Hey there!   Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog.

My name is Amy Stark, aka A Traveling Broad.  

I’m gonna share something with you that I learned in high school…


Have you ever found yourself listening with envy to a friend or colleague as they regale you with tales from their latest adventure?  Their vacations always sound so amazing!

You’ve probably wondered to yourself, “How can they afford to go on so many vacations but I can’t?”

I totally get it,  I’ve been there myself.  I used to think I didn’t have enough money to make travel part of my life…but I was wrong.

Travel doesn’t have to be expensive!


One hot day over the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I was talking to my mom in the kitchen of our apartment while she was making dinner.  The conversation went something like this:

Me:  We should go to the beach this summer.  
Mom:   Sure.  We can go for a day.
Me:   A DAY?!  I want to go for a WEEK like we normally do.
Mom:   I’m sorry, I just can’t afford that. (She was a single mom to me and my brother; my other siblings were grown and out of the house.)  
Me:   Well, then I’ll pay for it.
Mom:   Sure (she said with sarcasm and a snicker)

Her response both annoyed and motivated me.  “I’ll show her!” I thought to myself.  I understood her skepticism, though.  At the time, I was working at Baskin-Robbins and earning a whopping $4 an hour…but still!  

AND, I REALLY wanted to go to the beach.  So I came up with a plan.

  • First, I had to find a place to stay.  I scoured the classified section of the newspaper until I found a vacation rental I could afford,
  • Then, I had to find out it if was available the week I wanted to go.  I called the owner and the apartment was available, so I sent a deposit to reserve it. 
  • Lastly, I had to earn enough to pay for it.  I asked my boss if I could work double shifts so I could save enough for our trip.  He agreed, so for the next 6 weeks, I worked my butt off.
trip budget
This is the budget I wrote for the beach trip – 
in my high school handwriting!

Long story short, through my hard work and determination, I saved enough money to:

  • Treat my mom and 2 brothers to a week at the beach
  • Pay for gas, groceries, and dinner at our favorite pizza place on the Boardwalk
  • Have some spending money for me

Why am I telling you this?  

Because I discovered at a young age that if you have a desire to travel (or do anything, really), you’ll find a way to do it!  


I have fond memories of childhood trips to the beach, my grandparents’ houses in northwestern Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC, but I knew there had to be more.

Over the years, my insatiable curiosity about the world has evolved into a bad case of wanderlust. Sometimes a quick weekend away will keep it at bay, but I prefer longer trips that give me more time to explore.

Although I now earn much more than $4/hour (thank God!), my trips are still very budget-friendly and cost-conscious…without sacrificing my enjoyment, health, or safety.  


I’ve been fortunate enough to have the time and money to travel more and more frequently with each passing year.  My travels have taken me to places all over the world, but I’m just getting started!

Near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Picture 1 of 9


During my travels, I’ve learned a lot; made a lot of mistakes (more than I care to admit); and paid too much.  

However, with each trip, I learned something that helped me travel smarter or cheaper (or both) on my next trip and I want to share everything I’ve learned with you.

MY MISSION: To teach you how you, too, can travel and explore without breaking the bank. 

Are you ready?