So how do I afford to travel a few times a year?
I am not rolling in it or anything like that. If I were then I would probably be travelling around Africa or a few months at a time. As it is I visit different countries on the continent every two years or so…but I digress.
Any how let me share some things I do to facilitate travelling and feeding my wanderlust.
Being Disciplined Helps me to Afford my Travels
I prioritize travelling once or twice most years. I live abroad and like to get back to Jamaica at least once a year to connect with family and other loved ones. I save for this every month. I set aside a certain amount for this in my budget. Since I am a teacher I have a few weeks off at summer and in December. I plan my travels around these breaks and sometimes throw in a small trip during spring break. I have to be disciplined to put money aside each month for my trip to Jamaica as well as for a second trip usually to a place I have not visited before.
Discipline comes in because I must balance my budget by cutting back on other areas each month which may be money bleeders. Things like eating out too much and shopping frivolously comes to mind.
Earning a ‘good’ salary Helps me to Afford my Travels
This should have been the first thing I spoke about because we all know this is the most important thing. I did travel when I earned far less but less frequently. I have always lived on a budget which helped me to save when I earned way less. I am sure I earn much less than many ballers and more than others. It is good because I can cover my needs, give,save and have money to put towards travel which is a luxury.
The truth is that working allows me the opportunity to sate my thirst to go off and explore new destinations. I am thankful to be able to do this and share my experiences through this medium.
Being a homebody Helps me to Afford my Travels
It really does help me to afford the travels I have enjoyed over the years. I am much more eager to fly off into the unknown and explore away in a way I do not do where I reside. A big part of this is because work takes so much out of me from Monday to Friday and even the occasional Saturday. On the weekends I also have a routine. When I get short holidays I just want to chill at home and top up my energy myself.
Seek out Deals and Compare Prices
It is good to do some research and see what it costs to take a trip where you want to go. I take time to do this and plan long term or short term based on the costs associated with different trips. Sometimes it seems like visiting a destination is out of reach but you never know. I like to google ‘the name of the destination followed by budget blogs.’ I learn different tricks and tips to stretch my money.
I sometimes see some awesome prices from different places in America and Europe to visit far flung places. I so wish those prices existed for those of us flying from Tokyo. Then I would REALLY afford to travel LOL! Check out secretflying for all the deals. I follow their Facebook page to watch the great deals that people in many countries can hop on.
I will still stay in hostels to reduce costs and I am not shy about doing so to stretch my budget. I may not do this every night on a trip but getting a private room at a hostel is sometimes so much cheaper than even Airbnb.
I Say “No” to People When Necessary
Affording to travel may come down to reevaluating your lifestyle if you earn a good wage, don’t have debt but can’t save towards travels. A budget buster for me are the instances where others want me to commit to expensive ventures on a whim. If I do not know about some things in advance and it is over the amount set aside in my miscellaneous budget for that month it is a no. My friends have come to know my ways.
I can’t afford to jump on everything that others want me to. I have different circle of friends and always going out with different groups is pricey.
Simple Actions Equal Big Savings Over Time
Yes, adopting some simple practices into my life have helped me to afford my travels. Something as simple as taking lunch to work most days means I save in that area. I set aside money to buy lunch once a week but I am so used to making my own that I often don’t. I cook at home mostly since it is more fulfilling and being a plant based eater this is a must.
I do not go window shopping to be pulled into spending mindlessly. I use to do this and ended up with too much stuff I did not use. I nipped this in the bud. I shop when needed and save for this bit by bit. I also shop around to know where to get good deals for different household and food items I buy often. Sometimes shopping on Rakuten, Amazon or Costco helps with this. I do not try to keep up with the Jones’ because we all know they are broke.
I also got myself a good deal from my phone and internet providers. I don’t have a car because I don’t need one in Tokyo. I don’t have Netflix, Hulu etc. but I do have a monthly budget for buying books since I am a bookworm. I don’t have a TV and have no plans to get one. I have been using this Macbook for 10 years and it is still going strong. I am saving up so when it gives out I will be able to afford a new one. I have had an ipod classic for just as long. I also use a reasonably priced smart phone which I have had for 3+ years. Yes, I am frugal and loving it. It all adds up to savings so I can afford to travel.
These are the things I am doing so I can afford to travel on my schedule. I am content to go where I want to go step by step and save up bit by bit. This has been my practice for the last almost 20 years – wow time flies- and will be how I continue to engage my wanderlust. As you can see, I do nothing that many others can’t do.