“How do you travel so much?”
I feel like this is a question I get asked fairly frequently. Granted, I don’t think I travel often enough to answer this question, but on the other hand I travel quite a bit more than the average person. I always have a few answers in response to the question so I decided it would be a good thing to write them down and maybe share how I tend to go on frequent trips or side excursions.
I believe the first and most important yet difficult thing to do is begin changing your mindset.
Stop thinking, “I can’t travel, it’s too expensive” and start thinking “What luxuries do I afford myself that if cut back, would grow my savings towards a trip?”
This is going to be the hardest thing for most people to do. In reality though, there is a lot we can all cut back on, especially people with a western mindset.
Let me give you some examples on things to cut back on and how much you can save:
Let’s say you buy something from (Insert coffee shop here) once per workday.
We’ll say it costs $4. ($4) x (5 day work week) = $20 per week. ($20) x (4 weeks) = $80 per month! This may not seem like a lot but when you begin to travel like a traveler and not a tourist this goes a looooong way.
Now, let’s say your job offers a work out incentive for discounted membership somewhere, or perhaps you have one anyway. The cheapest I’ve seen around where I live starts at $20 per month but I’m going to say $30 is average everywhere else. Multiply $30 per month by 12 months and you get an additional $360 per year (not to mention sign up fees)!
Add this to the coffee you started making at home rather than buying and you can have an extra $1320 per year in those two things alone!
Considering certain places to travel to, this would go a long way towards an exciting adventure. All this for the mindset change of, “I’m going to start making my own coffee and doing exercises at my house.”
$1320 is about how much I spent on a month long backpacking trip in Central America!
Here comes the big ones…
This is going to sound crazy but…stop watching tv and cut that data pack for your cell phone… “What!? Are you serious!?”
Why yes I am. These things that seem like “necessities” are unnecessary.
Imagine how much you can gain from this. How many wasted hours are gone watching tv?
“But some shows make me laugh and make me smile.”
I’m sure they do, but so does hanging out with people and friends in the real world. If you really do want your tv, consider cutting cable and dish, then make the switch to Netflix and Hulu. That covers most all of your bases and if those networks don’t have them, I’m sure some online site does.
This switch can save easily another $30 per month if not, a lot more.
“What about my cell phone?”
If you are surfing the web on your cell phone I’m guessing that you probably are somewhere without a computer meaning that you are A.) at work B.) eating or C.) at some function you have to be at.
What happened to the day when we sparked conversations with those around us? Not for any personal benefit, just to pleasantly pass the time in a social manner.
I’ve been in situations where people are tweeting or facebook messaging each other across a table and the only verbal exchange is, “ha, nice comment.”
Really think about it…do you honestly need to be online with your cell phone all the time?
There are definitely people who can gain a lot from accessing the internet from their phone. Heck, I would probably use it fairly often myself on my travels.
In my frame of mind though, I’m thinking, “$15 for a hostel with wifi is greater than the phone option for me.” I can afford it right now but I’m stubborn and I want to save money.
Especially today, just buy an Ipod or similar tablet. You can use the internet for free with open wifi access. There are even certain apps that you can download to make calls…FOR FREE.
So you want to travel huh? What mindset and spending habits can you change to save you money?