Investment in travel is investment in yourself. — Matthew Karsten
I would swear that I have never spent more than $200 to any destination in the US, from the closest to my location to 1000 miles away (2000 miles going back and forth). Many of my friends would always ask me how I would do it, others said they wished they did, and others simply thought I must have rich parents. I would laugh and tell them that my only secret is that I know how to budget wisely. Here are some tips on how I travelled on a budget and that you can use too to make that dream of traveling come true sooner than you think.
1. Find travel buddies
Good company in a journey makes the way feel shorter. — Izaak Walton
Travelling with friends makes any trip safer, more fun, and definitely more affordable.
Depending on how many friends would join, you could pay from ½ of a normal trip total expense to ¼ or even less, because you will be able to share so many expenses together while enjoying every bit of the experience. Let alone the fancy pictures and videos you will be taking of each other.
You might already know how important it is to choose likeminded people and if you are the adventurous type then you might want to have around you the same kind of friends (if not all of them at least some). They might be wanting to travel just as much as you are, and it would make them so happy to come along.
Sometimes all you need is some great friends and a tank full of gas. — Thelma & Louise
Carpooling is fun, just make sure you take turns with the auxiliary chord or Bluetooth for music.
Getting to the destination sometimes takes the biggest part of the budget, that is why sharing this expense with others is essential. You will be able to share car rental fees and gas money. Not to mention that taking turns in driving makes the trip safer and you get to see more scenic views instead of focusing on the road the entire time.
Also, there is some magic associated with conversations in the car. For some reason everyone tends to go deeper into different topics and the atmosphere is more entertaining and alive.
3. Get a sharable Airbnb
You don’t have to be rich to travel well. — Eugene Fodor
Distributing the expenses of the stay is another important factor of budgeting wisely.
There are plenty of Airbnb places with many rooms and sharable bathrooms that make a stay comfortable but also help lower the costs of the trip. Instead of reserving hotel rooms for each traveler, you are paying ½ to ¼ of the price of the entire place to depending on how many travelers you are taking with you.
Do not freak out about having to share too much space with others, the trip will be just for a short period of time! Instead focus on the people you are getting to know better as well as the places you are exploring. Think positively.
4. Set your priorities
Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. — Anonymous
Now that you know how to get to where you want, it is good to keep in mind what you are mostly interested in when you check out a new destination. For some, food is something that they really want to go for, for others museums, attractions, shops, or other authentic activities is what matters most.
For me it was popular buildings, the food and local activities that made me blend in with the culture. Once you have that figured out, make a maximum budget on your “priorities list” and avoid spending on things that you could definitely find elsewhere.
5. Be financially smart every day
Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul. — Jamie Lyn Beautty
If you really want to travel, then you might want to consider letting go of other expenditures that are not your priority. For instance, you do not have to pay for Netflix when you can use a family member’s account, or you could avoid buying expensive brand make up and clothes and find beautiful combinations that do not cost just as much.
Find little holes where you can save.
I did not have a car when I traveled half of the US, however I traveled more than all of my friends who had cars and wished they had traveled. I never had the need for one, but I also chose wisely to use what could have been loan and insurance money towards my traveling budget, which was my priority at that time.
6. Time management
Travel is never a matter of money but of courage. — Paolo Coelho
Use every time gap to get ahead with your work and tasks so that you leave some extra time for when you are traveling.
In whatever you are doing, be your best self.
Focus fully and avoid distractions.
Doing more than the average people would do will transform you into that small percentage of people that make their dreams come true.
For me, whenever I was doing homework, I was completely present. Whenever I was at work, I was fully involved. Whenever I was with friends, I was entirely focused. Being in the moment gave me no chance of procrastination or distractions, so I was able to do everything more efficiently. That included holding three different jobs and a full-time semester.
Traveling can be achieved with a relatively small budget. Sharing expenses with friends makes all trips more affordable, more entertaining, and safer.
Traveling has never been about the money, but about controlling your expenses wisely and setting your priorities straight.
Traveling is not something that is done once, but is a way of living, a lifestyle. That is why it is important to be financially smart every day and to manage the time efficiently.
Lastly, always remember to be in the present moment. Every place is captivating, and every destination is marvelous in its own way. Like Confucius says, “wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
Keep dreaming, keep traveling.
If you liked this post, please give it a few claps! It inspires me to do more!