Photo Credit: TN
Meet Chari, The Travel Budget Strategist Spilling The Tea On How To Travel To Your Dream Destination For Less
A top 3 feeling in life: knowing exactly how to travel to your dream destination for less, much less. Thankfully, Chari Chin-Young Caston, an explorer, mother and travel entrepreneur, has all the tea to help make it possible.
Traveling on a budget isn’t the easiest but Chari, the Budget Travel Strategist, uses her online platforms to demystify the process. In this Travel Noire interview, find out how Chari became an expert as well as her go-to tips on budget travel.
How would you describe yourself?
I am Chari Chin-Young Caston, a Budget Travel Strategist. Growing up in New York City and being raised by an island mother (***bullet, bullet, big ups to Jamaica), budgeting was necessary, especially with 11 sisters. After my father passed away, my mother became a single parent who had to make ends meet. I watched my mother stretch her teacher’s salary to put food on the table and still make sure we had family vacations. She was a superhero in my eyes. She taught me budgeting is the key to receiving whatever you want in life.
After graduating from Georgia Southern University with BS in Counseling, Psychology, I fell in love with travel. I remember having a deep desire to travel but felt defeated because I did not think I could afford it. However, in college, I did not let the price stop me from achieving my goal to travel the world. With $200 in my account ramen noodles in my cabinet, I created my first budget travel strategy and raised, won, and saved $10,000 for my first abroad trip to Paris. I knew I could conquer traveling the world with proper technique.
My high school sweetheart, now husband, reignited the travel bug in me. He had this wild idea to backpack the world knowing we were struggling college graduates. I had no idea where to start. But I just knew it was possible. Then bam, the birth of my nonprofit, World Peace Connection was born. Our goal was to travel the world with a purpose. Therefore we initiated, World Peace Connection, a social enterprise that is connecting changemakers to a deeper part of themselves and the community around them.
Our purpose was to provide self-development workshops to the community through story techniques from stories told worldwide. While we travel, we interview locals and travelers, asking the question, “What inspires you the most about life and living?’. Through budget strategy, we were able to travel to over 50 cities worldwide and interviewed over 500 people.
What do you do?
As a Budget Travel Strategist, I help you create the best travel itinerary on YOUR budget; Traveling can be expensive and sometimes feel impossible. I help my clients travel to places they desire without spending outside their budget with the proper strategy.
Stop aspiring to travel and unlearn the myth that travel is only for rich people. Traveling can be added to your lifestyle if you have the proper strategy.
What have been some of your favorite budget-friendly trips?
Top Budget-Friendly Travel Trips…
$200 round trip flight to Dubai (Flight Glitch in 2015)
$5 Flight to Miami (of course Frontier)
Saving over $3,000 for Wisdom teeth Extraction in Budapest
Backpacking for two years in Southeast Asia for under $2,000 a year
All my favorite Budget-Friendly Travel trips started with chasing DEALS, not DESTINATIONS. Well, what does that mean, Chari… it means I find cheap flights and then fly out. How can I have money to fly out? One strategy is setting aside money monthly for your travel fund. Treat travel as a self-care expense. You can be ready to book easily when an affordable flight is available.
What prompted you to become involved in sharing travel budget tips online?
In 2015, I quit corporate America and backpacked Southeast Asia for two years. I thought it was impossible to travel with only $2,000 in my account. It was then I learned about travel strategy. Before flying out, I googled the cheapest place to travel, and Southeast Asia popped up. I then created a travel itinerary that included how much I would spend and how many countries I could visit. I could not believe how much Traveling I could accomplish with only spending less than $10 a day. As I shared my journey online, I intentionally informed my audience on how affordable it was for my travels after traveling to over 50 cities worldwide. I knew for sure I wanted everyone to have this feeling of freedom.
As the years continued, the travel community grew. More people became aware of the accessibility to travel, but some did not know about the affordability or travel hacks. I decided to dedicate my platform to tips, tricks, and budget hacks. I want to see the little girl who dreamed of traveling the world without having finances be a barrier.
What are your top 5 travel budget tips of all time?
- Chase Deals Not Destination: Sign up for flight alerts with websites such as secret flying or scottscheapflights. These companies will give you alerts when there are low fares.
- Join Travel communities. These communities provide real insight into places all around the world. Travel communities can also answer any unanswered questions or concerns you may have. You can often find a friend and maybe a future partner in these communities.
- Don’t spend over your means. There’s nothing like the person who can buy the flight but can’t afford the travel. Do your research before traveling to a place to budget how much you will spend daily.
- Get a travel credit card. This is an easy way to fly for free. Having a travel card can also give you access to travel lodging worldwide.
- Book with me. I can help you plan a trip on your budget. I will create a day-to-day itinerary with a budget included. Let’s travel and have money in the bank.
You can find out more about Chari’s tips on Instagram. As a sweet bonus you’ll also find new mom hacks as Chari prepares to share more ‘traveling with a baby’ content.