by Wyndi Kappes
Megan Elliott always wanted to travel the world, but between bills, rent and student loans, she was short on funds. However, after her brother passed away in 2015, she made it a priority to do whatever it took to finally see the world. The now budding globe-trotter has visited locations from Puerto Rico to Cape Town, Bali to Boston. After a visit to each locale, Megan shares her tips, tricks and places you can’t miss with her readers and followers on her blog Lush to Blush in hopes of inspiring others to get out there and experience all that life has to offer.
Q: What makes a great trip to you?
Megan Elliott: To me, a great trip is one where I go where the locals go and make lots of friends.
Q: What traits are essential in a good travel buddy?
ME: The most important quality is flexibility. Things rarely go according to plan, and you might get invited to a jungle party last minute or decide to island-hop instead of staying in one place. You never know where the journey will take you when traveling, and that’s the best part.
Q: What are a few travel essentials you don’t leave home without?
ME: I have an international travel bag I keep packed and ready to go at all times. Some essentials are lotion, lip balm, hand wipes, chargers with international adapters, peppermint oil and a sleep mask. I post extensive guides on my blog with specific travel picks for each destination, from Maui to Morroco.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of traveling for you?
ME: I would have to say very long flights and layovers are my biggest challenge. I can’t sleep on planes, so I tend to get sleep-deprived from the get-go. The biggest help has been airport lounges. They make a world of difference. I have a Priority Pass membership with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, but even without a membership, many lounges are only $30 to enter. They have free food and booze, and most of the time, they have showers and dark, quiet rooms.
Megan’s tips for those looking to travel more
Save up for trips and pay for things in portions. For example, I always buy my flight first. A few weeks later, I’ll get the hotel. Then by the time I go on the trip, the only thing I need to worry about is daily expenses. Breaking up the big purchases helps a lot.
Use credit cards to your advantage. All of my credit cards give me travel perks. I use the one for flight perks and another for travel points and hotel stays.
Be flexible in your travel dates to save money. This is the biggest reason I’m able to travel. I jump on flight deals as soon as I see them.
Sign up for “The Flight Deal” and “Secret Flying.” I get these newsletters every day, and there are some incredible deals.
Be open to any and all destinations. Every place has something unique and exciting to offer — even right here in the United States.