Nothing has the power to thwart one’s travel dreams quite like money – or rather, the belief that, without loads of it, travel is simply not possible.
One of the most prevalent misconceptions surrounding the idea of long-term travel is that it is reserved for the rich, something that normal people with normal incomes just cannot afford. Yes, traveling is expensive, but it is far from unattainable; like anything in life, if you want it badly enough, you can make it happen. Saving up for a life-changing voyage may require you to play the long game, but by adjusting your lifestyle – and your mindset – you can come up with the funds quicker than you might think.
Is money holding you back from a life-changing trip? Make your finances go further with these simple lifestyle tweaks, and watch your travel fund grow.
Live by the Cash Rule
The cash rule is one of the most effective ways to manage spending, and one I absolutely swear by. In the age of credit cards, contactless payment and online banking, it’s all too easy to turn a blind eye to where our money goes.
Set a weekly budget and withdraw it in cash at the start of each week; physically seeing how quickly your money disappears will prompt you to make wiser spending choices, reducing the chances of going over-budget.
It’s important to be realistic, but getting into a cash-only habit is a great way to ensure you stay within your means.
Cut Daily Costs
This very much sounds like stating the obvious, and to some extent, it is – but it’s also about realizing how much the “little” things add up. A few dollars for coffee here, five bucks for lunch there – it doesn’t seem like much, but what does that equate to over the month?
Cutting back on takeout food and drinks is one of the biggest money savers, so bring your own coffee and pack leftovers or homemade sandwiches for lunch. It does require a little more time and effort, but if you’re serious about traveling, the savings are well worth it.
Rejig Your Social Life
Saving for traveling does not mean foregoing a social life, but it may require you to cut back on fancy dinners and upmarket watering holes. Commit to staying in for two weekends a month and the savings will soon rack up; hosting dinner parties and game nights are just some of the ways you can still be sociable without spending excessively.
Raise Extra Funds
When it comes to building up a travel fund, the only thing better than saving money is making it. Holding down two jobs can be stressful to say the least, but there are other ways to top up your income without working all the hours under the sun.
The internet provides plenty of opportunities for making extra cash, be it through selling on eBay or starting your own side project. If you have a skill or service to offer, starting your own online store can be as simple as setting up your own website, and with registration options found here (including free domain names such as .global), this is something you could even continue whilst traveling.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
The most important thing when it comes to saving is staying focused. Remembering why you’re cutting back will keep you motivated, so surround yourself with inspiration: photos of your dream destination, travel itineraries and lists of all the things you’re going to do once you get there.
Keeping sight of the bigger picture will make it much easier to miss out on those everyday luxuries, and your travel fund will slowly but surely grow.