2016 Spokester Search: Erin W.

Erin is a 21-year-old from Macomb

Erin's Situation

What’s up Young and Free! My name is Erin Winters and I’m a 21-year old Michigan native. I was born and raised in The D, but currently live in Macomb, MI. I’m a soon-to-be graduate of Howard University, majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Graphic Design. Only 61 days before I walk across the stage, but who’s counting? 

Living life outside of my comfort zone is my main motto: I went away for college in Washington, DC, studied abroad for six months in Cape Town, South Africa, and did a four-year summer fellowship at WJBK Fox 2 News. Nothing energizes me more than exercising my passions of writing, helping people, and creating memories. Oh yeah, and being myself while doing it. As Spokester, sharing my journey of being Young and Free will hopefully inspire more millennials to live on the edge, but to make and save money while doing it.  

Erin's Blog Post

Traveling doesn’t mean going outside of the country on an elaborate trip. And it definitely doesn’t mean you have to break your bank just to have a good time. You can plan an amazing staycation right in Michigan, and feel like you’re in another part of the world! Here are 5 major keys to help make your travel inexpensive: 

Tell Your Gas Tank Who’s the Boss: 

You are. This travel trick will blow your mind. TripAdvisor’s Tank of Gas is a feature that allows you to base your trip destination on how much gas you want to use. All you do is put in your city, tell how much gas you want to spend (Full tank, half tank, or quarter tank), and it will plan out several cool destinations that are within that distance! Just don’t leave during rush hour. 

Hotel, Schmotel:

Booking a hotel is not always the way to go. You can get a bigger bang for your buck by booking a place to stay with Air BnB. Basically, people rent out their homes, apartments, and rooms for vacationing. You can find cheap ones for good quality - sometimes nicer, bigger, and cleaner than hotels! But make sure you read the reviews. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can do CouchSurfing.cpm!  

Be A Stalker: 

Yes. Don’t act like you’re not a qualified Insta/Twitter stalker… might as well put that skill to good use! Follow travel agents and airlines for constant updates on social media. That way, you’re in the know about specials and discounts! Some even hold contests and giveaways on their social media sites. 

Plan Everything!

And I mean everything. Stick to the budget you set. Plan out the places you want to visit. That means checking their websites for days and times that admission may be free or discounted. Also, check coupon sites like Groupon for specials, and RetailMeNot for discount codes.  

Pick one thing to splurge on: 

I always have to break the rules at least once. #SorryNotSorry. Sometimes it’s good to treat yourself. The bottom line of a staycation is to make memories and feel like you’re on vacation. BUT (gotcha!), this means you have to drastically scale back in other places. If you really want to go parasailing, you’re going to need some loot. So one of two things: 1) Bring 3 packs per day of Ramen Noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ha! Just kidding… kind of. Or 2) Make sure all of your other activities are free.  

You don’t have to suck the fun out of traveling, just because you’re on a budget! Honestly, the trips that cost the least, sometimes mean you’re making the best memories. If you use any cool apps, or have any traveling hacks, tweet them with the hashtag #YoungAndFreeTravel.