One of the questions I get asked quite often is how I afford to travel? A great question, if I may add. Most of us want to travel and we could use tips on how to make travel money and how to travel cheap. It’s human nature to want to replicate what someone has achieved and try and achieve the same goals. So here we go; I do have a 9 to 5 job; this is my major source of income at the moment and it is from this income that I afford to travel. How, then do I afford to travel to these “expensive destinations“.
- Firstly, I have a travel kitty set up, and out of my monthly salary, there is a portion of it that’s dedicated solely to travel. I enjoy travel and hence, it’s big enough of a priority to warrant a spot on my monthly budget. Setting aside this money is the first and major step.
- Secondly, every year I decide which locations I would love to travel to. I usually come up with a list of around 6 destinations. Sometimes, I have been fortunate to travel to all the destinations I envisioned and sometimes my plans might be derailed by the unpredicability of life.
- Thirdly, having set aside money and knowing my travel destinations. I start researching on the low seasons of these destinations. Low season has a lot of implications on cost especially for a budget traveler like myself. Low season guarantees low air fares and low accommodation rates. A huge portion of travel cost goes to these two expenses.
- Fourthly, I scour the internet for deals. The internet is an amazing place if you know how to use it. Ever since I discovered kayak.com, booking.com, airbnb and google flights I have saved a lot of money, because these sites do the work for you and give you the most affordable deals on the internet. Forget about travel agencies and their so called cheap rates, these websites are your friends. They even give you alternatives in terms of adjusting your departure and arrival dates to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
- Use loyalty programs they will save you a great deal of money if you know how to use them properly. Redeeming miles can get you money off your ticket or an upgrade; depending on which one you choose.
There are however, a few downsides of travelling in low season.
- Low seasons tend to be gripped by poor weather. This can be quite exciting and a nuisance all at the same time. It maybe adventurous if your traveling to a destination with snow. Low seasons tend to be too cold and travel unfriendly. The same applies to raining and generally dull or unfavourable weather. It impedes movement and hence, rendering exploring an uphill task. It gets too cold to walk for long periods of time, and as we know walking is one of the best ways to explore and soak up the vibes of a destination.
- You need to have the correct clothing and shoes. Winter wardrobe is expensive, whilst an amazing investment due to its durability it can also mean having to part with a few coins to get the correct gear.
- Days are short and hence less day light to take those amazing pictures.
- Research has shown that people are less energetic in winter times and there is a general feeling of dullness that is attributable to the weather. Hence, you must be prepared to keep your spirits up in the best possible way.
While there are a few disadvantage of travel during low seasons, it is one of my favourite times to travel especially on a budget. Personally, the pros out weigh the cons for me, largely because I do enjoy cold and raining weather. I think it is just refreshing and magical. The feeling of cold air on my cheeks brings me so much joy.
I hope you find these tips helpful. It is universal law that if you want something so bad, work for it and make it your priority; the universe will always readjust itself to help you achieve your goals.
Remember SAVE, DECLARE, RESEARCH, TRAVEL…..REPEAT!
As always may adventure be with you.