The prospect of traveling the world, particularly with your friends, or on our own as an intrepid solo traveler, is incredibly exciting, yet it can be hard work to afford your first major adventure. With such a significant expense, you’ll obviously want to do all you can to have a great time and avoid disappointment – but the first step is working out how to afford it.
This article, therefore, looks at three ways to make your dream of traveling the world become a reality.
In addition to courage, the most important resource you’re going to need in your pursuit of a phenomenal travel adventure is having some money behind you. Some people are lucky enough to have parents who are happy to fund their children’s gap year – but often, this can take away from the value of the experience. See, if you are having to work your guts off then when you sit back on that long-haul flight as the plane takes off and you embark on your very own adventure; it feels more magical because you earned it. You put your own blood, sweat and tears into making this happen – and that sense of pride will be worth all the hard work.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to start saving for your trip. Again, there are two approaches here; the first is that you can start saving the money you currently spend (e.g. if you get an allowance from your parents you can spend less on day-to-day living and siphon some of that cash into a savings account).
INCREASE YOUR INCOME
The second approach is to increase your income; which would appear to be a much more enriching strategy. Whether you do odd jobs such as mow lawns, get a small part-time job such as a paper round, or apply for a full-time position at a large company… this will propel you into a position of feeling more personal power and independence.
GET A LOAN
The third approach, which may not seem such as a sensible idea in the long-term, but is certainly the easiest path of least resistance, is to look into getting an unsecured loan that will pay for the trip in advance, and then you can spread payments out over the next few years at an affordable monthly amount.
FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
If you’re looking to travel internationally, then flights can take a large chunk of money from your travel fund. However, if you can be flexible with your flight dates then searching for cheap flights via comparison engines such as skyscanner or momondo that compare hundreds of flights by almost every airline in the world to present you with the cheapest deals for the dates and destinations you are looking for can save you a heap of cash.
Another factor to consider is being flexible with your departure and arrival airports; as an example 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 is 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.
In summary, the more flexible you can be in terms of time and location, the cheaper the flights you will be able to find.
WORK FOR YOUR ACCOMMODATION
A further huge expense when traveling is accommodation; even in countries known for being cheap such as Thailand, a basic room can be around $10 a day – which adds up to $300 per month. There are sites such as workaway that essentially allow you to volunteer for four hours a day, and in return, you get free accommodation and food. This is not just a cheap way to travel, it’s a great way to be part of a community and make a difference whilst traveling – particularly if you were to be volunteering at something like an orphanage or animal sanctuary.
In summary, the key point is to save up some money and then keep your costs as low as possible – particularly in terms of the big expenses of flights and accommodation; as this way, you’ll have a more disposable income to enjoy your experience.