As a professional travel blogger, you get quite a few emails about the travel industry. You’re asked about places to go, what to see, eat, etc, etc.
But the number one question I get from readers all the time is “How can I afford to constantly travel?”. Well, it’s quite simple really: I set my priorities where traveling is number 1.
Yes, it’s that simple. Once you have it in your mind that this is what you want to do, you’ll find loads of ways to cut your expenses down. And it all comes down to simplifying your life. Cut your daily expenses to that of what you really need. Become frugal.
When I first got into traveling, I had to change my entire lifestyle. I used to go for the fancy gadgets and shiny appliances like everyone else. But why? Just so I could have something that would temporarily keep me entertained? Any way you look at it, these fancy gadgets always get old.
“And I learned that travel…well it stays with you forever.”
Now changing your life is no walk in the park…believe me, I know. That’s why I created this blog post to help you get started on the right foot and focus on the many ways you can simplify your life, become frugal & travel to your hearts extents!
How to earn money to travel
Open a Savings Account:
Opening a simple savings account is a great way to start saving funds for traveling. For every paycheck that your earn, train yourself to deposit a certain percentage of that money into your account. With a savings account, it’ll require a little more effort to withdraw funds forcing you to think a little harder on whether you do (or don’t) need that new iPod in the store.
The bottom line being that it doesn’t matter what country you’re from; whether you call it a bank account, savings account or any other account, if you change your spending habits you can fill it up in no time and get on the road.
Find a Roommate:
Finding a roommate is not only a great way to lower housing costs, but is also perfect to start saving money and it doesn’t really matter where you live. Turn your studio apartment into a two bedroom condo by getting one of those “pop-up” walls. Rent your spare bedroom out. Have a rollout bed in your couch, well there you go!
Worse case scenario, if you’re younger, move back in with your parents because doing so will give you a free meal and free housing for a few months allowing you to save a ton and very quickly.
Sell your Car:
Vehicles seem to be made to empty your wallet. Between all the expenses of gas, insurance, car payment, maintenance and everything else it will leave you broke. Even when I sold my car, I noticed a tremendous increase in the amount of money I could save simply because I didn’t have to pay to keep it running. Sure road trips across America are fun and all, but they can be expensive if you own the vehicle.
Find it difficult to get back and forth to work? Then either carpool or move to a new location where you don’t need a car. After all, that’s what I did when I first started traveling. I found a job working as a guide up in West Virginia so I sold my truck, packed my bag and took the next train out of town.
Purchase Second Hand:
Purchasing second hand items will allow you to get the same items you want for half the price. Use websites like Craigslist, Amazon, Ebay, as well as Google Shopping and you’ll save money in no time.
Smoking is not only EXTREMELY unhealthy for you, but it is extremely unhealthy for your wallet! The last I heard, a pack of cigarettes were going for nearly $13 dollars in New York City. Can you really afford this?
If you’re smoking a pack a day (like most smokers do) that’s $400 dollars a month…imagine what that could add up to over the course of a year. Just so you know, it’s $4,836.
Slow down on Drinking:
As a traveler, I love to go out and socialize while sipping on a beer. Hell, who wouldn’t? That’s a part of the whole experience. You make new friends, go have a few drinks and plan to do something crazy fun the next day. Now, I’m not telling you to stop drinking the beer but at least try to slow it down a bit.
Go during happy hours and specials. While visiting Montezuma in Costa Rica, I visited a bar that had 50 cent beers…that’s what you’re looking for! Either that or the classic pre-game in the hostel is always a good call. And instead of getting shit faced drunk, just have 2-3 so that you can at least remember what it was like when you partied down in Panama.
Create a CouchSurfing Network:
CouchSurfing is a fantastic way to cut down your expenses while on (and off) the road. You may need to be a little flexible here, but it is possible to save money while you’re home using this method. Go for a weekend getaway and rent out your place for the week.
Wherever you get away to, just CouchSurf and get to know the locals. They can show you all the cool sides of a city that you may have never heard of because it’s simply just not on the tourist map not to mention it’s cool to look at a place from a local’s perspective.
Sign up for Travel Newsletters & Weekly/Monthly Specials:
Believe it or not, signing up for a weekly or monthly newsletter can save you money while you’re planning your trip. With many travel blogs, you can receive Top 20 lists every month showing you the best of the best deals along with your occasional discounts.
Simplify your Phone Plan:
I don’t have many bills because I like to keep my life simple. But one that I had to look into eliminating was my phone bill. Once I did so, that saved me an extra $50 per month. Between my family, friends & I, we use apps like Skype or Viber to keep in touch. It’s free and only require wifi to use. So why not try to simplify yours?
And if you absolutely need your phone, then downgrade from your current plan and get the $50 unlimited talk/text/web package that is currently being offered. Phone companies don’t like to tell you this, but every phone is available to use this package as long as it’s paid off.
Cook for Yourself:
My tenth and final tip for you is to stop going out every night and cook for yourself. Don’t know how? Then learn! There is literally an unlimited amount of resources available for you to learn how to cook a quick, easy and cheap meal that is still healthy for you both on the web and in the bookstore. Besides, hitting up the local floating market has some amazingly fresh and delicious options for food!
Changing your life overnight to establish yourself is no easy task but with a little practice, it is, by all means, possible. Just remember the payoff. If you succeed, you could be traveling on the road full-time in as little as 6 months!
What tips would you recommend to help cut expenses and gain money for traveling?