1. You get what you pay for... sometimes.
I know, I know, you hear this all the time! Me too. And in some respects it's true but I'm here to tell you to stop paying $200+ a night for a hotel, and start getting nice hotels for cheap! I personally use only one website to book hotels, and they've given me points, free stays, etc. I know lots of hotel/flight booking websites do this so start taking advantage of it! I personally use hotels.com but there is also expedia.com kayak.com travelocity.com airbnb and etc etc etc. Pick one! When Austin and I went to Maui we got a condo 20 steps from the beach for $106 a night. Dreams come true friends.
2. Don't Look at Flights too Often.
This is something I didn't know, but right when someone told me I should've known. The more you look at a flight, the higher the price starts to become. I was told this about a year ago and boy were they right, we tested this when flying to Vegas and one of the flights we continually searched for went up almost $200. The internet spies on what we want, so we gotta be smarter than it!
3. Book flights during the week.
Another thing I learned is that the same flight you want will be cheaper during the week. If you look even at google flights you can see the fluctuation! This is extra helpful because when your flight is durning the week instead of the weekend, you get cheaper hotels! Hotels usually have higher rates for Friday/Saturdays, sometimes even Sundays!
4. Don't worry about planning every little thing out.
My favorite days during my trips were the ones where I had no plans. In Maui we dove everyday and had 3 days of being on our own island time. One day we ziplined, another we explored waterfalls. In Cozumel we found a local market with the coolest things and then took a night dive! Things come more naturally when you don't plan them, and it usually ends up saving you some moo-la because you haven't over booked!
5. The best of everything is a waste of money.
Don't be under the impression that you gotta be bad and boujee. Live and travel within your means. Save the money a little and then make purchases that give you more adventure and less bells and whistles. I hope you aren't traveling because of the cool hotel bathroom! You will not spend your time there (hopefully, ha). Lose the ego when you travel because you'll get much better pictures on top of the mountain or on a diving excursion than you will on the balcony. Promise!