Who Says You Need A Lot Of Money To Travel?
Getting There: Financing Your Travels
There is a misconception floating out there that you have to have a lot of money to travel. Traveling is no longer something only wealthy people can do, and to be honest nor was this the case 10-15 years ago. All you need is the desire and passion to travel and you can go anywhere you set your mind to.
My friend Evan runs a personal finance website called www.thegreenblueprint.com that is all about saving and investing. He values saving as much as anyone I know. But travel is an investment that is well worth spending on:
“When I write on my blog, I focus on saving and investment to set yourself up for the future. One of the key tenets of my message is not sacrificing to reach your financial goals; happiness and personal development are also crucial. If you are going to spend your money on something, one of the best places to do so is somewhere else.
Traveling is one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had in my life. A few years ago I spent about six months traveling in two different continents. When you travel, especially internationally, you taste new cuisine, meet lifelong friends, go in directions you never originally expected, and often realize how good you have it back home. You’d be hard-pressed to find something more transformative.
So how does this fit in to the big picture financially? As always, income and savings rate are huge factors, but I believe most can make an epic trip happen at least every one to two years. Once you realize the value of travel, it will be easy to budget for.
Let me give you an example. When I went to Thailand, my flight was about $1k round trip. I actually just checked and I found some for as low as $860 after looking for a few minutes. Once I was in Thailand, I was spending $20-40/day depending on the area I was in. I spent a little extra here and there to experience certain activities, but Thailand is extremely inexpensive all around. My guess is you could do a great two week trip in Thailand for $2000 or less.
A friend of mine just got back from Mexico. His flight was a little over $500 and he estimated he spent around $30/day. One could easily mix in a trip like this for under $1000.
Most people can find $1000-$2000 every year or two by making small, simple changes that don’t negatively affect their life. Start making coffee at home instead of buying it at Starbucks. Bring a lunch one more day a week than you do currently. If you can save $5/day making changes like this, you’ll have $1825 at the end of one year. Enough for an amazing trip!”
The benefits you get from travelling are many and extend well beyond taking some time off to reward yourself. Travel expands your worldviews and contributes to a strong self-awareness; opens the door to possibilities you did not think possible; inspires you and generates ideas no matter where and what stage of life you are in; gives you first-hand knowledge and the gift of new long lasting friendships. For this and many more reasons, travel is one of the best investments you will ever make in your life.
Don’t be overly concerned with money and above all, don’t put your trip or travel off to years down the road, there are too many external circumstances that can affect too long of a plan. Six months to a year is all you need, the more you push it out the more distant the dream can become. There are many ways to travel without spending a fortune but above all, the best is to work with a local who can truly recommend places to stay, visit, eat and hang out with him or her to help you make better choices while having a richer experience. More often than not, unheard-of-places will also be the least expensive and deliver a high impact experience. With a little planning about your personal goals, and learning how to get the most out of your travel dollar, you will be able to travel the world without breaking the bank.