Many people dream of traveling the world, but few have the means to make that dream come true. Whether you’re looking to make the trip of a lifetime or just want to travel more often, it’s important to take some time to figure out how to afford your travel dreams and make them happen sooner rather than later.
If you’re willing to work hard, cut back on some of your expenses, and invest the money you save in something that can pay off long-term, you can definitely achieve your goal. Here are some tips on how to afford to travel the world.
Become Debt-free and Save Money
The less money you owe, and more money you have saved, means you have more disposable income for your travels. Getting your financial house in order before planning a big trip is an important step in making sure you can afford it. These steps will help:
1. Track every penny of your spending for at least a month or two (it may be helpful to track longer than that)
2. Cut unnecessary expenses. If nothing else, simply by focusing on these areas, you should become a more disciplined spender
3. Start saving! Saving now ensures you’ll have enough cash on hand when it comes time to book travel plans. How much do you need? Be as specific as possible when estimating how much money you’ll need—leave no room for error!
Get an Additional Income Stream
While you’re working hard at your primary job, it’s crucial to figure out ways to bring in some extra income. This additional income will help you fund your adventures abroad and pay for any new hobbies or activities you get into while overseas. Examples of other streams include: selling your services (e.g., graphic design, language lessons), starting a small business, renting out a room on Airbnb, freelancing, and much more.
One of the fastest ways to save up is to start a business. If you wish to do so but feel like you don’t have enough time for it to grow, you can always start a franchise. Franchises are already established businesses and come with support services to make your life much easier. One good example is a home builder franchise, which you can easily run from any location as long as you build homes within an allocated area. It also comes with many training courses from professionals who will guide you throughout every step in building your empire.
Create an Emergency Fund
Depending on your income, saving up for travel will take months or even years. But it’s not too soon to think about how you’ll afford unexpected expenses while you’re abroad. Keep an emergency fund—ideally of $500—that you can use in case of a medical emergency, lost luggage, and other travel snafus. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account into a high-yield savings account every month, so you won’t even notice that money has already been deducted. Remember, you don’t have to live like a hermit while saving; do without luxuries until you reach your goal.
Choose Inexpensive Countries First
If you are looking for ways to afford a round-the-world trip, consider choosing a handful of countries that don’t require much money. This can help you have fun and stay on budget as you explore many cultures. Thailand is one of these countries because tourists don’t need a visa, and there are plenty of affordable hotels and restaurants, making it possible to travel in comfort while paying less than $30 per day. Those on a tight budget can find even cheaper options by choosing places like Laos or Vietnam, where hotels cost less than $20 per night. You can save even more money by renting apartments, which can be a good option for those with families or large groups.
Use Bonus Points for Flights and Hotels
If you’re a member of a hotel or airline rewards program, make sure your points don’t go to waste by booking perks you can use. You may already have enough frequent flier miles or hotel points for a free flight or night in a resort, so don’t let them expire. Your hard-earned money will be better spent on an exotic trip than collecting dust in your account. Just remember to use whatever perks you book before they become expired.
Use Applications That Can Give You Discounts
Many travel sites, such as Expedia and TripAdvisor, offer apps that give you discounts on hotels or save you money when dining out. Sign up for these services if they’re available where you plan to travel so that you can get deals without even thinking about it. Even if it’s just a couple of dollars, every bit counts! You can also see what events are happening in town while you’re there or around your next travel destination by checking websites like Eventbrite and checking Groupon to see what’s going on. You might be able to catch an event before it starts, but at least you will not miss out on tickets by searching for the last minute.
The world is a big place, with lots of beautiful and interesting places to see and adventures to be had. If you follow these steps, it will be within your reach. You don’t have to save up all at once, and you don’t need to rush out immediately, but keep in mind that traveling isn’t about where you go but how much you appreciate where you are when you get there.