You think traveling is expensive and you can’t afford it?
If so, then you’re definitely wrong.
It’s a misconception that traveling is super expensive and unachievable. Just like in other parts of life, it’s what you make out of it and what your standards are. Of course one week can cost about 1.000€ or a city trip that costs about 500€. But there are also possibilities where you spend way less than this – and you don’t have to go camping or sleep in a hostel. I get asked a lot how I can afford my trips and how to travel so often. I don’t want to make a secret out of it, so in this article I am going to share with you my tips how to save money and travel the world.
Tip #1: Choose your destination right
Australia is expensive. So is a flight to South America. Or the Maldives. The list can go on and on. Thank God, not all destinations in this world cost the same. Some destinations are expensive as a whole, some are cheaper (so the cost of living is very low in this country), only the flight to this country is expensive. So as a tip I would recommend you a destination where the flight is relatively cheap and life there as well. Depending on where you live, this could be Spain or Portugal, if you live in Europe for example.
Tip #2: Choose the right time
Especially in the main season, most of the flights are expensive and hotels lift their prizes too. Therefore it’s important to look for offers that are off-season. Especially as a student or “normal worker” it’s a kind of privilege to be able to travel before or after the school holidays. My university for example has semester breaks in May and September which is the perfect time for an early and late summer trip. In May I was with a friend on the Greek island Zakynthos and in September I spent one week in Italy. We were very lucky with the weather and could easily walk around in shorts and top and even go swimming in the ocean. The cities weren’t too crowded either which made our stay very pleasant and comfortable. (And we could take the best photos, too). Another great time to travel is in winter, for example over the Carnival days (unless you love to celebrate it in your home country). This year for example I spent three days in Lisbon. Our hotel was very affordable (especially for this kind of standard) and we were lucky with the weather, too. We could easily forget that it was February because the sun was shining and we sat at the beach or outside in restaurants.
Tip #3: Be flexible
Being flexible could be transferred to almost every area of your travel. As I wrote above, first of all it’s important to be flexible concerning your date. Sometimes the prize changes when you choose to book one or two days earlier. Also, check the departure times. Often, it’s much cheaper to fly early in the morning instead of afternoon or early evening.
We often choose to fly from our “standard” airport which is usually the one that is located the closest to our home. But keep your eyes open: the prizes often vary from airport to airport. When I booked my flight to Barcelona, I paid about 90€ less because I chose an airport that is about 40 minutes more far away. Moreover be flexible with your choice of hotel: usually it’s cheaper to stay in a smaller local hotel than in one of those big hotel chains.
Tip #4: Make travel a priority
Oftentimes I hear people complaining they don’t have enough money to travel. Meanwhile I’m really allergic to this response. (Okay, I admit there are exceptions where it’s true, but most of the time it’s just an excuse.) In my opinion it’s all about setting priorities. Strangely enough, people who “can’t afford” travels can afford the newest iPhone, tons of make up and the trendies sport shoes. Hmmm…. Do you see the point? Also smoking or going out costs a lot of money. You don’t have to forbid yourself your hobbies but you have to know that you could easily save this money for travels. So my top tip to save money for travels is to restrict yourself to the essential things. Only buy new clothes when really needed and do not buy unnecessary stuff.
Tip #5: Connect with people from foreign countries
One of the best things that can happen to you is to have friends in other parts of the world. When I was little I always dreamed of having friends in different countries. It’s not that I now know people in California, Australia or South Africa but my network grows and grows and meanwhile I have friends for example in Brussels, Vienna or Frankfurt. The best advantage is that when you visit them you can usually sleep at their home so you can save a lot of money that you would actually have spent for your accommodation. It’s not that they moved there in a matter of seconds but every one goes their way and you never know: maybe some of your friends emigrate to a foreign country as well. And if not: connect yourself with people from social media or keep in touch with people you might met on holidays: you never know where things will lead to.
Tip #6: Travel only with hand luggage
This tip basically explains itself. It is always more expensive to take a huge suitcase with you. It is not only a heavy piece to carry, you also have to wait longer at the baggage carousel. But most importantly: you save a lot of costs when traveling with just a hand luggage.
Tip #7: Start with a small travel
Traveling doesn’t always mean sitting in an airplane for 12 hours and finding yourself at the other side of the world. Start with a small trip. You think it’s boring? It doesn’t have to be. I don’t interpret this tip as “discover your own city” or “go to the next big city of your home town”. Because then you’re right – this could be boring. Of course this also depends on where you live. Luckily I live in a region where multiple cities are readily accessible. It takes me for example a four-hours train ride to go to Berlin or just about two hours by car to go to Amsterdam. So take a close look at the region you’re living and try to figure out which cities are easy to get to.
I’d love to hear in the comments where you’re from and maybe we can together take a look which cities are easily reachable for you.
Tip #8: Plan weekend-trips
Being on vacation or traveling doesn’t always mean two weeks of holidays. Many times I just booked a trip for about three days over the weekend. Although you might think this it too short to discover a new city or to relax – no, it’s not. Even two days can be pretty long when you seize the whole day. Carpe diem! For some people it might be a bit stressful but for others it’s fun to get up early and strolling through the city for about 12 hours. In 2016 I spent two days in Rome: We flew there Saturday morning and came back Sunday evening. It was a cheap flight, so we didn’t mind being there for only less than two days. We definitely thought it was worth it and I would do it again. We saw and experienced so much, it really felt like three or four days.
Tip #9: Get a job and save money
Just like tip number six, it explains itself. If you have a steady job, earning money shouldn’t be a problem. If you struggle anyway, you should definitely overthink your priorities. If you’re a student however, you could get a side job. The possibilities are almost endless: work as a waiter, go babysitting or dog-sitting, look for a job in the online segment so you could work at home too, work as a student assistant in your university or work as a hostess. When you really want to travel, look for opportunities how to earn money and it won’t be an unfulfilled dream anymore.
Tip #10: Use Christmas and your birthday as a source of money
When people ask you what you want for your birthday or Christmas, answer ‘just money.’ You don’t need more bells and whistles – useless stuff. Another scented candle? A new watch? A shopping voucher? Tell your friends and family that you prefer money in order to travel and I’m sure they will understand. Oftentimes, we have to get aware of the prizes and the involved possibilities. I paid for a flight to Barcelona 40€. So don’t say “I can’t afford a flight” while putting make up on with your new 40€ eye shadow pallet.
Those were my top 10 tips how to save money and travel the world. Were they helpful? Let me know in the comments which one was your favorite and share with me your tips on how to save money. I’m curious to know.
Tenham todos uma boa semana!
Have a great start into the week!