People often ask me how I make my travel dreams possible. They assume that I am either lucky or independently wealthy. Well, to innocently admit it, I am not independently wealthy. Though you can call me a little lucky, for I’ve been travelling for almost two years now, and without having any steady source of income. But there’s more to it.
Before anything, here’s a little on how I afford my travel.
If you’re considering travel more seriously and a little more frequently you need to be smart with your money – and that starts before you hit the road. Here are 4 proven, self-tested and effective ways to save money before you start travelling:
1. Avoid Eating Out
Love your local restaurant? Well that local restaurant loves you money. Avoid it. Restaurants and take-aways are a little too expensive now a days, I get sticker shocker every time I get the bill. “You need how much for a meal?” I lose my heart as I hear the figure in reply.
As an advantage I know cooking, and managing quick and easy meals is no hard task for me. I sort of learned that art while completing my study abroad. Similarly, if you’re serious about saving money, you need to start cooking or eat cheap processed food.
When you’re traveling, rely on local cuisine, which is always healthy, tastier, easily accessible, and far cheaper.
2. Lose The Car
Now you’d say you run your car on CNG (as most frugal, new age hipsters, do in New Delhi, to make it economic). Let’s understand this using a sheet of paper and a pen. Write down all the money you’ve spent buying it. Add it with the figure you’d hopelessly donated to insurance companies so far. Then write an approximate for all the fuel and repairing cost till date. After taking a deep breath and adding the last two figures as well – see what did you get? Probably a large sum of money. I am sure you could travel another continent with that.
3. Buy Second Hand
Okay so here’s a simple equation: why pay full price when you can pay half, or perhaps much less than that? You can get all kind of second hand material used for traveling on dedicated websites like eBay as well as on Facebook groups. One of the Facebook groups is how I recently had got my hands on a second hand Pannier for my bike and I found the one that fits my bike, with accurate measures. So don’t rush to the nearest digital store, next time you find yourself hooked to the idea of buying a Kindle or an iPad – give these channels a try. Internet is there for a reason.
4. Create A Recurring Account
Despite never having addicted much to the idea of money hoarding, I opened a simple recurring account while I still had a full time job. I used it to deposit about one fourth of my earnings, each month, for almost an year. This helped in few ways. I learned how to spend less; I could now save much of my salaried money; and by the time I quit my job, I had enough money to support my travels for a while. I personally felt binding yourself in something like this helps save a lot of money, which otherwise, and by any other means, is almost impossible.
AND A BONUS…
Learn How To Make Money Online
Saving your for travel is indeed important. But if you can invest in yourself, and learn how to make money online, there’s no stopping you from being on the road indefinitely. For long term, full time travelling, you need a source of income, and as I know it, internet can give you that.
Is it writing or photography or coding? What are you good at? Identify your sills and put them to use, online. Reinvent your working style.
Corporates all over the world are looking for internet experts. See where you fit. And if you can manage to build a successful small business online and can work location independent, it is even better.
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