions to visit. If you browse social media or look up your destination's website, you're bound to find some free things to do while you're there! Especially if you're visiting more of a local hub with very few tourists, you'll find handfuls of things to do for free.

#11 Get Recommendations Online
Its kind of funny how social media changes the way travel works. No longer do you have to pay a travel agent. Instead, you can just browse social media with specific location tags or hashtags and do a quick search on YouTube for recommendations. If you're flexible, you could even do this while on your trip.

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These are 11 secrets to traveling on a budget. I hope these tips help you save some money on your next trip without having to give up a little bit of luxury.



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How To Be More Productive and Get More Done | Productivity + Time Management

How many times have you hopelessly groaned to yourself "I wish I had more time"?

I used to be a hardcore member of the "Busy Cult" - writing long to-do lists, filling my planner to the brim, and scheduling every single little minute of my day. Then I'd get super overwhelmed when I didn't have "enough time" to finish everything before the end of the day. Now that I look back, I'm actually kind of upset that I'll never get back those exhausting late work nights and years of sleep debt.

Let's make this clear from the beginning - being busy doesn't mean you're being productive.



From a very young age, it is embedded in us that doing more is better and multitasking is essential to success - even if that means the quality of our work is compromised. In fact, 98% of the population actually sucks at multitasking, which in turn, hinders our productivity, causes us to fade in and out of focus, and makes us believe we "don't have enough time". It's actually kind of ironic that a universal "hack" to saving us time is actually costing us time.



Productivity Tips For Better Time Management
When you feel like you don't have enough time to get everything done, consider some of the following tips to help you strengthen your skill of time management.
  • Create A Productivity Action Plan
  • Start Your Day With The Most Important Task/Project
  • Swap Multitasking With The Pomodoro Technique
  • Know When To Just Say "No"
  • Set Yourself Up For Success

Create A Productivity Action Plan
Don't waste your time scheduling unnecessary tasks just to look and feel more productive. I know it is kind of exciting and fills us with pride to see a full calendar at the start of the day, but it can cause you to feel very overwhelmed and upset at the end of the day when not everything was done on time or completed. Instead, focus on scheduling specific daily tasks and events with a purpose.

Here are 3 Steps To A Functional Action Plan:
  • Analyze your current lifestyle
  • Cleanse all tasks that don't serve you
  • Create Your Productivity Plan

    For more guidance on creating a productivity action plan, click here to reserve your spot for my upcoming Productivity Plan Workshop (Launching May 2019). It is a FREE online workshop geared towards helping overwhelmed women - that feel like they have way too much on their plate (like YOU!) - create a functional, organized and productive game-plan to get more stuff done.

    Start Your Day With The Most Important Task/Project
    When I used to work in an office, the very first thing I'd do after settling into my desk is check e-mails and voicemails I missed from the previous day. By the time I finally got through all the mindless administration work, it would already be lunchtime and I'd be mentally clocked-out thinking about that delicious Dynamite Roll I just ordered on Skip The Dishes. And by the time I finally was back from lunch, I'd be suffering from a delicious food coma and just impatiently waited for my shift to end - without even touching the important projects.

    Don't waste your valuable time and productive energy on unnecessary tasks. Your e-mails and voicemails can wait. Browsing social media can wait. Organizing the pantry can wait. You know what cannot wait? Budgeting to ensure you're paying bills on time, buying dog food because your Pup has one serving left, or completing that project you've been putting off. Prioritization is so important for success in all areas of your life.


    Swap Multitasking with The Pomodoro Technique 
    The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool that focuses on working smarter, not harder by dedicating 25 minutes at a time for high-focus work on only one task. Once the timer goes off, take a short break and write a checkmark on your paper. Repeat this until you have four checkmarks on your paper - which grants you a long break. During this time, put your phone on silent, close all other tabs on your computer, and really focus on the task at hand.

    My favorite app for the Pomodoro Technique is Flora - Focus Habit Tracker. I love how it creates an initiative to help me stay off of my phone (unless you want to kill the tree you planted). To add an extra incentive, it also gives you the opportunity to "bet" money that, if you fail your Pomodoro time, will be collected and used to plant trees around the world. If you make it through your designated time without an issue, you are not charged.

    Know When To Just Say "No"
    One of the reasons I find people become so overwhelmed is because they constantly are taking on way too much - even things they aren't passionate about - because they don't want to disappoint others. Whether you believe it or not - Time is a currency and you have a choice of how you want to spend it. When you agree to go out with the group of friends you haven't seen in a while even though you have an early morning the next day or agree to bake 100 cupcakes for your church fundraiser despite also having to write a 10 page research paper for school the same night; you're stacking your plate way too high that it is almost impossible to digest it all at once. It's okay to say "No" and put yourself first. And it's okay to decline things you previously agreed to if you realize it doesn't fit.

    Set Yourself Up For Success
    Take the initiative to prepare so that when you do need to go into high-focus, there aren't other things on your mind leaving you distracted. Doesn't it suck when you're about to sit down at your desk to get some work done, only to be very distracted with how messy your desktop is? Or when you're going to pick-up groceries, only to realize you didn't make a list and don't know what you already have in your fridge? Failing to set yourself up for success typically leads you to procrastination and distractions. Take the initiative to set yourself up for success and focus will come naturally.

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    These were 5 tips on how to get more stuff done. How do you live more productively? Let me know down in the comments below!




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    3 Ways To Practice Self-Care EVERY Morning Before Starting The Day

    As I've said multiple times, I'm not naturally a morning person. Waking up at 4AM every day is a work in progress that I can confidently say has changed my life for the better. One of the best things I've implemented in my Morning Routine is the practice of self-care, first thing in the morning. Without self-care, your quality of work quickly diminishes and productivity flies right out the window.


    I learned this the hard way at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. After the wild pump of adrenalin wore off, I found myself burnt out and uninspired for a full year. It was extremely frustrating to feel unending pressure to create content I wasn't proud of - and it showed as the quality of my work lacked. What began as a profitable passion project soon turned into an overwhelming black hole sucking all of the energy out of me - so much energy that I became too exhausted to even do simple tasks like get out of bed, cook healthy meals, exercise, visit friends, and nurture my mental health. When I wasn't overworking myself, I was literally sleeping; and when I struggled to sleep for days, I was creating horrible content. It was an unhealthy cycle I knew I had to break.

    Self-care is so important because it creates the mindset that YOU are the most important part of your life. When you begin to put yourself first, every other aspect of your life - your career, your relationships, your finances, your health, etc. - flourish as well.

    3 Ways To Practice Self-Care EVERY Morning Before Starting Your Day

    In my search for a lifestyle that promotes self-care, I adapted three overarching tasks into my morning routine that helped put Me first:
    • Do Something For The Mind
    • Do Something For The Body
    • Do Something For The Soul
    The moment I wake up in the morning, this is my To-Do List. I don't let myself answer e-mails, write blog posts, design social media content, or answer comments until these three things were done. When you jump right into work first thing in the morning after you wake up, you are unintentionally telling yourself that WORK is more important than your wellbeing - and I don't want to be that kind of person. Having a strong worth ethic is so important and is the backbone to success - BUT putting your work life over your wellbeing is not worth potential illnesses or burnout.

    Do Something For The Mind
    I love starting my morning immediately by doing something for my mind. We use our mind all day long and it's constantly running - but very few of us take time to warm it up or exercise the brain. This is an amazing way to get the blood flowing while helping you wake up. It also helps us exercise our memory, focus, information processing, comprehension, etc.
    • Brain Training Apps
    • Puzzles
    • Cross Words
    • Word Search
    • Listen to an Inspirational Podcast
    • Read a Book
    • Learn A New Skill
    • Practice A New Hobby

    Do Something For The Body
    This, especially, has become a favorite of mine. There is just something about getting my blood pumping and my body moving that makes my day 10x better! Before I started exercising in the morning, I found that I always had excess energy bottled up inside, which usually translated into anxiety or stress because my body wasn't sure what to do with all of that excess energy firing up within me. Now that I started exercising and eating healthier, my sleep is better regulated, my body feels stronger, and I feel a lot less stressed out.
    • Eat a wholesome breakfast
    • 30-minute outdoor walk
    • Early morning yoga class
    • Relax in the sauna
    • Weight train at the gym
    • 10-minute stretches in your living room
    • Swim some laps at the pool
    • Drink a full glass of water

    Do Something For The Soul
    I think this is something that many people overlook. When we talk about wellness, most people instinctively think about eating healthy and exercise - but not a lot of people talk about soul-wellness. We live in a culture that continuously pushes us to work harder and harder, then call us "weak" for needing time-off to regenerate. I like to refer to the soul as a watering can - It begins filled up but as we water jobs we don't enjoy, relationships that are toxic, and overwhelming situations that stress us out, our water quickly runs dry. Suddenly, we no longer have any water left for everything we do love and want to see grow. All of the relationships that we hold dear, passion projects we poured our hearts into and time spent practicing a positive mindset are just left to wilt. But when we make time to refill our watering can every morning and water the things most important to us first, we can finally dry out all of the negative things that no longer serve us and have more water for all of the things that light us up inside. 
    • Reflect on things you're grateful for
    • Brain dump in a journal (Morning Pages)
    • Enjoy a rush-free coffee with your spouse/partner/best friend
    • Spend some time cuddling on the floor with your dog
    • Practice Guided Meditation
    • Create an artsy masterpiece
    • Work on a passion project
    • Spent some time in nature
    • Do anything else that lights you up inside!
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    The idea is to take care of the three main pillars of your life - mind, body, and soul. Some days I choose to do one for each section; some days I implement multiple tasks from each pillar; as I mix and match them.

    I think its also important to share that these tasks don't have to take a whole lot of time. To many people, time is limited - I get it. But doing something as simple as waking up 30 minutes earlier to dedicate 10 minutes to each practice could be life-changing!

    Most importantly, do what feels the most fulfilling and fits your lifestyle best!



    How To Become A Morning Person + Wake Up At 4 AM Everyday

    A new habit I've really been trying to incorporate within my life is becoming a "Morning Person". Let me tell you - this is one of the most challenging things I've tried thus far. I've never been an early riser and, quite honestly, would prefer to sleep in until noon every single day if I had the flexibility in my schedule to do so. As part of my new year's resolutions, I decided to challenge myself by working towards waking up at 4 AM every single day.


    You must think I'm a crazy person. Who in the right mind would want to wake up at 4AM every single day when they don't have to? The reason differs per person, but some reasons may include wanting to get a workout in before the workday begins, getting some extra time to enjoy breakfast with your partner and/or kids, collecting some extra time for your side hustle that you may not get in the evening, or just generally trying to get a productive start to your day by completing simple tasks you wouldn't otherwise have done if you woke up later.

    Who Should Transform Into A Morning Person?
    - Anyone who feels like they don't have enough hours in the day to cross everything off their to-do list.
    - Anyone who wishes they had more time to spend with their loved ones.
    - Anyone who is actively trying to grow their side hustle while still in school or working full-time.
    - Anyone wanting to just generally wants to improve their mental health and start the day feeling good

    If any (or all) of these resonate with you, I'd definitely recommend you challenge yourself in the next 21 Days to give waking up at 4 AM every day a try. I'd imagine unless you are someone who has their life together, you could benefit from giving this challenge a try, at least once in your life to see how it drastically changes your relationship with health, time and sleep.



    Personally, I do it because I love starting my day with a positive mindset. I've fallen into the workaholic rabbit hole and stopped taking care of my personal wellness. By waking up at 4 AM every day, I created a routine that has really helped me put myself and my loved ones first - without stressing out about getting everything done on my to-do list. All before 9AM, I can now fit in an intense workout without watching the clock, enjoy the Early Bird Special with my boyfriend at our favorite breakfast diner, and fit in some brain training in the Lumosity App! I feel like I'm in the BEST place I've ever been in a long time - mentally and physically!


    How To Become A Morning Person:
    As hard as waking up at 4 AM sounds, it's really not that bad once it has become routine. I have broken down my method into three categories that will help you sustainably keep this habit long-term:
    • Create An Intention-Filled Morning Routine (And Follow It!)
    • Allow Yourself To Get Enough Sleep The Night Before
    • Find A Support System That Will Keep Your Accountable

    Create An Intention-Filled Morning Routine (And Follow It!)
    I am a strong believer that creating routines with supported by intentions is one of the best ways to create motivation in all aspect of life. When you create a morning routine fueled by intention, you go beyond "I have to wake up" to "I want to wake up because". This "Because" or your WHY is the extra push most people need to get motivated to do the things they really don't want to do. It's a mindset shift that, as minor, as it seems, will set you up for success.

    No longer is it just "I have to go to work". With intention, it now becomes: "I want to go to work because I have a family that is counting on me".

    And no longer is it just "I have to go to the gym this morning". With intention, it now becomes: "I want to go to the gym because I want to feel confident in a swimsuit this summer."

    Every single thing on your morning routine should have an intention paired to it. Keep in mind, your morning routine doesn't have to be lengthy and complicated. Mine is super simple but is packed with intention:

    Wake up at 4AM because I want to set aside time to take care of myself and start the day on a positive note.

    Use Bathroom + Morning Hygiene because self-care is one of the most important things to me.

    Complete Daily Brain Training Exercises because stimulating the brain not only makes you smarter, but also helps you naturally wake up faster.

    Workout At The Gym because I love the rush of positivity I get when I workout early in the morning.

    Eat a healthy breakfast because after working out, my body deserves nutrition that makes it continue to feel good.

    Tidy Home While Listing To Podcast because I love starting my day without small tasks continuously resurfacing in the back of my head.




    Allow Yourself To Get Enough Sleep The Night Before
    I think this is pretty straight forward, but a lot of people don't do it because they "don't have enough time" to schedule an early bedtime. We live in a society that has grown to praise the lack of sleep. From all the college kids competing over who had the least amount of sleep the night before their final exam to all the night-shift workers who are motivated by the extra money that follows in exchange for all of their sleep debt. The average adult should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep.

    If you are struggling with getting proper sleep at night, here are some quick tips:
    • Create a daily night routine. It doesn't need to be overly complicated like most lifestyle bloggers and beauty gurus make it seem. You don't need to take a bubble bath, light some candles, and perform an overly complicated skincare routine. Do whatever helps you wind down for the night to prepare for a good nights rest, but do it before strict bedtime. My bedtime is 9pm.
    • Prepare the night before. This goes beyond just packing your lunch and setting out your clothes for the following morning. Do those dishes you usually leave in the sink overnight. Tidy the living room from the 10 pillows, 4 blankets, and 2 bags of chips you left from your evening Netflix Binge. Getting these silly little tasks out of the way before bed will give you peace of mind when you're finally ready to go to sleep. I don't know about you, but if I know I have a task I didn't complete, my mind goes CRAZY, especially right before bedtime. Then I spend the next three hours contemplating whether or not I should just do it. Just get it out of the way before you go to bed and save yourself the mental battle at 2AM.
    • Use a Bedtime Clock App. On the iPhone, it's naturally a feature in your clock app. I'm not quite sure if this is something Androids have - but if not, there are plenty of apps in the Play store available. Bedtime Clock Apps are great for tracking your sleeping patterns and using a subtle alarm to wake you up while you're in light sleep during the window around your designated wake-up time. Using the Bedtime feature in the iPhone Clock App has changed my life!
    • Charge your phone on the other side of your bedroom. Originally I thought this tip was silly. I thought I'd just wake up, get out of bed to turn off the alarm, then go back to bed with my phone in hand. And yes, this did happen to me a few times. To prevent myself from going back to bed, I'd turn off my alarm, then immediately turn on my lights, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and complete my morning skincare routine. Putting your alarm on the other side of the room creates a chain reaction that helps you wake up as you complete seamless morning tasks.
    • Wake Up Anyways - Even If You're Still Tired. Even if you didn't get the full 7-8 hours the night before, wake up anyways. By doing this, not only are you practicing will power, but you also are resetting your sleeping schedule. Our bodies work on an internal clock. If you force yourself awake, even if you're exhausted and feel like crap for a couple of days, your body will naturally get sleepy earlier the following night. Eventually, you'll be sleeping early to make up for the sleep you have been losing from waking up earlier.

    Find A Support System That Will Keep You Accountable
    Sometimes we just need that little extra push when we aren't feeling motivated. That's where your support system comes in. Find a buddy to keep you accountable during this lifestyle transition. Ask your partner/spouse or your best friend to join along in the lifestyle change. It is always so much easier when you're doing it with someone else. It's awesome because when you aren't motivated, your Support Person can hype you up - and vice-versa.

    I actually partially started this challenge to help me boyfriend reset his sleeping schedule after he switched from night-shift back to day-shift. A couple months later, we both naturally wake up at 4AM pumped to head off to the gym. It's been a great bonding experience as we keep each other motivated and accountable - even when we want to give up and sleep in. Challenging things are always so much easier with someone by your side.

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    These are my three tips to becoming a morning person and waking up at 4AM every single day. How would you spend the extra time in your day if you were to wake up at 4AM every day? Let me know down in the comments below!