All travelers will tell you they wish they had more time and money. Obviously you will need some of both to embark on your dream journey. If you truly want to travel you can…you just need to prioritize!!Family finance was one of the best classes I ever took in college. We kept a monthly log to record our expenses. I quickly learned to separate my spending into two categories…NEEDS and WANTS.
Cutting some of your wants is often the ticket to being able to afford your dream trip!Leave the coffee, candy, sodas, and routine snacks.
A $5 coffee every other day costs nearly $1000 a year. $1000 is a month or more of ziplining, surfing, volcano hiking, and traveling through Central America.
Find a roommate or live at home.
By living with two friends and paying $300 a month for rent, instead of living on your own for $1000 a month you will have $8,400 per year! This could fund a massive trip to multiple regions in the world and keep you there for months.
Learn to cook and eat in.
Going out to eat is expensive. 4 meals out a week at $15 a meal will run you $3,600 a year in restaurant food. Eating home-cooked meals is much cheaper. Why not save for a meal out when you really want to try a restaurant in a new country?
Cut your clothing costs.
Do you really need another outfit? Another pair of jeans and a nice shirt may run you $100, which could fund several days in Cuba. I love to run…but instead of spending $120 in a department store for each pair of running shoes, I buy 3 pairs of slightly used running shoes on Ebay for the same price.
CarDo you need a car? You will save thousands of dollars on repairs, gas, insurance, and fees by not having one. If you do need one, get a used one that is reliable and gets good gas mileage. By driving a Prius instead of a Tacoma, based on the national average of 12,000 miles per year, you will save over $1,000 each year. This could cover a month or two living in Brazil.
Technology and EntertainmentDo you really need to upgrade to another new phone? Could you use Hulu and online streaming to watch your favorite shows instead of signing up for a cable contract? Do you really need a new T.V.? Eliminating that cable contract could easily save you $1200 a year.Going out to the movies and sharing a popcorn twice a month with your significant other can get pricey. Going out to the movies every other month and watching films on Netflix can easily save you $500 a year.
How I Learned How to SaveI started working when I was 12. My dad gave me the option of working with a family friend or going to summer school…easy choice…I wanted to make $5/hour (minimum wage) working outside. Work involved landscaping, gardening and tree removal.Despite making $5/hour and spending a little here and there on baseball cards, I still put away $1500 by the time school rolled around each year.Thus, without knowing it my travel saving had begun. Since age twelve I’ve worked at supermarkets, outdoor stores, restaurants, tutored, cleaned hundreds of rain gutters, done construction, translated documents, proctored standardized tests, built fences, worked after school programs, worked as a backpacking guide, taught English abroad, and even made $2,000 in one day during a local trash strike hauling people’s trash to the dump.There are tons of great ways to make more travel money. Sign up to drive for Uber or Lyft. Be a referee at youth sports events. Tutor students after school. Find a part time job which you can do online, such as grading or doing surveys. I found jobs translating from Spanish and Portuguese to English. Millions of people around the world want to learn English. I found great success in teaching English on Skype or Facetime with students all over the world.
How To Travel SmarterOver the years I have learned to save money on flights and pack smarter. I’ve learned that 1 week in Norway, Switzerland, or Japan could cost you more than a month in Thailand, Mexico or Ecuador.On the same note, a nice place to stay in an expensive country could set you back a ton of hard-earned cash, however a gorgeous room in Indonesia may run you a meager $15 a day. I’ve learned to use budget airlines, travel on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and look ahead in the magical 40-60 day window when flights are the cheapest.Most of all, I’ve learned that if you love to travel you will do what it takes to begin experiencing all our beautiful world has to offer!