Hey KortNation, this week’s blog post is a little different. Welcome to throw back Thursday: Kortni Edition. Let’s take it back to 2013 and imagine a younger, more care-free version of myself. I sometimes cringe thinking about who I was during that stage, but I have grown and changed so much since then. This is a time in my life that we are going to title “Out in These Streets Doing Dumb Stuff”. I was pretty much working to spend money on things that I can’t even remember now. That was the life, so I thought. Then a new friend, who is now one of my best friends, invited me to The Dominican Republic for her birthday in May of 2014. I immediately wanted to go. No one had ever invited me to anything cool like that for a birthday. I agreed to go, but a bih was broke ok lol. I was living pay check to pay check and I didn’t really know how I was going to save the money for the trip.

I’m talking about this time because in the beginning of my travel journey I had no idea how to make a trip happen. I knew I wanted to travel and that was enough for me to start figuring it out.

Social media often makes it seem as if only the rich can afford to travel. Regular people go on trips and I am one of those regular people. I made my first trip happen with very little money. I had to put forth effort to make it happen, but the reward was so worth it.

I want all of you to travel if that is what you desire, so here are a few tips from my Broke Bih Travel Guide (get your copy, it’s free…… in my head). It will highlight a few of the changes I made to take a broke girl(me) out of the country.

Step 1: The Passport

I knew I needed a passport to go and that they were kind of pricey. I went online to find out how much a passport cost. I also found a post office in my area that took walk in appointments. I utilized the passport photo option available at CVS and was able to get everything done in 1 day.

To pay for the passport I stopped going out, eating out and shopping for 1 month. I was able to save $200 from the 2 paychecks I received that month and then boom, a broke bih was getting a passport.

Step 2: The Plane Ticket

This was probably the easiest thing to purchase. I checked the prices of plane tickets weekly to make sure I knew when the prices changed. I have never been one to get a huge tax return, but that year, all $500 of my tax return went towards the purchase of my plane ticket to The Dominican Republic.

*Tip* Now there are apps to help you monitor flight prices. I use Hopper. You can enter your travel information and the app will let you know when the prices go up or down.

Step 3: A Place to Stay

Did you know, before I went to The Dominican Republic I started selling my clothes online? Of course you didn’t, but I did. I cleaned out my closet and started putting clothes up on Vinted, an app that provided all the tools I needed to get my clothes sold. Surprisingly, my clothes sold very fast. I sold clothes and worked overtime when it was available and in a month and a half I had all the funds I needed to pay for my portion of our resort stay.

With these slight changes to my broke lifestyle, I was able to afford a trip that seemed impossible at first. The best part was the resort was all-inclusive, which meant I didn’t have to spend any more money when I arrived. Keep that in mind when thinking “you can’t afford it”.