Broke Girlz Travel Too | Aeryel "Sunshine" Williams

In Broke Girlz Travel Too Aeryel “Sunshine” Willams shares everything you need to know when planning a trip. From setting travel goals to building an itinerary, Sunshine stresses that finances should not deter you from traveling the world.

Sunshine was inspired to write the book Broke Girlz Travel Too, after spending most of her weekends traveling to visit college friends. In every city Sunshine has traveled to she has a friend to help her along the way. “I typically ALWAYS know someone in the city that I can stay with. In addition to that, because of the way I plan my itineraries, I never spend much time in a hotel room… expense wise, it just isn’t worth it.”  Sunshine shares that the best way to travel is making plans with your friends, and their couch. Airbnb works too!

“My philosophy on hotels and rental cars is simple, I ain’t doing it!” Yes, the best way to travel is a plane. But when traveling to neighboring cities it is better just to drive your car. If your destination takes a plane ride, there are so many other forms of transportation to use other than a rental once you arrive.  Sunshine believes that renting a car is just a waste of money that you already may not have. Best forms of traveling on a budget include Uber, Lyft, and Public Transportation.

What takes the most effort in planning a trip? Thinking of a goal and accomplishing what you want to gain out of that trip. When it comes to traveling, Sunshine shares it is best to go with the flow. But also make sure you get done what you had planned. A close second is booking the plane ticket. “I always try to look very early (typically 3 months in advance) to get an idea of what tickets are running for and then plan my paychecks to make the purchase.”

How can I really afford all these trips?!” Sunshine includes a list of side hustles you can acquire to get extra coins in your pocket. When it comes to preparing for a trip, put your destination on a calendar. Plan your paychecks and save! As the trip approaches put yourself on a budget and don't go over that budget! Side hustle, budget, plan it out! So is it really that you don’t have enough money sis, or that you don’t make the time and effort save? Because trust me, Broke Girlz Travel Too!

Saving for an overnight trip –

“An overnight trip might be planned in advance or spontaneous, regardless consider setting aside $20 or 10% per pay check to have a stash of discretionary funds available when you need it.” When it comes to overnight trips it is best to drive your own car, and stay on a friend’s couch. It also helps to take the trip with someone else and split the expense for travel, lodging, and meals.

Saving for an international trip-

If you are in a graduate program or doctoral program consider a study abroad program. Structured study abroad programs are best for first time international travelers. “A structured program of any sort includes housing, meals, and exploring the city or county with people you’re familiar with.” And always remember it is extremely cheap to travel in Europe once you’re already there. Hostels are your best friend! 

Excerpt from Broke Girlz Travel Too..

  • How early do you need to plan for this trip?

    • Are you going to need to look at flights or hotels in advance, or a car rental, maybe an AirBnB will work for you?

    • Are you staying with friends, are they available to host you or pick you up from the airport?


  • Are there ticket sales you need to consider i.e. any Caribbean carnival has several parties that need to be paid for in advance, Coachella sells out immediately, or your favorite music artist is performing and you want front row seats.


  • Can you afford this trip or do you need to save?

    • Think about your overall budget

    • What expenses can be shared with other travelers?

    • Should you put some funds aside from every paycheck to prepare


  • If the trip is educational or professional, are there funds available to reduce your expenses, i.e. association conference scholarship or professional development funds that you have apply for in advance.


  • Have you checked for flight deals or glitches, maybe there’s a great package on Groupon (or similar websites)

    • Always do your research for the best deals, cross-reference flights on several sites and use travel alerts to stay updated.

    • Sometimes it might work out to fly Airline A leaving home but fly Airline B coming back.

    • Did you give up a seat on an overbooked flight and earn a voucher that you can redeem on for this trip?

    • Maybe you have time to use Greyhound, Megabus, or Amtrak (basically consider allof your travel options)

Support Sunshine by visiting her site: @BrokeGirlzTravelToo. The link to purchasing her book is located in her Instagram bio. Check it out!