We get it. Traveling the world when you’re already dealing with money issues and fretting over your bank account is hard. When you’re struggling to get by and have a ton of daily expenses to manage, travel can seem like a distant dream. It doesn’t have to be out of reach, though. You just have to be a little cautious, plan ahead and stay alert at all times. Here are helpful tips that’ll make your globetrotting dream a reality and have you packing your bags in no time!
Be judicious and learn to save
You know that ecstatic feeling that strikes you at the beginning of every month? A brand new paycheck, more money in your account and a world that seems like it’s full of possibilities – it’s the happiest time of the month! However, this is where you should be extra careful and not spend your money carelessly. Before every major purchase, think about it. Do you really need it? You can do without that fancy headscarf, right? (You already have a pretty one at home).
It’s crucial that you note your expenses and set a budget for the month. Of course, do leave room for savings and don’t dip into them at any cost. The idea is to make saving a habit and discipline will play a big role in making that happen! Eat healthier meals by cooking more and cut down on ordering in or dining out at high-end restaurants. It may seem like a tough task but if you take things slow and stay disciplined, you can stay true to your monthly targets and save plenty!
Keep an eye out for deals
Flight tracking apps and sites that offer huge discounted deals are your best friends. Use them to your advantage and learn to keep track of airline miles. The points you accumulate will go a long way in helping you purchase tickets to a destination you’ve been longing to visit! The rewards program is worth checking out – ask your preferred airline or credit card company for details and don’t forget to claim your benefits when the time is right. Certain sites offer really useful deals on flights+hotels. You must keep all your options open and do your research in order to reap the benefits!
Keep an open mind
The one trap you must avoid falling into is being too picky or rigid about where you go and how you do it. You don’t need to restrict yourself to that exotic Maldives getaway you’ve been waiting for. Pick a cheaper destination that’s within your reach for now and just go. You must also be willing to backpack and use a combination of tricks and tips to stay true to your budget. For instance, learn to love hostels and shared activities coupled with being flexible about flight timings. Also, red-eye flights may be difficult to wake up for but are really affordable! This also means you should be able to visit a destination when it’s off-season and battle rough weather sometimes – it’s all worth it, though! The memories you make will be priceless.
Have plenty of time
If you choose slow travel and hop onto several local buses and trains, you’ll spend much more time getting from point A to point B but save a lot on your trip. You’ll also have the advantage of experiencing everything in slow motion and appreciating all the finer details. You’ll really get to know a new place and understand the local traditions. Don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled – you may be amazed at what you find!
Slow travel will also allow you to get to know locals better and befriend new people. Who knows, someone may even decide to invite you to spend a few days with them at their home! Not having strict deadlines and taking it slow does have plenty of perks!
Leave your comfort zone behind and be brave
This means you must do things you wouldn’t normally do such as spending the night on someone’s couch. Use an app like CouchSurfing for neat deals in expensive cities and get to know the city from the perspective of a local. Hitchhike your way to the next town and walk a lot instead of choosing comfortable taxis. This may feel extremely challenging but it’s not. It can be a brilliant learning experience and give you plenty of stories from your travels.
Think like a local
You want to stay away from tourist traps and live as the locals do when you’re in a place far away from home. Avoid swanky eateries and stick to modest options for authentic flavors and unbeatable savings. Don’t hire a tour guide and use a free app on your phone instead and refer to complimentary pamphlets and more resources when you’re in a tourist hotspot (such as a museum or a fortress). Do what the locals would do, step into a local dive bar and you’ll be amazed by how many unnecessary expenses you’ll be able to stay away from! It also really helps to buy your own groceries and cook your own meals whenever you can – this is always a foolproof option to turn to!
Get yourself some work
You can opt for a vacation cum volunteering program in a different country or even go on a working holiday visa (if your passport lets you). When nothing seems to work, stay in each location for a few months and find jobs that’ll help you get by – you can even choose house-sitting. Resources such as HouseCarers and Mindmyhouse are worth checking out. You can, of course, also decide to complete a course and teach English abroad.
Don’t give up
The most important thing you can do is develop thick skin and research hard. There are always ways to travel for those who really want to – you can split costs with friends, go to locations that are nearby and save the far-flung options for the future, study travel guides closely and zero down on practical options. You can also be extra careful and avoid medical expenses by carrying a basic medical kit and using hand sanitizer as often as possible. Do allow yourself an occasional treat to motivate yourself as you go about globetrotting and remember to have faith in what you’re doing.