Today, people travel more than they ever have. Students, high schoolers, new parents, middle class, etc…! Even though airlines have adapted to this new generation of travelers and adjusted their prices,and the economy is better than it has ever been, there is still a very incorrect way of thinking that traveling is expensive. Chances are, you are someone who thinks it is too since you’re reading this. Enter: my take on how to save money for world travel.
Of course it’s a big misunderstanding that it costs an arm and a leg because of the way we have seen it in the past. Politicians and Hollywood stars travel all the time but they have tons of money. Guess what though; most of the time they stay in 5 star all inclusive hotels and resorts. They eat at 5 star chef’s restaurants. They pay for personal trainers to keep off the soda bread and Guinness in Dublin.
You don’t have that money so you can’t do that. To travel, you have to make do with what you have and make sacrifices on your daily routines and guilty pleasures to be able to hike Machu Pichu, eat your way through Brisbane, marvel at the Great Pyramids of Egypt, zipline in Thailand, etc… It is possible and I’m doing it right now. And I am not charging everything to a credit card! Hate to be the bearer of bad news but you don’t need to charge your trip. You can pay cash and I will tell you how.
I’m going to be honest with you and brutal but it’s the common sense no one thinks of anymore. To save money for world travel, you have to make sacrifices.
Here we go
- Get rid of things you don’t need. I promise you won’t miss them. Have you ever heard of the Bucket List Family? They sold EVERYTHING and traveled the world for the past 3 years at the time of this writing. Not saying you have to sell all of your belongings, but there are definitely things you don’t need or haven’t used in 2+ years.
- Skip the dang Starbucks. You are paying for the name now, not the coffee. If not Starbucks, still skip it because that’s $5+ you could be spending toward kayaking down the river in Guatemala. I tell you what, $5 goes a long way anywhere in Southeast Asia as well. It’s at least two cocktails.
- Earn easy extra income. I dog sit on an app called Rover. You set your prices, detail your profile and get going. It’s a very reputable organization – I suggest paying the fee to get a background check. This “verifies” you and gives you a higher ranking in the mind of your client!
- Sign up for rewards on Delta, Expedia, Agoda, Southwest, i.e. ANY website that offers rewards…If you do get a credit card with the company, make sure you are dedicated to flying with them to make it worth it. Although, airlines aren’t the only ones with good benefits. I recommend any Capital One card that fits your needs. I have one credit card that I use simply to build credit and NOT charge my entire trip: Capital One Quicksilver. No FTF (foreign transaction fees), no annual fee and 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
*Disclaimer – As a personal thing, I try to avoid needing CCs but I have the Capital One. It’s safer to use credit cards when abroad, or just out of town. It’s easier to get your money back if you are a victim of fraud or to make a super emergency purchase that’s larger than your cash at hand.
Go on missions trips/study abroad. Whether it be through your church, your school, an organization, most of your trip will be paid for through fundraising and/or scholarships, if not all of it, and you get to be part of changing and influencing the world. Not only do you get to experience life abroad, you create lasting relationships with the locals and represent your home country. Studying overseas will grant you good cred with future employers, as well!
- Prioritize the things in your life. Make do with what you have, try to take on minimalism. Don’t get a new Keurig just because you’re bored with yours. Don’t buy shoes that can’t go with most of what you wear. I wear leather western boots because they last 20+ years and they go with everything.Take quality over quantity; buy one nice, long lasting quality pair of shoes instead of multiple cheap ones that you can only wear for a few hours. Do some research, which type of shoe can you wear with the most amount of outfits so you don’t have to pay for extra luggage? Or for MEN: Which pant brand has the deepest pockets to put EVERYTHING into them for your carry on items?
- MAKE FRIENDS WITH LOCALS. I can’t stress this enough. I met someone at work from the country I was visiting soon. We struck up a conversation with them, found out their cousin owned one of the tour companies and told me to throw him his name to go on a tour. Plus, if you end up making close friends, you’ll always have a place to stay when you visit again and be able to offer them the same when they visit your home country!
- Don’t waste money on high scoring hotels and restaurants. Local eateries and Air BnBs are going to give you a more memorable experience than any food item you can’t pronounce. I once ate chicken butt hole at a Yakitori restaurant in Japan (still laughing). Complimentary from the chef because we made him laugh. He refused to tell me what it was until I tried it. Super small restaurant, I think it was $3 per chicken stick and had maybe 6 tables. But, it was the best chicken butt hole I ever will have.
- Stop going out, cut it by half or stop cold turkey. I’ve eased up considerably from going out and I’ve reaped the benefits. Save your money for your next vacation!! There’s no excuse. Have a game night in with your friends, or go somewhere that doesn’t cost anything.
- Cut some bills out of your life. Yea Netflix is great but honestly, it’s a burden to your finances. This is what I do – Spotify has a student plan that includes Hulu & Shotime for a total of $5/mo + tax. Or steal your sister’s password and use theirs. Ask a friend to split the cost with you. Whatever works.
- Split some bills with people if you want to, Netflix is going up in price as always. Spotify has a family plan, so does Amazon Prime. Disney+ lets you stream 4 at ONE TIME and, as of this writing the cost of their plan is $6.99 plus tax.
- If you are a student, Adobe (Creative Suite and other program packages), Amazon Prime (includes video and music and their books), Spotify (in cahoots with Hulu and Showtime), all have student account and pricing options.
- Take a second job or work more hours. You might have to sacrifice your social life, but you’ll be sipping wine in the valleys of Italy in no time.
- Apply for a Virtual Assistant position. In this digital age, there is no excuse for you to not take advantage of monetizing your personal gifts and skills. Check out this freelance website for opportunities to earn more money!