These are our ten tips on how to afford to travel the world. The most common reaction we received when telling others about our bonkers plan to quit our day jobs to live our day dream was
“I wish I could afford to travel.”
If you have ever asked yourself the question, how can I afford to travel, then this post will share the few (of many) ways we raised our adventure fund, in the hope it can prove you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a plane ticket and that’s pretty damn close.
1. YOU COULD BE SITTING ON A GOLD MINE
That limited-edition trainers you’re never actually going to wear – Download Depop. The signed drumsticks from that emo band you loved in high school – eBay it. That gift voucher you were given for a shop you’d never go to – chuck it on Zeek. A couple of hours spent clearing out your bedroom could earn you your first flight, not to mention it’s not going to fit in your backpack anyway.
2. YOU CAN STAY ANYWHERE FOR FREE
Okay, slight lie you can stay in 170 countries in the world for free using Workaway. We put together a full Workaway Review explaining our amazing trips, and include our best advice & tips for you to also get involved! Experiences include Yoga retreats in Hawaii, Olive farms in Greece, surf schools in Bali and so much more! The majority also include 3 meals a day as well as a place to sleep. Two of our host families also gave us a car to use during our trip! Free food and free accommodation – remind us again why you can’t afford to travel?
3. SKYSCANNER WILL BECOME YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND
You know you want to see the world, you know your bank account doesn’t. However, did you know Skyscanner has a search option for “everywhere”. This fabulous option will now showcase the cheapest destinations from your nearest airport. Also, never search with specific dates – if time is an issue use the +/- 3 days tool. Ideally, search “whole month” this will show the price of the flight you want every day that month for you to choose the cheapest date. With Australia for example, the difference of a flying a day earlier could save enough to pay for your Visa. Have a look here to find your next flight.
4. SCRAP THE SUBSCRIPTIONS
If looking at your bank balance gives you that same fuzzy feeling as your Monday morning alarm, chances are you don’t do it that often. A few tweaks and cancellations to current subscriptions could make a massive difference to your savings. Cancel the gym membership – dog walks with friends or YouTube routines in your bedroom are far more fun not to mention free. Stop paying for Netflix (if you’re one of the few that do) and start sharing an account like the rest of us. Take ten minutes to seriously asses your expenses, from small payments such as Spotify to Cinema cards to the big ones such as phone bills and television packages – by cancelling or questioning suppliers this could save you silly amounts of money in just a couple of months.
5. DOUBLE YOUR JOB TITLE – DOUBLE YOUR INCOME
Work, save, travel, repeat. . . that’s our mantra! Have you considered a second job? Before the chorus of “well, duh”, it’s surprising how much people rely on the same salary every month, spend the same money every month and hope that majestically it results in enough spare pennies to afford to travel the world. Swap the Netflix binges for a few bar shifts and the extra income soon adds up. Jobs such as baristas or waiters often include tips which involve a beautiful bonus that can seriously boost your adventure fund.
6. LEARN TO COOK, THEN LEARN TO LIKE YOUR COOKING
How often have you sat in a restaurant, browsed the menu, then ordered pasta? PASTA? Not only can you (hopefully) cook pasta but you paid at least £5 for it, when a bag of pasta is circa 99p. It’s a tad shameful just how much we spend on food which we can actually make from the comfort of our own home. Or, how often have you been out for dinner and there’s that one person that had those few extra glasses of wine or opted for the steak who always insists “we split the bill”. Goodbye yet more money down the drain.
Learning to cook has never been easier, try Pinterest or the hundreds of apps on offer. Alternatively, take a peek at our Cooking in a Campervan series. We share quick, easy, budget meals (in a campervan) that can easily be done at home too! Hosting friends (and yourself) at home saves a crazy amount of money on eating out. It also saved us money on buying gifts prior to our trip as nothing says Happy Birthday/Thank you/Happy Mother’s Day like homemade lasagne.
7. STOP THE HANGOVERS
Calm down. This is in no way to suggest you stop drinking. Believe me, nothing like a large Pinot Grigio helps the shock of travel insurance prices. Pre-drinks, a club without cover charge and not buying Tequila for ten of your new BFFs you just met in the toilets (lesson learned) does help prevent throwing all of your money down the drain every time you hear the word “weekend”. As does taking out only cash (Contactless is the enemy) and opting for the night bus instead of a taxi. However, the most expensive part about a night out is not always the alcohol or the outfits – it’s the hangovers. Money and calories go completely out the window on a Sunday afternoon when the cocktail of prosecco fear and Snapchat shame leaves a very bitter taste in your mouth. A taste only cured by a Dominoes, Ben & Jerrys and two litres of Fanta – Goodbye yet another £30. That’s goodbye £120 month – even before the cost of the Tequila.
8. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
9. BUS YOUR WAY AROUND THE WORLD
Although Skyscanner is now your best friend and flights to Poland can cost less than a tenner, with flights there are a few hidden expenses where a good old coach trip will always prevail. Firstly, your flight may cost the same as a pint, but airports are never in the city centre – bus stops are. Unless you love a room view of an airport runway, chances are your accommodation is in the centre. Therefore, transfer costs need to be considered as often these can be triple (if not more) the cost of your cheap as chips flight.
Using sites such as Bus Radar will compare deals around the globe of the cheapest and quickest bus routes and on not just any old busses. The majority have free WiFi, leather *reclining* seats, air conditioning, TV screens and allow alcohol on-board (because sometimes the only thing getting you through a ten hour bus journey is a bottle of Lidl’s finest Merlot). So, if queues in security, restrictions on weight and turbulence is not your thing but paying £3.50 to travel from Austria to Slovakia is, then your travels may be sooner than you think. We used Flixbus for our travels around Europe, more info about them can be found here.