Art of Saving for Travel

broken penny on newspaper split in half
(Photo courtesy of --> http://www.flickr.com/photos/yersinia)
broken penny on newspaper split in half

(Photo courtesy of –> http://www.flickr.com/photos/yersinia)

“How can you possibly afford to travel indefinitely for months/years on end? Did you win the lottery or something?”   The notion that longterm travel is a luxurious and unobtainable reality is still quite a pervasive myth; however, the reality is that longterm travel is something that is truly achievable with enough preparation, discipline and dedication.  The following are six suggestions to turn your travel checklist into a reality.

Simplify your life circle sign symbol

(photo courtesy of –> http://www.flickr.com/photos/stchou)

SIMPLICITY

Mastering the art of simplifying your life is a task that can benefit just about anyone regardless of whether one is saving for travel or not.  When one desires less material possessions one spends less time acquiring, hoarding, & polishing.  An uncluttered life actually opens up more disposable time to pursue hobbies and other activities.  Most importantly, spending less allows one to increase his/her savings in the process. The concept is paradoxical but essentially quite simple: Less = More

Lady performing tai chi near a main beach in Nha Trang, Vietnam

FRUGAL EXERCISE

Instead of joining a gym, yoga class or sports team (with all of the expensive membership fees) consider investing in a yoga mat, dumbbell set & a decent pair of running shoes or in-line skates. Learn to exercise daily at home or outside with inexpensive equipment. The last time I checked a jog at a nearby park didn’t involve any exorbitant fees for oxygen 😛 My personal favorite is doing stretches & yoga poses while watching Youtube videos on photography & travel as opposed to just parking my ass on the couch or computer chair.

Bicycle near the crashing waves - Nha Trang, Vietnam

Photo courtesy of Nomadic Samuel

INEXPENSIVE TRANSPORTATION

The majority of individuals who own vehicles DO NOT need them – especially if you live in an urban center with decent public transportation. Consider moving closer to your workplace & enjoy the health benefits of walking to most places you frequent or carpooling to work. The amount of gravy you save by not having a vehicle is astounding when you consider how much it costs to purchase, maintain, insure and power the behemoth.

SELF LEARNING

Learning a new hobby is a great way to enrich/enhance your life. Moreover, learning a new subject on your own is a fantastic way to acquire a new skill without spending money in the process. Internet resources provide tutorials on just about any skill that one might want to acquire. Personally, I’ve spent recent years focusing in on photography, Asian languages, & psychology. I’m learning all of these skills without spending money on courses, lectures & books. It’s all done online for free.

Distinct local Chinese man with a beret smoking in Dali, China

Photo courtesy of Nomadic Samuel

ELIMINATE/REDUCE BAD HABITS

Gambling, drinking, smoking, & impulsive shopping are surefire ways to watch your hard earned money go straight down the tube while preserving you in shackles as a perpetual wage slave. Consider eliminating or reducing any of these practices while saving for your next adventure. If you’re traveling in developing countries you can resume drinking & smoking for a fraction of what it would cost you back home.

CHEAPSKATE SOCIALIZING

Instead of going out to paint the town red every other night or weekend consider pursuing social activities that are based at home or outdoors as opposed to at finer establishments. If you meet friends at restaurants, bars and nightclubs more often than not it’s really difficult not to spend a small fortune. Consider encouraging social ties based on hobbies, dinner parties and outdoor activities such as hiking where dumping coinage is not the central theme.

Asian themed piggy bank on table

(Photo courtesy of –> http://www.flickr.com/photos/naturalkinds/)

CONCLUSION

Saving for the trip of a lifetime doesn’t have to be painful or cumbersome. In fact, it gives you the perfect opportunity to simplify your life, kick bad habits, learn new skills/hobbies and become a more disciplined individual in the process. ALL of this EVEN before you start your BIG ADVENTURE!!!

Best wishes,

Samuel Jeffery

 

14 Comments

  • Grace says:

    When I finished to read the first advice i told my self: what a great idea, for sure this is the best suggestion; when I finished to read the second advice, I told my self: no, this one is the best :D; so it was when I finished to read the third suggestion, the fourth, etc.
    Great advices, Samuel! … and very motivating!
    I would also add that we should eat at home, try to cook in our kitchens.

  • Elizabeth says:

    These are great tips! It can be fun to try and save money but sucks to feel like your missing out on stuff… these are great ways to do something with your life as well, I am sick of wasting my whole weekend being hungover, I am bettering myself and my bank account!

  • shane says:

    Wise words Samuel, There is one tip you forgot, but its something you have to think about long before your trip…and is not a choice everyone wants to make.

    Dont have kids:)

    Live life now!

    • LOL! Shane, I’m still flocking solo although I know a few people who are on the move with small children. I honestly don’t know how they do it! I can barely take care of myself most of the time 😛

  • A huge one for me is not eating out. Not only is cooking fun, but it is so much cheaper (and often tastier!) to buy groceries and use your kitchen.

    I really think this also applies to when you’re travelling. Sure, you still should eat out to experience the local cuisine, but lots of money can be saved by packing lunch or cooking your own dinner.

  • Hanna says:

    Nice advice on saving for the Big Adventure type of travel.

    It would be nice to hear (see on the blog) your detailed story one day on how you started, where have you been and what you have done…:)

    • Thanks Hanna, I’m looking forward to getting into more details about my life abroad as time goes by. I’ve certainly got a lot of stories to tell having done it for 6 consecutive years.

  • Nice article. It is all about choices and priorities.

    • Indeed, that’s very well put. When I think about buying something I often remind myself that it’s eating away at my travel funds & that often makes me think twice about it.

  • Charu says:

    I agree. It doesn’t have to be every month or even every quarter. Discipline and the will to move makes things happen. Good list!

  • Jacinta says:

    Excellent advice !!!

    • krivo2525 says:

      Thanks Jacinta! 🙂 I think that ´motivation´ is the greatest factor in putting it all together. If one has a burning desire to travel longterm they can make it happen with a bit of effort, sacrifice and discipline 🙂

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