This is a tough topic because affordable has a different meaning for each person. But there are certainly ways to cut down on the costs. I don’t think of this a way to travel for free, but a way to travel for a discount.
A lot has been written about using credit cards and earning miles and points to spend toward travel. I believe it’s a fantastic way to start and I certainly own my fair share of cards with different earning potential. This topic is so vast, I’ll leave the details to the more experienced bloggers. But basically, you keep an eye out for card offers with large signup bonuses, reach the minimum spend, and use those points to pay for airfare, hotels, etc.
Probably the easiest way to get started is by starting with credit cards with no annual fee. Although the return on the no fee cards isn’t that great, it does allow the novice to start and get in the habit of using a credit card responsibly. Also, if starting from scratch, you’ll be able to start building credit history, which is imperative for approval for the larger cards with the larger sign up bonuses.
I would like to say one thing about this. If you are the type of person who carries a balance on your card month to month, this method is NOT for you. All the rewards you’d earn would be wiped out by the interest rate you would pay. These cards also have fairly high interest rates so if you cannot pay off the card IN FULL every month, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE WRONG MOVE FOR YOU.