I often get asked, how do you travel so much? And how can you afford it? The answer is easy! I share with you 6 easy tips on how everyone can finance their travels.
There really is no big secret and all points are really easy to implement.
Tip 1: Track your expenses
Choose 1-2 months to track every single expense, be it grocery shopping, going out to eat, clubbing, subscriptions, accommodations etc. Just write down EVERYTHING for a month or two! You will be surprised.
On tip from my side is to write it down the moment you spend money, don’t wait until the evening, because you will forget it for sure.
The best is to have an app where you write it all down since most of the time the smartphone is always with you. I just used the notes app in my phone, but there are even more professional once that also split it for you into categories, e.g. Expensify or Moneyboard.
Tip 2: Cut unnecessary expenses
Once you’ve tracked your expenses, try to categorise them and find out on what you spend most of your money. Then set priorities on what you really need and where you can cut expenses.
I realised that I spent almost 600€ in food because I was so lazy to cook and ordered almost every second day or ate in the canteen at work.
While those are small amounts for the day, e.g. 5€ meal in the canteen, it quickly adds up and you don’t even realise it because it is a habit.
I quickly started preparing my food and saved tons of money. I spend around 200€ for food now per months. Huge improvement.
More examples are:
- Buying coffee in coffeeshops on a daily basis.
- Buying too many drinks in clubs.
- Spending money on unnecessary clothes you don’t even need.
Possible solutions are:
- Try to prepare your coffee at home and fill it into a cup to go.
- Pre-drink at your place and spend less inside the club or just take 10-20€ cash with you.
- Rethink if you really need all subscriptions or if you can cut somewhere by sharing subscriptions like Spotify or Netflix when you choose a family package.
- When buying new clothes, try to sell old ones, so you basically buy new clothes with the money from the old ones that you sold.
Tip 3: Sell unnecessary things
In regards to Tip 2 “cutting unnecessary expenses”, it is always a good idea to make some extra cash on the side. How so?
Get rid of all the stuff that is stored in your cupboards/wardrobes and you didn’t use in a long time. This can be clothes, electronic devices or decorative things.
I often went to flew markets or car boot sales and often couldn’t believe how much I actually sold. You will be surprised how many people are out there who actually need the „crap“ you want to get rid off.
You will also be shocked about how much cash you can actually make from those things that just lay around in your house. I made around 800€. Crazy!
Another more convenient alternative than flew markets or car boot sales is to sell your stuff online. There are many platforms like Facebook Groups or other local sites like Ebay Kleinanzeigen (Germany), Dealz and Adverts (Ireland), or Marktplaats (Holland), just to name a few.
Tip 4: Make use of your network
If you happen to have a lot of local/international friends, use this relationship to your advantage. Ask if they want to be your local “tour guide”, if they have cheap budget tips on where to eat out or stay, or even ask to spend a few nights at their house (if there is space).
It is not only a great way to catch up with them, but also see the place you are visiting from a different perspective than if you only run from one tourist spot to another.
Don’t feel guilty for sleeping at their house. They know that you would return the favour if they are in your city, plus if they didn’t want you there, they wouldn’t have offered you to stay. I mean that’s what friends are for, right?
Tip 5: Travel with Less
When you travel within Europe or go on short trips, like weekend getaways, you can get cheap deals with low-cost airlines like Ryanair, Vueling, Aer Lingus, German Wings, WOW, TAP and many more. Find out why I love these low-budget airlines so much while others hate them.
One point to consider is luggage as it can either safe or cost you a lot of money. Checking in a big bag can range from 30-80€ depending on the flight and airline.
You might consider taking less and fly with hand luggage only. In most cases you can take it for free, and it is actually all you need to really take.
Tip 6: Rent out your house, apartment or room while abroad
In order to save money on accommodation, you might consider one of the three options below:
- Subrent for a certain period of time, e.g. 1-12 months, depending on how long you plan on being away. I know this option might not always work, due to landlord/contract rules, but it is worth having a talk with your landlord about your plans. You might be surprised at what is possible. Usually, as long as the landlords don’t have more work or make any loss, they are up for it.
- House Exchange – means you switch houses for a period of time with another person. Each of you will continue paying their normal rent, but you don’t pay the extra costs of accommodation when abroad. This also works for short term getaways.
- Housesitting – means you take care of someone else’s house while they are gone. Basically, you get free accommodation in return for certain responsibilites like taking care of their pets. This also works for short term getaways.
„The key to financing your (long-term) travels is to be smart with your money, not to have loads of it“
Those were my 6 easy tips on how everyone can finance their travels. Of course, there are many more ways to get money, but at least you have some ideas now.
Of course, it all depends on your discipline, motivation, wishes and priorities. One way or another, if you really want to go travel, you will have no problems financing your dream.