How I Afford To Travel & How You Can Too
Have you ever seen those people traveling like they don’t even work? It has become a lifestyle for many people all over the world. Similar to the travelers that I’ve interviewed (if you haven’t read it- click here and here) they talk about how they can travel around the world and live the life they have always dreamed about. There are many ways to travel. You just have to figure out what works for you. Unless you have a kids or have a health issue, then it will be even more difficult but not impossible. But if you’re single or even taken, working full time, balancing life, hobbies and still looking to travel, you can still do it.
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If you’re looking for some ways on how to travel, look no further. Although I am not a traveler full time-yet-here are some ways I afford to travel and how you can too. I travel pretty much every month (as I can) even with a full time job and a side hustle PLUS working on this blog and my other platforms as part of my business. It’s not like I sit at home watching Netflix, day dreaming about my next travel adventure. Although I did that at one point like many other people. With that said, I’m a pretty busy person. If you’re a busy person too, read further how you can afford to travel.
Hint: Traveling doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money.
Budget and STICK with it
Start budgeting! Know where your money is going and know how much is coming in. If you are working, you should definitely already have a budget! Knowing where your money is going will help you visually understand where you might be spending way too much. However, you need to STICK within the budget! There is no point of having a budget and you’re not really using it. If you set aside $50 in an area, then stick to $50 in that area. Don’t go over. That’s the point in budgeting. If you have a budget and you’re not sticking with it, you’re defeating its purpose.
2. Make food at home
It’s easy to order take out. However, many of us spend money or half of our paycheck in the food category. One way you can save money is to make food at home. Before the week starts, come up with a list of recipes and the ingredients. Then go grocery shopping and buy only what is on your list. Then actually make the food! Once you know you have a recipe and the ingredients at home, you’re more likely to cook something at home rather than going out to eat. Cooking doesn’t always have to be boring and trust me, I hate cooking. There are easy recipes to also follow. Research some on Pinterest and save them for future references! So save your money and eat at home. You will realize how much money you will save in this category. Then go fund your travel bank!
3. Do your own nails, haircut, beauty routine etc.
I’ve been doing my own nails and homemade deodorant for years. Honestly, it saved me thousands of dollars throughout the years. This is an area you can cut back if you haven’t done it yet. You can do your own nails at home. You can cut your own hair and make your own self care products at home. This is in an area where rather than spend money in the drugstore or at the salon, you can make things from your kitchen. You can see how much you can make with honey, oil, sugar and baking soda. Not only that, but you can even do your own nails at home rather than always getting them done at the nail salon. I for one do my own nails at home and it doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, I always have my black, white, red, burgundy and a light pink color to switch between and people still compliment me asking where I go do my nails. I’m not joking when their faces light up when I reply I do it myself! Yes you can treat yourself once in a while, but you will realize how much money you will save in the beauty area. Yes it requires you to buy your own stuff and making time for it. But that’s it. You’re saving hundreds of dollars and learning how to cut back on things you don’t need anymore to fund the places you want to travel to.
4. Stop buying random things you don’t need
We all have been there before. You are in line or at the mall and grab things you don’t really need. You see that shirt or pair or shoes. Then you start thinking about which outfits it could go with. However, here’s a reminder: the mall and fast fashion wants you to spend money. They want you to buy things you don’t need. Five dollars becomes fifty to then over hundreds of dollars over time. Looking back you will realize you didn’t really need those things in the first place. Become more aware of what you’re buying and don’t step into the mall or store. Learn how to become more self disciplined.
5. Make more money
You always hear about cutting back and tracking down each penny. However, here is the other side of it. Start making more money! There are opportunities as a side hustle to make more money. Whether it’s bartending, tutoring, mentoring, working in after school programs or even Uber, make some extra money on the side. Then SAVE IT. You can make either a couple of bucks each month or even a couple of hundreds of dollars each month if you really put in the work. Try finding something on the side and do everything else consistently. By the end, you will have extra money to fund your travels. I personally do have side hustles and this is why I’m telling you. Make more money to fund your travels.
6. Find roomies
If you’re living on your own and don’t necessarily have to then don’t do it. I for one have always shared the rent or mortgage with someone else. It’s cost effective obviously and it helps everyone pay less in bills rather than have you pay for everything. I’ve had roomies throughout college, and even afterwards living in Miami. I can’t afford to live by myself unless I move in the woods by myself far away from work and everyone which wouldn’t make sense at this point in my life. That is why living with others whether siblings, family or roomies can help cut the living costs either in half or more. Cut your living costs in half and find others to live with.
7. Plan your vacation days around holidays
This is something where I’ve been becoming a bit smarter around. If you have a full time job like so many of us (including myself) you might have vacation days. Americans are less likely to use their vacation days which is so INSANE to me! You work, so use them. But be wise about it. Instead of planning a whole week of vacation day around the most popular times to travel such as summer for some locations, or the Christmas holidays, use a day of your vacation around the USA holiday that falls on that week. Then take advantage of the weekend. For example, if Memorial Day falls on a Monday, take that Tuesday off or even that Friday off so that you can have Friday through Tuesday off. Then there is your vacation trip. Sure it’s not a week but you’re technically only using two/three days of your work vacation off to travel AND the weekend. Usually when I do this, I plan local trips either to Miami, Florida, Memphis, Tennessee, Canada, or a weekend getaway and not like traveling to Europe or even the opposite of the country. However, it’ still traveling and being more smarter and intentional of utilizing your vacation days. Be smart and plan ahead so that not everyone at your work is taking that day off.
8. Don’t be afraid to go alone
Lastly, don’t be afraid to travel alone. Many of us wait for someone to go on a trip with and that it will be cost effective. However, I must say that this isn’t true. Usually I spend a lot less when I am by myself traveling because I don’t eat as much. I also know what I would like to spend money on and what I don’t. You will have more leeway to spend money on things you want to and don’t want to. You have more opportunity to see things and find things that you want to do. It’s becoming more apparent to me that yes the airbnb or hotel is costly, but it doesn’t have to be. You can plan ahead and make arrangements and spend money on you and you only. Don’t wait to travel with someone to a place you really want to go to. I always wanted to travel to South America and I was able to without a significant other. Instead, you can take your own car and drive to a local place and you can explore your own neighborhood alone. Traveling alone is something powerful and you are able to. It sounds scary at first but once you get over of traveling to a place by yourself, you’ll be on a plane traveling to a whole new continent by yourself afterwards.
Well there you have it. Here are 8 ways on how I afford to travel and how you can too. Yes, there is some sacrificing in some areas. Whether cutting down on spending in unnecessarily areas, eating at home, or making extra money, you are able find something that works for you. I am a big believer that sharing my experience, tips and even insight can help others to travel and live their life. This world of traveling shouldn’t be a secret. Instead we should be able to share what we know. This is my lifestyle and if it can relate to others, then you can benefit from it too!