This story is over 5 years old.


How to Travel on a Budget and Not Be a Dick About It

You can use these travel tips as long as you promise not to be a dick.
Image via. Flickr | User. Roderick Eime

I get it: Summer is coming, and you are worried that everyone thinks you're a square. Guess what: You are one. Thank God I've been hired to help you book the vacation of your short, pathetic, life and generally make you seem less shitty than you already do. I know: You want to show people that you, too, have seen a blue ocean! You are also capable of looking away from the camera at the top of an unidentified mountain! And you for sure know how to use chopsticks! Relax, I'm here for you.


I will tell you how to get your most-liked Instagram post after working hard to save dimes at your weird 15-week summer job, but you may only use my wisdom so long as you promise that you shall not participate in any of the following:

  • Use the word "wanderlust."
  • Go to Japan—then come back from Japan—and tell me how salmon sashimi is supposed to be cut.
  • Make a photo-essay blog containing pictures of people of color that you accosted on the street entitled "Humans of [your destination of my choice using my sage advice]."
  • Tell me that people are "so zen in Asia."
  • Tell me that people "just know how to do things properly in Asia."
  • Tell me that people are "so tiny in Asia."
  • Tell me that people are "so smelly in Asia."
  • Tell me that anywhere other than North America is smelly; it's a bratty, classist thing to say.
  • Especially since New York is in North America.
  • Wear whichever "traditional" garment you acquired in the Eastern world for fashion on a daily basis or at a frat party when you're back in North America.
  • Bring back an exotic saying in a different language that makes you seem wise. Don't say "Kob khun ka" after you finish a sentence.
  • Hold up a peace sign mocking East Asian tourists. Let us have the peace sign, Scarlett Johansson has already taken so much from us.
  • Take photos with your siblings that make it seem like you're dating (and vice versa).
  • Generally be embarrassing and/or rude and/or a dick about how you traveled somewhere.


If you contractually or pinky promise not to do these things, then you may use my benevolent wisdom to go somewhere new and save a few bucks.

Flights fluctuate.

Watching flight prices can be arduous but very worth it. According to data provided to VICE by, it is much cheaper this year to fly:

  • Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, (aka Saigon) → prices are down 13 percent
  • Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose → prices are down 8 percent.
  • Peru's capital city, Lima → prices also down 8 percent.
  • It is also slightly cheaper than last year to fly to Barcelona → prices down 3 percent, so I guess if you want to go to Barcelona, go.
  • Also, flights are more expensive to Athens this year → prices up 8 percent, so I guess their economy has recovered. Good for them.

Booking Flights Is Cheaper on Tuesdays. You know how your grandpa is always talking about Cheap Tuesdays? This applies to booking flights too. I can't believe you didn't know that, I don't get paid enough.

Go to Portugal! Everyone dreams of going to Paris and London but as your trip advisor, let me tell you: No one cares about you or your stupid dreams, your grainy photos of the Eiffel Tower, or white people wearing fascinators, that's a guarantee. I have no idea what is in Portugal's capital city, Lisbon, but since it is so affordable right now, you can go there and report back to me. I would do it myself but I have many trip advisor duties that require me to stay here in Canada this summer.


Bring Extra Underwear. Don't pack just enough underwear for a number of days you're traveling, you idiot. Things happen and you never know how much underwear you'll need so just bring a lot. Trust me.

Don't Travel with Someone You've Been Dating for Less Than a Year. If you break up in the two months between booking your romantic trip and going on your romantic trip, which you probably will because love always dies, the logistics of finding a solution alone are going to (emotionally) cost you more than a trip to Athens.

Beware of Being Dragged off a Plane. This time of year, travelers are being warned that if they are not compliant with the powers that be, they might be dragged unconscious off of a plane.

Travel at the End of the Summer! The least expensive time to travel this summer is the week of August 28th. If your cousin isn't having some sweaty, gaudy wedding during the last week of the summer, consider doing all of the above at that time, and don't forget the things you've promised me! Have fun, be safe, and if you do break our agreement, just know that you will be meticulously discussed and shamed in a group chat with my friends.

Follow Celeste on Twitter.