How I Afford To Travel

How I Afford To Travel

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.

 

How To Afford More Travel

 

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.

 

Save change to travel

This jar is full of change!

 



 

I work!

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.

 

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Working extra hours helped us get to Cambodia

 

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?

 

Looking down on Machu Picchu

The allotment helped pay for tickets to Peru

 

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.

 

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali. I paid for most of my expenses in Bali by using my credit card.

 

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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We firmly believe that anyone can afford to travel. All it takes is some effort and prioritizing your time and money.

 

45 Comments
  • Iltenore says:

    hey traveling buddy, that’s one beautiful scenery…yes, yes, including you too…i gots to tell you though, i am sure that as breath taking as the picture is, it does no justice on how it felt to actually be there. now, I’m thinking hmmm lets see now…did you get a chance to visit Tanah lot temple? ive seen pics of it and it seems pretty amazing how the rocky enclave splits the waters. well i finally got around to see at least this webpage. very nice. i’ll check out the rest when i get a break from it all…till next time traveling buddy…Hasta la vista! go DOLPHINS!

    • Buddy says:

      Hi! Thanks for checking out our website! I was able to visit Tanah Lot and it was amazing. I went at sunset which made it a beautiful experience. There were also priests there and I was able to be blessed by one of them. A truly unforgettable experience!

  • Ailene says:

    I love this post! This definitely resonates with me as I get this question all the time from friends, family & strangers! I actually posted a similar post on my blog a few weeks ago – I’m glad there’s others out there in the same sitch! Happy travels :)))

  • Angela says:

    Great post! I get asked the same question and the big one is that I don’t spend my money I things I don’t need, I spend my money on experiences. Happy Travels! 🙂

  • Vicki says:

    I have a travel allotment for a separate account to. Every time I see that number go up I can look at map and plan a great vacation. So rewarding. So far I’ve only managed places in the states but they have been truly memorable. Grand Canyon and New Orleans are two favorites. Here’s to the next big location. Have you done a blog on what travel sites you buy tickets from? Groupon, Expedia, etc? I’d like some advice on who to what to trust out there.

    • Buddy says:

      Hi Vicki! That’s so great that you also have a travel allotment! 🙂 And no, I haven’t yet. That’s a good idea though. I mostly use Expedia, but I’m starting to branch out to some other websites. I’ll keep you posted!

  • This is great! I’m so tired of hearing how lucky long term travelers are. It’s amazing how much easier it is to save money by not buying unimportant things that it is to work your ass off to have a bunch of junk.

  • April says:

    Everything you have to say here, I couldn’t agree more! 5 bucks is how much I spent on my sunglasses. Save your money, work your butt off and keep your eye on the prize. That’s how it is done. Thanks for sharing.

    April

  • Olga says:

    To afford to travel is to budget, budget, and budget again!
    Your tips are obvious, but they’re also the ULTIMATE tips on how to save money for travelling! There’s no other way around the points you mentioned – money doesn’t usually randomly fall from sky.. So yes, saving pennies, not buying crap, saving money – that’s what works!

  • Travel is our priority and we sae money for it. Great job in doing this consistently! To more travels…. cheers!

  • Sophie says:

    This is a great post! I’m currently in the middle of saving for some travel when i’m done with my contract here in Beijing. It’s stressful but i’m learning that if I cut down on some things I really don’t need to spend money on then i’ll be totally fine!

  • Aileen says:

    Great points! Some of the things you do are things that I have done as well in order to afford my travel lifestyle. What I always also try to push for my readers is that they should always think long term and find ways to travel sustainably in the long run 🙂

  • Alli says:

    This is awesome. Amen to number one right off the bat: don’t buy crap you don’t need. It’s actually shocking how much random crap can add up to over the span of just one week!!! Put towards travel is just millions of times more useful in the long run 🙂 🙂

  • Helena says:

    I totally agree with you. It all comes down to priorities! Even though some people can’t seem to realize that. I guess they see travel as something very expensive, even though it really doesn’t have to be.

  • Revati says:

    Beautifully put. It isn’t a holy grail contrary to what so many people believe. The solutions to saving money for travel are so easy when you make it a priority. I do all of the above, and after a while it just becomes natural behaviour out of habit, you just stop thinking about it!

  • I sell selfies signed by me to make a living from day to day 😀

  • It is all about the priorities! People think it requires a special gimmicks to travel anywhere when it really isn’t. It’s so easy that anyone can literally do it. If they really want to travel, then they have to set their mind to it and make it happen.

  • Mindi Hirsch says:

    People ask me the same question and guess what – I do many of the same things as you. These little things really can make a big difference in the bank account.

  • Carlie says:

    Great post! I find it so unbelievable when other people write about traveling and forget to mention all this stuff, you know, like how they have to work, save and scrimp to get by in order to travel. Thanks for being real.

  • Solid travel information. Keep on traveling!

  • Heather Cole says:

    Wow, 79 hour weeks, that’s hard core! But if you want something enough, it doesn’t feel so bad. You’re right, it’s all about priorities. Much rather buy a plane ticket than a Rolex!

  • best words ever muttered…i don’t buy crap i don’t need. amen sistah! priorities make our lives so much easier. 😉

  • Jake Wengroff says:

    Such an important post — I’m happy you hyperlinked this in your last post. PLEASE please continue to write on this topic — it’s so valuable! Even a few hacks with frequent flyer miles, hotel points, or even ways to maximize Airbnb would be fantastic. I know I would be all over it. Nice work again, Vicky!

  • Chris Wilbur says:

    I’m WAY the heck out of your normal demographic – 52, married, overweight and very out of shape. I’m not even that interested in traveling! But yesterday I somehow tripped over a travel blogger on Twitter and just LOVED the photos.

    I’ve spent the last 24 hours following other travel bloggers and all I could ask myself was “how do they afford it?” This post of yours and one other really shed interesting light on how people make it happen.

    I’ll continue to live vicariously through you. Sure beats exercising. 😇

    • Buddy says:

      Hi Chris! Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you found this post interesting and I hope that it inspires you to travel. You may not be my “normal demographic” but I really believe that anyone can travel, no matter their age. All it takes is a little bit of planning and determination. Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you have a great 2017! 🙂

  • Kylie N. says:

    $30 on sunglasses?! Mine were $2.50 from Walmart for exactly that reason…more pennies in the travel pot! I find a big thing here is recreational drinking, compared to a lot of people in this area I save hundreds by not buying/drinking alcohol!

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Hi! I'm Vicky, a South Florida-based blogger traveling around the world with my stuffed monkey Buddy. We show you how to make travel a priority while working a full time job. Click on the photo to learn more!

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