TRAVELER OF THE WEEK: MALLY WALKER| HOW TO TRAVEL ON A SMALL BUDGET
Mally, 31, is a Kansas City based blogger who loves the best in frugal travel. As a self proclaimed fake blogger and a professional snack connoisseur, she loves to write about whatever random things pop into her head, mostly how to save on travel and cool things to do in a city. You can read all of her boring nonsense at www.brokeassgirltravel.comand find her on all social media @brokeassgirltravel.
Can you explain the name of your blog? Why did you choose this name?
My blog is called Broke Ass Girl Travel because that’s exactly who I am and who I want to help. I chose it because it’s real and it’s me. I want everyone to know that travel is accessible to them.
What's your favorite part of blogging? Least favorite?
My favorite part of blogging is connecting with the people who follow and interact with me, helping people see the world and sharing my knowledge.
My least favorite part is missing life when I’m trying to get the perfect shot, rushing and things like that. Sometimes blogging makes vacation feel like work.
What inspired you to create your blog?
People who constantly asked questions about how I was traveling inspired me to create a space where they could find all the information they were looking for in regards to travel.
How long have you been blogging?
It will be 1 year since I officially wrote my first blog post on feb 16th, so not that long, but I feel like it’s been forever.
What's the secret to finding travel deals?
There are lots of secrets, but to summarize quickly, it involves being flexible, searching multiple sites & dates, and being creative when you search (looking at multiple destinations, adding a stop, etc.).
You should also be prepared! If you save all year, when glitch fares or really great deals pop up you will be ready to buy so you don’t miss out!
In your blog, you mentioned your mother was a flight attendant. What was one of your favorite places you traveled to as a child?
My mother is still a flight attendant! My favorite trip and the one I remember most is a trip to Paris and euro Disney when I was a kid. We went to the Eiffel Tower and just like an annoying kid I had to use the bathroom and the line for the elevator was suuuper long! So we walked up the stairs to the first tier. It was exhausting! I also remember all the costume characters at Euro Disney speaking French and I thought it was so weird as a child.
I read your article: "How I flew roundtrip to New York for $11" You spoke about earning points on your American Airlines Credit Card. Could you briefly share with my readers how you can rack up points? And is AA the only card you use for travel? If not, what other cards would you recommend for travelers trying to earn miles/points?
I get lots of points by flying AA, using the credit card for everyday purchases and bills, then paying the card off immediately, and by shopping through American’s links to gain more, there are so many stores where you can earn points, pretty much anything you buy online can earn more points for you.
There are great cards for travelers these days. Depending on your credit and if you are responsible enough to pay them off in full every month, you can earn and save a lot.
I usually recommend one with the airline that you use the most. Also Chase Sapphire reserve or another general travel card if you’ve got it like that.
Could you tell me a little more about your Facebook Group: Glitch Fares, Cheap and Frugal Travel Share? Who is allowed to join the group? And what's the purpose of the group?
It a space and another resource to find and share deals. Everyone is welcome to join the group and share their expertise or ask questions. The purpose is to make travel more accessible for everyone.
Do you plan group trips in that FB group? If so, where have you traveled to? And how much do the trips cost?
I plan group trips in association with my blog, our first group trip is scheduled for May 3rd-10th to Paris and the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
Cost of each trip will vary based on what is included, but I work extremely hard to keep the prices low and reasonable. Also, payment plans are available.
Since you work a 9-5, I assume you have limited vacation days. How are you able to travel so frequently? Do you have unlimited PTO...or do you vacation around holidays?
I save my days for travel! I never call in unless I’m going on vacation or it’s an emergency. I also plan around holidays to get the most of my time and when I travel I visit multiple locations.
How do you avoid being scammed while traveling?
Trust your gut! Follow your intuition, plan well, move smart and pay attention.
How do you keep your cost minimal when you're on vacation? Do you stick to a budget or pay everything in advance so you don't have to spend much on the trip?
I usually pay airfare, hotels and some activities in advance.
In my normal life, I hardly ever spend money on shopping and activities, this allows me to save and when I go on a trip I can afford to splurge a little bit. Planning helps as well, knowing where you’re going can help set a budget.
FUN FACTS ABOUT MALLY
I really love everything, especially sugar filled things
Whichever is cheapest! I fly them all.
What do you do for fun (other than traveling)?
I like to read. I’m also a Netflix, TV, and movie junkie. I really like to do anything fun, including dancing.
Least favorite country? Why?
Right now the US because y’alls president is wack and the country is in shambles
Favorite shape? Lol, I know that's random.
A triangle, it’s the sexiest of shapes, lol! Example: love triangle
Pyramids are cool, prisms, I associate these with the triangle
How many countries have you traveled to?
I honestly don’t keep count! I think country counting is lame. People use it as a measure to say, “I’m better because I’ve been more places” I prefer to just try to see it all!
I think that visiting one city isn’t a measure of a whole country for example, people come to the US and visit NYC, that has nothing to do with LA, Vegas, Kansas City, etc.
so that’s why I don’t keep count!
If you weren't working at your 9-5, what would you be doing?
I would probably be working a different 9-5, lol. I’m not really interested in the whole “quit your job” narrative. I like having funds to live and splurge and I like keeping vacation as vacation and not work.
I could see myself being a nail polish namer or a fruit snack taster though.
Favorite travel tip?
Be nice to people and you’ll be surprised what you can get!
One item that you never travel without?
My iPhone saves my life everyday, but that’s every body right? So I would say a couple travel pillows I snatched from a Japan airlines flight
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