There is nothing that gets the creative juices flowing faster than planning a vacation. Stepping that up from a vacation plan to a trip around the world, though, gives you a different kind of buzz. Everyone dreams of travelling, even if that’s getting to see new places in the same country that they live. The trouble is that travelling generally comes with a hefty price tag; it’s why a vacation is usually a once a year event. Money is often the main reason that most people don’t put world travel at the top of the priority list in life but the one thing that most people don’t really understand is that you don’t actually need a lot of cash to see the world. If you make travel a priority, you will always find the money that you need for it instead of spending out on things that you don’t necessarily need. Living on a budget also doesn’t mean that you can’t prioritise getting your wanderlust quenched, it simply means that you have to get a little more creative than usual when it comes to paying for your trips.
So, how do you manage when you work an average job with an average salary? What about if you’re still a student and you’ve got a thirst to see the globe? How can you make that happen for you when you feel like you spend all your money on your bills and rent? Well, the main key is to get yourself good with money and do as much research as you can into cheap places to visit, stay in a HDB rental instead of swanky resorts. It’s going to depend on what travel means for you. some people love to travel, but that’s because they do stay in the swanky all-inclusive resorts. Others don’t care if they have to sleep on the beach as long as they get to see a new place and experience new things. This is where travel has to be a priority for you if you can even hope to make your life full of new experiences. With all of that in mind, check out the cheap travel hacks that we’ve got for you below, and you could be well on your way to revealing your entire scratch map and ticking off those coveted places that you’ve always wanted to see.
Get Saving. When you make travelling your priority, it doesn’t automatically make your trip mega cheap. You’ve got to get good at saving your cash. If you know you’re spending money in clothing stores, buying things that you don’t even want to be buying, then it’s time to rein it in and start saving that cash instead. You need to add travel savings to your monthly budget and make it your new normal. The easier it becomes for you to save, the better you will be at booking frequent trips to different places across the world. A big part of saving is managing a budget as closely as you can. It doesn’t matter whether you are heading on a backpacking trek, a lazy beach vacation or a camping adventure under the stars, if you include some of the savings in your main budget, you can’t miss.
Work Overseas. It’s not always this simple, of course, but if you’re not making enough money at your job right now in a way that funds your adventures, then why not seek out work abroad? There are a lot of opportunities out there, especially if you aren’t particularly picky about what you do. Don’t forget, this isn’t a lifelong career; it’s a way to fund your wanderlust and you could pick up anything from an English-speaking au pair, to seasonal staff at a ski resort. It isn’t normally the obvious option for most people, because they think about who they are leaving for a few months at a time. The thing is, you can work overseas anytime in your life that you like, you just have to be open to the opportunities out there for you. One of the best ways that you can continue to fund your adventures is to teach English as a second language; the world is crying out for teachers and it’s a great way to choose a destination. Get a TEFL degree under your belt and you unlock huge numbers of doors for your future.
Stay Cheaply. We mentioned staying in swanky resorts, but that’s not the only way to travel. There are an awful lot of services out there that can connect you as a traveller to locals who are looking for people to stay with them for a very low price and in some cases, free. You can join local couch surfing groups and find your way around your destination by kipping on the sofas or spare rooms of others. This can help you get off the tourist track and see the destination of your choice up close and personal. You can also save a ton of cash doing this, as really you only need accommodation enough to get your head down; you don’t necessarily need the bedroom suite with the rainfall shower. Luxurious though that is, you can’t fund your entire trip on luxury, especially if you have a low budget and a lot of destinations on your list.
Choose Cheaply. If your budget was $5,000, you will find that this will give you different things depending on where you choose to go. You couldn’t go to western Europe for more than a month on this but in the Asian countries and South America, you could stretch that five thousand out to three or more months of travel. If you want to be out and travelling for a lot longer, you need to choose countries that are going to allow you to travel longer. Of course, you can choose to be as luxurious and expensive as you want, it’s just that it may take you longer to save for those destinations and they do take a lot more planning. Places like Japan and Iceland are, of course, going to be more expensive to travel to, but you shouldn’t allow money to rule out anywhere that you choose to quench your travel bug.
Seasons Count. It might well be nice to go travelling in July, but it’s the summer – and therefore, peak – season for many people, so you’re bound to end up places which are packed out and busy with tourists, sending prices sky high and meaning that you won’t be able to get in as much of the culture as you could have wanted. The cost does matter, because you need to be able to see what you want to see without the entire trip being overtaken by others. You really need to think about how the time of year can affect your budget, so if there is a more expensive country that you want to visit, make sure that the season is the right one to visit in.
Track Your Spending. You may well already do this, but REALLY track your spending. Any money you spend, no matter how big or small, should be tracked to the penny. It can sound extreme to track the bottle of pop you’ve bought in the shop on the way to the beach, but the only way you’re going to be able to manage your budget is if you spend some time actually working out what you spend. Believe it or not, your money is going to drain really fast because of all those ‘popping to get a drink’ moments that you have. You could learn you’re spending far too much cash on street food and decide to slow your meal spending down and start cooking your own dishes instead. It’s the best way to stay ahead of a tight budget, because you’re going to be able to see exactly how to make your money last you longer.
Pack Light. When you travel, especially on flights, you need to avoid over-packing your cases so that you can avoid all those extra luggage fees. Some airlines charge by the kilo, and when they do that your budget can quickly get eaten up, purely because you went a little nuts on the duty free shopping in the airport. Carrying less can also make you feel like you’ve less burden on your shoulders – quite literally – when travelling. A capsule wardrobe and the essentials are all you need, because you can find a laundromat wherever you are.
You need to think carefully about your travel plans and where you want to go, because your destinations can often dictate your budget more than anything else. Then you have to organise your life so that you are saving well, picking wisely and learning where the best destinations are for the budget that you do have. You can quench that thirst for travel faster than you think with a little forward-thinking and a lot of good choices.
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