It has recently come to my attention that people are under the misconception that I am rich because I travel often. As soon as I reply with my typical answer denying my apparent wealth, I usually get a follow-up question of “how do you afford to travel so often?” I decided to write a post to set the record straight and share my “secrets.”
Before I begin…
NO I am not rich
NO my parents do not pay for my trips
NO I do not get paid to travel
NO I do not have sponsorships for travel (I wish, if any of you are reading this, contact me!)
NO my man is not rich and he does not pay for everything
NO in summary to pretty much anything that implies that things are handed to me
I get labeled many things, mostly deriving from the term lucky. While I do feel super blessed and eternally grateful for the decisions I’ve made, I do not consider any of it to be pure luck. It should come to no surprise since everyone obviously lives with this idea that travel is expensive and only for the wealthy. The reality is, I made many changes in my life and gave up plenty of luxuries to sustain my lifestyle. There you go; my one and only secret to share with you.
The magic formula: Decide what makes you happy and make a change
Yes, the new $800 iPhone has a better camera and bigger screen, but a roundtrip flight to Spain could be half the price.
Yes, you can spend $50 on dinner for two at a restaurant one night, or you can spend the same amount for 1 weeks’ worth of food at the grocery store.
Yes, that $50 sweater and $150+ shoes are cute, but I just went snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains… so who’s the real winner? The reality is that that $200 could’ve very well paid for your flight.
I know I sound like a brat, but the truth is that every little decision in life should be revolved around the direction you want your life to take. It makes no sense that you want to travel but then go out and spend your money on stupid unnecessary crap.
To give you a direct insight to my life: I work at an office making average money for a 23 year old. When I decided I wanted to travel, I gave up many things and decided to live very frugally. I rarely go to restaurants, I never go out drinking, I bring lunch to work, I don’t go shopping unless absolutely necessary, I do my own nails at home, I get my eyebrows done once a month, I live at home with my parents and split cost of rent, I make my own coffee at home, I use my phones hotspot instead of paying for internet, I don’t have cable at home (hello Netflix). Whenever I am going to buy something, I always ask myself if I really need it or if it’s an impulse purchase. Friday nights and weekends are almost always spent at home or out doing things that will be free.
The trips themselves are usually planned around budgets and any coupons or special deals that can help save money. We usually opt to stay in an Airbnb with a kitchen and cook instead of eating out for every meal.
My life may look like it is one vacation after another but the truth is I completely changed my previous lifestyle in order to travel as often as possible. I work hard to follow my dream. The money doesn’t just fall into my lap, so luck has nothing to do with it. I minimalized the little things in life in order to maximize my experiences and see the world.
I do understand that not everyone is able to drop everything and just travel, so I do want to point out:
-I don’t have kids
-I don’t have a mortgage to pay
-I have no loans
-I have no debt
-I have no responsibility to anyone but myself
While I do have bills that I cannot get rid of (like car payment, rent, phone, etc) my money is mostly mine and I am able to budget as much as possible. I am also sooooo blessed to have a fiancé that shares the same passion for adventure as I do, win win
And most important of all, I live by one rule: YOLO. When in doubt, fuck it, and just go.
I’d love to hear from you and how you budget your travels, or any ideas on how else to save money. Comment below!
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