People often ask me how it is that I can afford to travel. It seems like the number one reason for not traveling is not having enough money. So how do I do it? Do I have any special tricks?
The simple answer is… No, I don’t have any special tricks. I’m not rich either. And I’m certainly not making money off this blog or getting paid to travel. Not yet, anyway. But there are certain things that I do that allow me to travel, definitely not as often as I’d like, but pretty frequently.
I don’t buy crap that I don’t need
Shocking, right? It blows my mind when people say they can’t afford to travel but I see that they’re wearing certain name brands or they just finished telling me about the new phone that they bought for themselves. Priorities. That’s what it’s all about. I tend to think of the cost of items in terms of airplane tickets. For example, do you really need those $300 sunglasses? Or could you buy $30 sunglasses and spend the rest of the money on a plane ticket to New York? Priorities. Now don’t get me wrong, I do like to occasionally get myself things. But I have an internal battle every time. I recently bought myself two Kipling bags. But I justified it because I knew they would come in handy on my trips to Chicago and Europe.
As I sit here typing, I’m wearing jeans that have a small hole in the crotch. And until you can see my underwear, I’m gonna wear these bad boys out. Why? Because I would rather put my money towards a plane ticket to South America.
I save my pennies… literally
I’ve seen people toss change out of car windows. And I come right up behind them and pick it up. Most people underestimate how much pocket change can add up to. Check your pocket/wallet/purse right now. How much change do you have? On average, people end up with about 42 cents of pocket change a day. Multiply that by 365 days and it comes out to $153.30. Guess what that is? A plane ticket. Or maybe the cost of a hotel stay. I know nowadays we use more plastic than cash, but still. Whenever I have extra change, I put it inside a jar (that I made!). When the jar is full, I take it to the bank and deposit the money in my travel fund account. Easy peasy.
Like I said earlier, I haven’t quite made it to where I can blog for a living. So I work. Sometimes two jobs! I’ve worked a second job at the mall during the holidays. I have also Uber’ed. Now you might think, doesn’t more work mean less time to travel? It does, but only temporarily. Sometimes you gotta bite the bullet for a bit. Priorities. It’s hard. And it’s stressful. A few years ago, between the two jobs I had I was working 79 hours a week. 79 hours! But to me, it was worth it because it allowed me to take a few trips. And then there’s the work that I don’t even get paid for. I had the crazy idea of starting a travel blog! I learned very quickly that it is very hard work and very time consuming. It isn’t as glamorous as people think, and quite frankly, can be depressing AF sometimes. But down the road, maybe my hard work will pay off and my blog will help me travel to more places.
I set up an allotment
Another thing that I do to help me afford travel is I set aside $25 each paycheck. It’s done automatically and it’s a small enough amount that I don’t really notice it. So let’s say you get paid twice a month. That’s $50 a month. And if we do some quick math (I know, I know, math sucks!) we see that over a year that comes out to $600. Guess what that is? A plane ticket! See a pattern?
I use my credit cards
This will probably be the most controversial of the five. Some people are deathly afraid of credit cards and avoid them like the plague. But if you have a payment plan that you stick with, using a credit card can be very beneficial. I currently have two that I use: the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Capital One Venture Rewards card. I only use them to purchase things that I know I can pay off right away and it helps me to accrue points that I can use to purchase… plane tickets! Or other things like hotel stays or car rentals. I like these reward point systems because they’re very flexible on what you can use the points towards. I’ve already been able to get multiple flights because of the points earned by using these credit cards.
So there it is. That’s how I afford to travel.
What do you think? Do you do any of these things? What other things do you do to afford travel? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂
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