Many of you have been asking me through my Instagram account how is it that I can afford to travel often and who approves my leave from work? Or even if I am employed. Yes, I do have a 9-5 job and side projects that bring me additional income. Although, I would consider myself a small part-time traveler, I have changed certain habits that have helped me save money and put that towards my travels.
My ultimate goal is to someday be a full-time traveler and learn about as many cultures as I possibly can. When I first dreamed of traveling, I pictured myself in 5-star all-inclusive resorts. Soon, I realized that this is not necessary in order to travel. If 5-star resorts is what you are aiming for there’s nothing wrong with splurging on such luxurious vacations if you can afford it. I personally have decided to stay in nice, but yet affordable lodging.
While striving to save more money, I soon realized I would need to change certain habits and behaviors, and thus far they all seem to work. Here are the top 8-things that I do to help me ‘save my coins’, as I often call it. This has been a game changer and allowed for me to have additional money to take trips. I hope this can help you too!
- Clean your closet out, donate a couple of things to your local Salvation Army and with the remaining, set up a yard-sale. This won’t bring you thousands of dollars, but it sure can bring you a couple hundred dollars and it will also be a way to unclutter your house.
- When you up-grade cell phones, sell your old device on apps such as LetGo, eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Market. Word-of-Mouth will also help sell electronics faster than you can say “Where should I travel to next?”
- Trade your trips to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts for at home made coffee and tea. I am a fan of Dunkin Donuts coffee, but that $2-3 dollars spent daily was adding up. That’s $15 dollars a week and $60 dollars a month. Of course, now and then I stop to buy a cup, but it’s no longer a daily habit.
- Pick-up a side gig whenever possible. I do job-interview coaching. Even if I only have one-client a month, that additional income builds up.
- Open up a savings-only account where you deposit this money and is not easily accessible to you. If you have no immediate access to it through a debit card, you are less likely to spend it on an impulse purchase.
- Search for travel deals on on-line such as travelzoo, expedia, priceline, orbitz, groupon, tripmasters (a favorite of mine). See who is offering the best deal for the same trip. Try different dates for the same itinerary; different dates equals different prices.
- Travel during the non-popular season. If you want to go to Paris, it will be super crowded during the summer and more costly, but if you travel in the month of April, it is much economic, thus saving you money.
- Ladies reading this, I love getting my nails done just as much as some of you probably do. I was spending $85 dollars bi-weekly getting fill-ins and pedis. When I totaled it up, that’s more than $2,000 a year. YES! ON NAILS! Now I opt to get a regular manicure and pedicure and I do at home treatments for my nails. All the extra money goes into my travel savings budget!
I hope these tips can help you save money too! Traveling and culture-learning is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have. Take a moment to look back on what unnecessary things you might be spending money on; even if it’s $5 dollars here and there, it can add up long-term. Let’s travel, friends.