Want to see more of the world but have no idea how you can afford it? This article gives you realistic and practical advice on how to afford to travel more frequently without *being rich / needing to sell it all / waiting for an inheritance fund / selling a vital organ (* delete as appropriate)
Travelling is greatest gift you can give yourself and those you love. The internet is ablaze with stories about people sold it all and headed off into the sunset for the nomad life. We could have been one of those families last year… but after a lot of soul searching we decided that, for various reasons, it wasn’t quite the right time.
And so here we are. A regular family working normal jobs and all the usual bills to pay. So how do we afford to travel? This article shares our personal view on what we feel is realistic, practical advice for how you can afford to travel more.
And so here you have…
4 Easy to Implement Solutions to help achieve your travel dreams
How to afford to travel more Tip 1: Live simply
Minimalism exists not only to improve your lifestyle and wellbeing but also to help manage finances and your attitude towards spending hard earned cash.
Alongside all the other money saving tips in this article, our minimalist lifestyle is the main reason we can afford to travel. We spend only what we need in order to free up as much disposable income as possible. What we save is the reinvested in giving us a happy and fulfilled life; regular travel, near and far, throughout the year.
By reducing your living costs you are in essence giving yourself back free money. It’s easier to spend the money you do have more economically than trying to gain more.
It’s a pretty simple formula… Money saved = Money available for travel.
Get yourself into the mindset of thinking consciously about each and every purchase you make every day, every month. Every bit of money you spend absolutely has to be spent on something you really, really need.
So what things in your life can you cut back on in order to afford to travel more? If you need some inspiration, here’s a few ideas…
You can cut your weekly grocery shopping by meal planning and ensuring you are buying only what you need. If you prep meals in advance and bulk make meals and snacks, this will also help save on your weekly spending. Buying in bulk, buying local and buying seasonal will also help you save money.
If you have a garden, why not try growing some of your own fruit, veggies and herbs?
Don’t get me wrong, I love (and sometimes need!) a caffeine kick just as much as the next person. But when you add up your daily Starbucks bill you’d probably have enough to do a mini break in one month alone!
Instead of popping in to our local coffee shop almost every day like we once did, we have a family monthly ‘Treat Thursday’. The kids love it and we’re certainly not spending anywhere near as much as we once were.
Reduce non-necessary household expenses
When you look line by line at your monthly outgoings, you’ll probably be surprised at what your paying for that you don’t actually use or need. Sky TV, unused gym memberships and lapsed subscriptions are all common cut backs people find they can make.
Staying in is the new going out
Just to be clear – in no way am I advocating you becoming a hermit or recluse!
What I am advocating is reviewing your social spending. There are plenty of times where we can get together cheaply or free instead of choosing to go out and pay for the pleasure.
Of course it’s always nice to go to dinner or do something different but make those the special occasions and save money by recreating your big night out as a big night in!
How to afford to travel more Tip 2: Travel smart
Travelling smart means making sure you’re making the most of your budget and ultimately will be how you can afford to travel more frequently.
There are a few key ways to save on travel costs…
1. BE FLIGHT SAVVY
Flights are almost always the most expensive part of travel.
Do some research on the most cost effective times and routes to travel. Typically the further in advance you can book the better rate you’ll get.
Airlines run flight sales throughout the year so if you can tie in with them then you’ll definitely save yourself some money.
If your dates are fixed then set up a Sky Scanner flight alert to monitor the prices. Once the price hits a low you’re happy with then book.
TOP TIP: Always use incognito mode when searching for flights or accommodation online
2. AVOID PEAK TIMES OF TRAVEL
If there’s somewhere you really want travel to then try to avoid the peak rush when prices will be at a premium.
Peak travel periods – like school holidays, annual festivals or sports events – can really bump up the cost of travel for both transport and accommodation.
Many years ago, we visited Melbourne. It cost an absolute fortune to stay in pretty basic accommodation and at the time we were a bit naive and just assumed this was the going rate. Once we arrived we realised it was the Melbourne Cup and we’d paid massively over the odds. Safe to say – I’ve never made that mistake again!
3. PLAY THE CURRENCY TRAVEL GAME
Travelling to places where your home currency is favourable is another way you can afford to travel cheaper.
Ultimately you’ll get more bang for your buck here which means you can travel on a smaller budget. Hurrah!
4. EXPLORE FOR FREE
Most cities or large towns have heaps of free things to see and do so instead of spending money on organised tours and excursions, visit the tourist information centre and hit all the free stuff.
Of course there’s times where organised tours are really beneficial, or absolutely essential, and that’s fine. It’s more about spending your money only where you need to.
5. FINALLY…GET ORGANISED
Seriously if you want to bag the best bargains you need to get your shizzle together. Work out your budget for the year (and the next if you like?!) and make a plan on where you want to go.
Research, research, research. Read blogs, check price comparison sites and get a budget spreadsheet/tracker/whatever works for you set up.
The more time you put into planning and finding the best deals the less money you’ll need to spend.
How to afford to travel more Tip 3: Be open to travel opportunities
There are a few ways which you can travel ‘for free’ – sort of. The travel costs (flights, trains, car hire etc) won’t be covered but your accommodation, and sometimes living costs, will be.
Where can you find these opportunities? Right here…
Home Swap / Home Shares
It’s a simple formula: swap your home for someone elses anywhere in the world. There are simultaneous and non simultaneous swap options available which means you don’t always need to tie in your dates with the host.
Each site will have varying terms and conditions and maybe even a subscription fee. It’s worth researching this before signing up to make sure its the right type of home exchange for you and your family.
In exchange for services the host requires, you’ll get free accommodation and sometimes meals. The services the host requires could be anything from decorating, helping out around their farm or teaching their family some English.
There’s a huge range of different opportunities available all over the world. If this is something your considering, have a read of these top tips for the best Workaway experiences.
Free accommodation in exchange for you looking after someones much loved home and sometimes pets whilst they are away.
There are plenty of families, couples and singles using these methods to travel around the world every day. We haven’t personally been able to use these services because the right opportunity hasn’t yet come up. Juggling managing a business, young kids, house renovation and school holidays means we have been a bit restricted. BUT we really hope something comes up soon and we’ll be sure to share our experience on the blog.
How to afford to travel more Tip 4: Establish a Second Income
Creating a sideline business or having a passive income is a great way to make some extra cash towards travel. The easiest way to this is to monetize a hobby or life passion.
There are heaps of ways to add a little extra to the travel fund with a second income, for example…
- Teaching a skill or language online
- Creating and selling your own handmade products
- Selling a self-published E-book
- Becoming a distributor for products you’re passionate about
- Becoming an Ebay or Amazon seller
- Getting an extra part time job which works around your normal job
- Babysitting, housesitting or cleaning for friends and family
- Run errands for neighbours who need a helping hand
So what’s next?
These are the main tools we use and recommend which can help you realise your dream of travelling more. I’d encourage you to review each element and see how you can implement changes in your own life to enable you to have more money to travel.
I’d love to hear your stories on how your new found thriftiness has enabled you to take an adventure somewhere new. Please share them in the comments below!