January marks the SZN for vision boarding, goal setting, budget planning, and strategizing on how to level up from the previous year. For many of us, catching flights and exploring new countries is high on our priority list. But how do you make sure that you set realistic travel goals and travel smart this year? We spoke to Clé Hunnigan, entrepreneur, visual storyteller, and Founder of the global travel community, the Wind Collective.
Clé Hunnigan, Wind Collective
What's your advice on traveling on a budget?
"Research is everything! Spend some time looking at travel blogs, identifying free or cheap things to do in the local area, and make that a part of your itinerary. Make sure you make a plan for your trip, and you stick to it. Figure out the areas where you're happy to pay less for and the experiences you're willing to splurge throughout your trip. For example, you can eat local and save on food, and spend that little extra on a scuba diving experience. As long as you plan, you will know where you can be smart about your money. Also, be adventurous and take in the local experience. I personally enjoy eating local food and making new friends. It helps me learn the area and find out about cool local spots that most people might not know about."
The Wind Collective Take Bali
Tell us about some of your favorite resources for planning trips?
"Whether you're a solo traveler or into group trips, I recommend you check out travel communities like Wind Collective or Travel Noire. There are loads out there. And it is an easy way to find a tribe, stay accountable and tap into a wealth of knowledge of people who've been around the world. Aside from that, check out Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet and Culture Trip. Another personal favorite is Couch Surfing, it's a great way to meet people, find out about events, concerts and connect with locals and travelers in different geographies.
Research is everything
How do you capture dope travel content - for the 'gram, blogs or anything else?
"Definitely be present, in the moment, and open to seeing the experience right there and then. You really have to be intentional about creating content. I'm a big fan of lists, and when I find locations I love or places I've researched, be it a coffee shop or restaurant or a beach, I write it down. I sometimes visit the place beforehand to get an idea of the shots I want to take. If you're new to the game, start taking a small camera with you, and don't be afraid to practice shooting and work out your own individual shooting style."
Shot in Sri Lanka
What are 3 travel hacks you would tell someone who wants to travel smart?
"Skyscanner is a great place to start planning any trip. It has a really cool function where you can search flight from your current location to 'everywhere,' and it shows you cheap flights from where you are. That's one of the ways I started traveling."
"Financial technology (fintech) apps are really helpful both abroad and in the planning stage. Get yourself onto Starling, Monzo, Revolut, or any of those platforms with no international fees because they make managing your money easier."
"For the more seasoned travelers, I recommend checking out The Points Guy to learn how to use your air miles and points most efficiently. If you haven't read up on how to start earning miles, start looking into it because they add up and could help you save on that big trip you're planning for the year."
Is travel on your radar this year? What are your tips for staying focused and savvy on 2020 trips?