Taj MahalIf I had a nickel for every time someone told me they wish they could travel like me, I would be seriously rich. Unless poor health is an issue, there’s really no reason why you can’t travel and go to those places you’ve always dream about in the year ahead. It just takes planning, saving and some helpful tips to help you score the best travel deals out there!

I’m not rich—I’m just innovative. Here are five ways to make 2014 your year of travel.

1. Sign up to newsletters
The best way to travel for cheap is to find the best deals out there. So sign up to travel deal newsletters to stay on top of fares. The top three travel deals newsletters are: Airfarewatchdog, TheFlightDeal and Travelzoo. I also offer one at JohnnyJet.com.

2. Sign up to multiple credit cards
If you can pay off your credit card bill each month, then you could be signing up to a number of credit cards that offer larger sign-up bonuses. Don’t do it all at once—wait at least four months between cards. Then, charge all of your everyday purchases so you will earn miles/points. But it’s not worth it in the long run if you can’t pay your credit cards off in full each month. Here are a few of my favorite travel credit cards.

3. Use Twitter and Facebook
If you haven’t already done so, create a Twitter and a Facebook account. It takes about two minutes and you don’t have to put any of your personal information out there. Your goal is to follow all the airlines, hotels, cruise companies, car rental companies and travel experts that you are interested in because sometimes they offer Twitter- or Facebook-exclusive deals. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a master list. You can thank me later.

4. Monitor FlyerTalk & Milepoint
Do you read about all those airline mistake fares, where people are flying across the country for under $50 or to Europe for $100? The way to find out when these mistake fares happen is by monitoring two frequent flier forums: FlyerTalk.com and Milepoint.

5. Consider cruising
If you are one of the 80% of Americans who has never cruised, then you should seriously consider it. I used to be skeptical too … until I went on my first cruise and realized what a great bargain it is. You just have to stay away from the booze and the casino. The cruise industry has so much inventory that they are constantly offering incredible deals (especially in the off-season) like $269 for a 4-night Caribbean cruise and it includes an onboard credit. Note: By the time you read this – this particular deal will be gone but there will be many others like it. Just click this link and keep refreshing to see all the current deals. You can also try CruiseCritic.com’s deals. Tip: If you are really skeptical about cruising, go on a long weekend cruise, just to see if you will like it or not. If you do, then it’s time to book a longer one!

As you can see finding deals does take a bit of time and work – but the payoff is well worth it. If you play your cards right, you can see the world for a lot less money than you think. There are also sites like CouchSurfing.com and HomeExchange.com where you can find accommodations for free. There’s really no excuse why you can’t make 2014 your year of travel.

P.S. If you need more travel inspiration, follow these 14 travelers on Instagram. Their photos will definitely motivate you to get out there and see the world!

8 Comments On "5 Ways to Make 2014 Your Year of Travel"
  1. cvail|

    Don’t think I’ll be cruising…can’t, just can’t wrap my head around it….enjoy your 2014 travels!

  2. Anonymous|

    I am an avid traveler but can’t join travel groups. It has to be on my terms. I am always intrigued by cruising yet being stuck in one place for days scares me. Even if I take a 2 hour cruise, can’t wait to get out of the boat!

  3. Anonymous|

    I travel a lot, but do it on my own terms. I am very intrigued by cruising. But being stuck with with a cruise or a travel group scares me.

  4. Susan @ Travel Junkette|

    “I’m not rich–I’m just innovative.” Exactly. Great post, Johnny!

  5. Ross|

    Great tips. Iv always been skeptical about cruising but maybe I should give it a try.

  6. Kristoffer Fons|

    I’m almost certain that 2014 is going to be the year I go on my first cruise! It has got to be one of the most relaxing ways of seing the World.

  7. Robert Bruce|

    I have made it my goal to go on an Alaskan cruise this year. I have been dying to do it for several years and just never get around to doing it. I hear it is breathtaking. Has anyone here experienced an Alaskan cruise?

    As far as deals are concerned, there’s no excuse with the internet not to find great deals, just keep looking on lots of different sites the deals are out there.

  8. kim langholz|

    Great post Johnny. I’ve actually found a cruise that I’d like to go on. It’s a round the world cruise lasting 9 months. Cost the same as my rental appartment would do for the same period of time… :-)

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