At this time of year, we all start thinking about our dreams and plans for the year ahead, and many of those thoughts will involve an aspect of travel. We tend to all have a travel bucket list, yet it’s not always easy to find the money or time required to tick off all the items.
We all have massive dreams when it comes to travelling, yet the fuel required to fund your travel plans is what often holds people back from achieving their dreams and visiting the places they long to visit.
THE FUEL YOU’RE GOING TO NEED
In this sense, money can be related to the analogy of jet fuel, as without the fuel of ‘money’ you won’t be able to travel very far; just like how a plane needs jet fuel to get to where it‘s going. The consequences of not having enough fuel, when travelling, can be disastrous… or at the very least, it will make for a somewhat bumpy ride.
Yet, at the same time, due to the fact most people earn money via trading their time for money, if you are spending all your time working then you don’t have enough time to travel. Factor in the fact many people that want to travel are also studying, and it can seem like a vicious cycle where there’s a vital lack of the two most important resources; time and money.
Now, the good news is that today, with the idea of the “freedom lifestyle” and “remote working lifestyle” where you can work online, and study online, in fact you can even do an FNP degree online – there’s the opportunity to travel in a more sustainable and long term way… where just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean you can’t study or work at the same time.
This is opening the doors for many people to travel more, and this year seems to be set for the remote working lifestyle and travel aspects that tend to be attached to that to really expand.
So, the first step, really is to get yourself in a position to have more time and more money by working remotely – perhaps as a freelancer, for instance, where you are earning money in your local currency yet living in a cheaper destination… it’s the ideal world, as this way you can live like a king in some countries on the same rate of pay back home, would have you struggling to make ends meet.
3 WAYS TO FUEL YOUR TRAVEL ADVENTURES
- EARN MONEY FROM YOUR TRAVELS
There are many other ways you can make money from, such as setting up a travel blog and monetize it via advertising or affiliate marketing. You could even sell photographs from your travels, or videos, to stock sites like shutterstock.
- WORK FOR YOUR ACCOMMODATION
Even in countries known for being cheap such as Malaysia, a basic room can add up.
There is the option to rent a property for a few months, which can work out a LOT cheaper than staying in hotels or even hostels. Then, if you’re particularly enterprising you could always rent a three bedroom house in a convenient area which you sublet via AirBnB to other travellers.
The other thing to consider, if you’re really on a budget, are sites such as workaway that essentially allow you to volunteer for four hours a day, and in return you get free accomodation and food. This is not just a cheap way to travel, it’s a great way to be part of a community and meet other people whilst making a difference – particularly if you were to be volunteering somewhere like an orphanage or animal sanctuary.
- SAVE BEFORE YOU GO
In terms of saving for travel, a particularly effective way to do this, is to open a separate bank account and set up an automatic direct debit where up to 25% of your income that gets paid into your usual account gets transferred into your savings account.
This way, you don’t need to worry about saving, it happens automatically… and if you are saving, say $500 per month, within six months that’s $3,000 which is a decent chunk of money to invest in your travel adventure.
3 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR TRAVELS
If you’re travelling solo, in particular, it can feel tough to save money when travelling, as your travel budget can be stretched much further than when travelling as a group or with another person.
For example, staying in a hotel stops being the full room rate and instantly becomes half price if you’re travelling as a couple or with a friend – which means, if you are travelling solo, and don’t want to meet a travel buddy on the road you might find yourself forking out a lot more cash on hotels or staying in hostels, which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, particularly if you are working on the road – as they aren’t always the safest of places with regard to laptops and devices.
Unfortunately, a lot of the theft that takes place when travelling is committed by other travellers rather than locals.
Therefore, it’s particularly pertinent to look at ways to make your travel budget extend further when travelling solo, though it pays to look into this if you’re travelling with a friend or partner too.
- TRAVEL OFF SEASON
One of the largest benefits of being a solo traveller is that you get to work around your schedule, meaning, you don’t have to consider the time off your partner has and conform to their restrictions, or only travel in the school holidays.
This flexibility is your best friend when it comes to saving money, as travelling out of season has to be the number one tip for squeezing the most from your travel budget. When you consider how much more expensive popular holiday destinations become in peak season, versus the shoulder season or off season, you can quickly see how much money you can save.
- FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
Flights can take a huge chunk of cash from your travel fund. The best advice is to search for cheap flights via comparison engines such as www.skyscanner.net or www.momondo.com as these compare hundreds of flights by most airlines in the world to present you with the cheapest deals for the dates and destinations you are looking for.
Try to be as flexible with your departure and arrival locations as possible. If you were flying into London (England) – it might be worth searching for flights to the whole of the UK, as, let’s say there’s a flight to Manchester (just two hours from London by train) which is $200 cheaper – it would make financial sense to book that flight and travel to London on a cheap train ticket.
Another thing to consider, if you were travelling from the US to Ireland, as an example, is that it might be a lot cheaper to book a flight to London and then book a separate flight with a low cost carrier such as Ryanair (fares from London to Dublin can be as low as $5 if booked in advance).
In essence the more flexible you are the cheaper the flights you will be able to find.
- BOOK THINGS IN ADVANCE
Hotels and airfares both tend to go up in price the closer to the travel date you get. Of course, the idea of turning up to a destination and negotiating with local hotel owners can be appealing in countries such as India or Asia where bartering is common practice, yet, in most countries the cheapest rooms available are found online – and therefore, booking in advance, can be a lot cheaper as well as a lot more convenient. This is the same for booking days out while travelling. It's important to check out websites like Huesofdelahaye.com in advance, so you know what you plan to look at while enjoying your mini-break
You would think that hotels and airlines would drop the price of their seats and beds, the day of travel, on the basis an empty seat or room is lost revenue and it’s better to get something than nothing – yet, that doesn’t tend to be the case. The reason for this is that travel companies feel they are able to squeeze those that need a particular ticket or place to stay, as they are likely to be in a state of desperation.
Therefore, booking things well in advance makes sense if you are trying to squeeze the most from your budget as a solo traveller. It also makes life a little less stressful and uncertain.
- FIND THE BEST HOTEL DEALS
There are a number of apps that offer same-day cheap deals on luxury hotels such as HotelTonight where you can often find five star hotels at a fraction of the cost (often up to a 60% reduction) meaning you can grab yourself a bargain. The other thing to consider is using a website such as Travel Supermarket that in a similar way to SkyScanner will look at all the hotel inventory in a particularly destination, and all of the providers (e.g. Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com and so on) to find you the very best deal.