HOW TO GET CHEAP FLIGHTS

All of us want to travel for free but that's not really possible. So the next best alternative is to find flights as cheap as possible. But how do you do it? I'm a budget traveller and can't afford expensive flights all around the world and the tips I will share with you now are tips that I use myself and has helped me during my travels. So let's get started. 
 
JUMP INTO INCOGNITO-MODE
 
Before you start searching for flights, open a new window in your browser and make it incognito or "private". This way the websites you visit won't be able to save your searches and remember what you've searched for. Because if a website notice that you search for the same route several times, they will up the price. It can also be a good idea to clear you cache and cookies. 
 
USE A SEARCH ENGINE
 
And by this I don't mean Google or Bing (who even uses Bing??). I mean Skyscanner or Momondo. Skyscanner is my favourite and I even signed up for their newsletter which means that I get an email a couple of times a week with the lowest air fares. Momondo is also great and I've found that sometimes it shows some budget airlines that Skyscanner doesn't. Besides Skyscanner and Momondo I sometimes use Google Flights, I don't really like it and feel like they have a lot to work on but it's great for checking the availability of flights. Google Flights almost never presents the cheapest fare so I wouldn't trust it with that. 
 
READ MORE: HOW TO TRAVEL ON A BUDGET
 
 
FLY OFF SEASON
 
If you fly off season you will not only get a cheaper flight but you will also avoid all the tourists. It's a win-win situation if you ask me. Flights are usually the most expensive during summer when everyone has time off and wants to go on summer holiday with the fam. Christmas and New Years are also very expensive. 
 
BOOK FAR AHEAD
 
Book your flight as early as possible as prices tend to increase the closer to departure you get. A good rule of thumb is to book 1-3 months ahead. When I recently booked tickets to Poland I booked in January and I'm not traveling until April. My ticket was also extremely cheap because of this. You can also do the opposite and wait until the very last minute to book but that's a risk I personally wouldn't take. There might not be any seats left and in worst case senario they're not even that cheap. Bonus tip: Book on a Monday. Most people discuss their travel plans and book tickets during the weekends which makes the tickets more expensive. 
 
BE FLEXIBLE
 
Both with destiantion and dates. In other words don't focus on the destination, focus on the price. Take a look at your budget and think to yourself "where can I go with this money?". It's not realistic that you have $100 to spend on flights and you want to go from Europe to the Caribbean, unless you're extremely lucky. Your budget might take you some other place in Europe. You should also be as flexible as possible with travel dates. If you travel mid-week tickets are usually less expensive since most people travel during the weekends. 
 
READ MORE: HOW TO AFFORD TRAVELING
 
 
SIGN UP TO LOYALTY PROGRAMMES
 
Most airlines have a loyaly programme where you can either collects points or get bonuses in other ways. These bonuses can later be used as payment for flights, upgrades or discounts. I have a EuroBonus card from SAS/Star Alliance which means that I collect points everytime I fly with them. With my EuroBonus-card I also get discounted tickes since I'm under the age of 26. 
 
DO NOT HESITATE
 
If you find a great deal, book it! You can't search forever so if you find a great deal, don't be a fool and "wait a couple of days", your great deal might be gone and you will regret now booking in the first place. 


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HOW TO: TAKE OUTSTANDING TRAVEL PHOTOS

Are you a sucker for a gorgeous Instagram-feed? But you just no matter what you try can't get those perfect Instagram travel shots? Then listen (more like read, but you get the point) carefully at what I'm about to tell you. Getting those banger Insta-shots doesn't have to be that difficult. Here are 8 tips on how to up your Instagram game and take outstanding travel photos!

RELATED POST: HOW TO AFFORD TRAVELING
 

 
1. INVEST IN GEAR
If you are really serious about taking your photography to the next level you should, if you can afford, invest in some quality gear. Small point-and-shoot cameras are no longer super expensive and you can get an entry level DSLR camera for a small amount of money. This step is of course not a necessety but it gives you the creative freedom to take the picture you want. With a more advanced camera you can adjust your settings manually and get a unique picture created by you! But remember; the best camera is the one you have with you. Your iPhone is good enough!
 
2. CONCIDER THE TIME OF DAY
The light changes trough out the day and you should therefor have that in mind when you take your picture. Shooting in the middle of the day in the glazing sun might not always be the best idea. The light is harsh and creates weird shadows on people. The best time for shooting is around sunrise or sunset. The light is the soft and will light your subject beautifully. 
 
3. GET UP EARLY
If you really want that perfect shot, get up early. Not only is the light great but the tourists aren't awake yet! Which is great for you! That way you won't have 125 random tourists in the background of your shot and it will look much better!

 
4. USE THE RULE OF THIRDS
The rule of thirds is super simple. Google it if you've never heard of it! Always have it in the back of your mind.
 
5. LEARN HOW TO EDIT
Editing isn't cheating, it's a part of photography. Learn the basics and your photos can go from blah to WOW.
 
6. ANALYSE YOUR FAVORITE ACCOUNTS
What is it about their pictures that you like? Is it the blurry background? The colors? The composition? When you have examples of what you like then learn how to do that specific thing! Hannah (picture below) is one of my favorite people on Instagram. Therefor I sometimes look back at her feed, analyze what I like about it and learn from it!

 
7. FIND YOUR UNIQUE STYLE
Don't copy other photographers, find your own style of shooting and play with it! It's no fun if everyones photos look the same. Be you, always. I'm all for getting inspired by other photographers but don't EVER copy!

8. GET IN FRAME
I hate being in photos and I've always been behind the camera. But it's no secret that it's more interesting seeing a picture with a person in it than with out. So get in your photos, put your best smile on and take a picture! Not only is the picture more interesting to look at, for example you can use yourself for scale which I think is such a cool photo! Christian from Lost Leblanc is so good at this. By including himself in a picture he really shows off how big something in the background is and his pictures are so cool!

 

 
I hope you learnt something from this post and that you found it useful. Don't forget that to become a great photographer you need to practice. Pick up your camera, whether it's your iPhone or a DSLR, and go out and shoot, shoot, shoot! It's a common saying that you need to do something for 10,000 hrs to become an expert and it so is the case with photography as well, you don't go pro over a night. Put in the time and effort and you will be rewarded with great photos! Good luck on your photography journey!

RELATED POST: AIRPORT MISTAKES & HOW TO AVOID THEM
 

 
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How to: Afford Traveling

Traveling doesn't have to be expensive but it sure isn't for free. I love to travel. A lot. And I'm a student which means I'm not rich, at all. So how do I afford it? Let me break it down to you. 
 
Me in front of the Eiffeltower on my first ever solo trip in 2015!
 
SAVE SAVE SAVE
 
This is the obvious answer but it's hard to save up a great amount of savings if you don't have a great income to begin with. But still, do your best. Put aside a small amount each salary and slowly but surely they will add up and become a bigger amout. I found this great 12 week savings plan over at FITnancials that you could follow or you can make your own plan. The important part is that you begin somewhere. I also try to sell clothing and other stuff I don't use anymore online. It might not make me a millionare but it's always something. My cat recently broke a toe and had to go into surgery (those vet bills were NOT cheap) and I had to dig in to my travel savings but you know what? It doesn't matter if you have a set back, YOU ARE TRYING!
 
CHANGE YOUR SPENDING HABITS
 
Don't by coffee on the go, make it at home. Bring lunch to work instead of eating out. Don't buy things you don't need or won't use. A little goes a long way and you will be surprised how much you can save each month just by changing a few things in your everyday life.
 
READ MORE: Traveling on a budget
 
I took a disposable under water camera to Cyprus with my cousin in 2014!
 
SET A REALISTIC GOAL
 
This is very important for this to work out. It's very unlikely that you will save up $2,000 in a month because you obviosly need to live as well. Don't skip out on paying your rent just so you can go to Italy or what ever haha. NOT a good idea! Instead, set a realistic goal. Maybe save $100 a month or more if you can afford. Start with small amounts, this will take time. 
 
GET A JOB
 
Hopefully, you already got one. BUT if you want to go that extra mile and speed things up a bit you can always get another job. It might be hard to balance two jobs at once so my advice is to head over to the internet. Maybe you are an awesome photographer? Sell your images online! You're an excelent writer? Do some freelancing! There are even websites like Italki where you can sign up as a online teacher and teach your language to students online! You don't have to be at two jobs at the same time, but instead of watching a whole season of Riverdale on Netflix you can earn a few bucks. As I said earlier: a little comes a long way. 
 
READ MORE: Travel mistakes to avoid
 
Traveling alone to Madrid in 2016!
 
MAKE TRAVELING A PRIORITY
 
If you're not 100% commited it will never work and you will dig into that bank account and use that money for other things. Don't do that except in case of emergency (TB to my cat that I mentioned earlier). If you really want to travel you will make it work, even if it means that you will have to live very cheap for a while. I promise, it will be worth it in the end!
WELCOME!
Stroke of Adventure is a travel related blog, Instagram and YouTube-channel. Stroke of Adventure was founded with the purpose for me to share my adventures (both big and small), tips and other things related to travel.

SOA is written by me, Mie, and I'm a 20 y/o traveler, student and photographer from Sweden. You can read more about me if you click "About me" in the top menu.

Welcome to Stroke of Adventure. Come travel the world with me.

Enjoy your reading!