I’m going to let you all in on a secret. I do not earn big bucks. In fact, if I earn $400 in a week, I get super excited. Now I bet you’re wondering how I have afforded to travel when I earn so little. This is what I want to discuss this week; how you can afford to travel no matter your situation.
The first thing that is necessary is self discipline. You need to learn to prioritise your spending, both at home and whilst on your trip. This is not easy. We all have bills and necessary expenses that cannot be cut out. The best thing to do is make a list, one for expenses and another for your income. Once you have listed the absolute essential expenses, you can then decide which of your other expenses to cut out. For myself, I don’t go out every weekend but I do choose which activity to splurge on. The exhilaration that you feel when you visit a far away land is worth every sacrifice.
Whilst on your trip, you must also prioritise your spending. There is nothing worse than splurging on the first portion of your trip and having to scrimp on the second part. Think about where you will be going before leaving and decide if there is a particular purchase you wish to make in that region. For example, if you are visiting Florence, you may want to purchase a leather handbag as Florence is the top producer of fine leather. Always leave room in the budget for something extra (as there is always something else to buy) but stick to your budget as much as is feasible.
My next point follows the same line as prioritising. Once you know what you can save for your trip, you can then set a limit on your spending. First, you will need to determine how much the actual trip will cost (flights, accommodation, insurance, etc). From there, you can determine how much spending money you will have and set a daily budget to follow whilst you are away.
In all things, you must be practical. Remember that everything you buy must be carried home. If you want to mail souvenirs home, you will have to factor that into your budget. Know what your limits are. When it comes to packing, try not to take the biggest suitcase you have. It will be bulky and cumbersome. Do you really want to lug a massive suitcase throughout the trip? The answer may be yes whilst you’re at home but I can guarantee that you will regret it at some point on your trip. The best advice I can give is to write a list, pack that list, then remove all those extra things. Do you really need four different jumpers when you’re visiting Scotland in spring? No, one will be enough. Trust me. Try to assemble a wardrobe that is both comfortable and practical. Mix and match is your best option. There will be washing machines wherever you are heading.
Finally, you must always remember reality. When you are on holidays, the everyday grind of life seems so far away. Life is fun. It’s almost like there are no limits. However, you must remember reality. There will be bills to pay when you return. This is why budgeting is so important. If you overspend whilst on holidays, you return home to a big ball of stress regarding money and bills. This causes you to resent some of the purchases you made whilst overseas. The holiday loses its magic. You don’t want that. Budgeting is key!
Some of what I have said may seem harsh, and you may think that thinking this way will cause you to stress whilst on holidays. I can assure you, however, that being prepared will ensure you have the best time overseas. You prepare so that you can have a stress-free holiday. You’ve already worked out all the boring details. You can relax and enjoy yourself.
I hope this week’s post has helped. My suggestions are basic but they do work. Anything worth having requires sacrifice and patience.