So, you’ve finally got the opportunity to go travelling? Maybe an unexpected event such as a divorced or unemployment has left you at a crossroads in life and you need some time to analyse your life? Why not go travelling and ‘find yourself’ abroad? If the thought of high costs is putting you off, consider some of our tips below. It might be a lot more affordable than you think!
Who says that spreadsheets are only for accountants? Create a simple spreadsheet to track your income and expenses, to find out what you can afford to spend on your travels, and to help you save each month. Following the budget makes you feel good as you prioritise spending around what is truly important to you in life, and reflect on where your money has been wasted in the past.
Cut out bad habits.
There might never be a better time to quit smoking, than realising what else you could be spending your hard-earned cash on. Every time you choose not to buy a packet of cigarettes, make a note of how much you are saving (or add it to your spreadsheet), and when you look back on how you have re-directed your spending towards a beneficial cause, you will impress yourself. Other habits to cut back on (now that you have a worthwhile reason), include drinking (especially in bars), the cinema (an online movie package is cheaper and can easily fit into your budget), and eating in restaurants. Plan ahead and cook from home for a much cheaper alternative. If necessary, question if you are really making the most out of that expensive gym membership.
Do you really need a million free texts a month and unlimited calls? Check your mobile package and consider downgrading. Many companies have SIM only deals which could save you hundreds of pounds a year, so if you are happy with your handset, consider this as an alternative. Also check your gas, electricity and water bills. When was the last time you changed supplier? You could be losing out on the chance to make savings.
It might be easier to drive to work or to the shops, but have you thought how much better for your pocket, your physical health and the environment it would be to walk? If, when you are travelling, you are planning on walking around new cities and beaches, it would be so much more comfortable for you to do so in a fit state. Start practicing now by walking to places to save cash and get into a nice, healthy habit. It is also worth considering how you could save money by conserving heat, water, gas and electricity when around the house.
Ok, that PS4 or X-box might be fun to play on, but will you miss it when you take off on your travels? Could you be doing something more productive with your time (like researching the countries you will be exploring)? If you have a mountain of games and the latest consoles, it might be time to trade them for some money. You might even have decided that you enjoy walking so much that you no longer need your car? Think of the money you would save on car insurance, tax, not to mention the income from the vehicle itself? It has never been easier to sell stuff online – online car boots, for example, provide a perfect opportunity.
From the moment that you book your flights, it can seem like a bad financial decision! However, through consideration of some of the above factors, we believe that it can be affordable to a wide range of people.