Travel smart and live debt free. I am like a broken record here. Setting and meeting attainable travel goals is important in this process. There are some places that are on many people’s lists and some of them are rather pricey. Have you ever booked a trip on a whim because of a fabulous deal, that ended up being way over budget? This is surely the recipe to wreck your finances and cause you to sink into credit card debt – don’t do it…resist!
Be Intentional About Smart Travel Goals
I am no expert, but with my experience traveling to quite a few countries and still being debt free, I think I can help others out. I am not bragging, just being factual and filled with gratitude.
First off, it is important to acknowledge that travelling is not in the cards for some seasons in life. I remember the years when my focus was on paying off loans. That was my focus and I was content to do things in my budget. I knew someday I would travel to places that beckoned me so I put delayed gratification in action. Its fruit is sweet.
Once I started building up my travel budget I travelled to some places nearby. I stayed at hostels and stayed in just one or two areas. Travelling to many different areas in a single trip is not cost effective.
It is good to check out the cost of airline tickets and keep a watch on them. It is easy to track the most affordable time to visit different locations this way. Plan long term and short term for travels.
I find that it is important to prioritise the places on my list and be flexible to stay debt free. I see travelling as a luxury. I have wanderlust bad but I also like to know that I am living a balanced life.
For example I enjoy travelling on the African continent. Ideally I would like to take a trip there for three weeks every year. This is a pricey venture because of the cost of the air ticket alone. I now save up and do a trip to the continent every two years or so. I also like to get a taste of different neighbouring countries on one trip.
I enjoy my travels so much because I know they are fruitions of my discipline. It’s also nice to know that I am not accruing debt while enjoy my adventures.
Think about this, can you truly afford a luxury hotel and flying first class? Will it take all of the money you have saved up over years? I find it hard to spend what I work many hours to earn, in a few days. That’s just me.
Attaining Travel Goals with a 9-5 Job.
For some people money isn’t what’s holding them back, from travelling mad and free throughout the world, it’s their 9-5. Feeding one’s wanderlust and doing a 9-5 job can be a struggle at times. You need to work to live right? Also, your job funds your travels as well. Here are some tips to possibly maximise your time and enjoy both:
- Save some vacation days one year and transfer them to the following year if you can. This means you can take off work to travel longer for alternate years. I know not every profession allows this but it’s something to thing about.
- Take a sabbatical. After serving for several years some companies may allow you to take off some time. Save up for this so there is a nest egg because you never know.
- Seek opportunities to transfer abroad in your company or do a year abroad if you are in college. Think about being in Europe for a year and using the short breaks to go from place to place. I wish!
- Work remotely for a period of time and enjoy some travels. Sometimes these opportunities exist but we don’t think of asking about them.
- Make use of long weekends when possible and hit the ground running.
One travel goal I have had it seems like forever is to see Machu Picchu. I am finally going to experience it. I saved bit by bit over a few years and I am really excited about it. Again, it is nice to know that I am not dipping into my savings and staying debt free while doing this. I like to travel smart on a budget and of course do the same where safety is concerned.
What tips do you have to share on how to set and meet attainable travel goals? Please share below.