Traveling is one of the greatest adventures life has to offer. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most expensive. Many people feel they have to limit their travel because of their budgets or feel they simply cannot travel at all. You shouldn’t feel closed off from discovering the world and all its unique experiences because of your finances. With just a little creative budgeting, you can see the world without breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Start Saving Regularly
Set aside as much as you can so you can save the money you need to travel. Create a travel fund separate from your savings account that you never touch. Decide on an amount you want to use for traveling and determine how much extra you can set aside each pay period. While you are building your travel fund, you can start planning where and when to go.
Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
When traveling internationally, be sure you update your wireless plan so you don’t come home to surprisingly high roaming charges; this can also happen when you travel within the United States, as well. So, consider using a prepaid plan for your travels, one that provides the speed and data you need to stay connected during your adventure. Other charges and fees can add up, too — such as the baggage check fees many airlines tend to charge. So, travel light with only a carry on or choose an airline that allows one free checked bag.
Use Groupons and Deal Websites
Get to know a new city and culture the inexpensive way by purchasing special deals. For example, you can save money on restaurants, bars, outdoor activities, museum admission, and cultural experiences when you use Groupon. This way, you can explore and adventure in new and exciting ways at a fraction of the cost.
Tap Into Your Network
If you have friends and family all over the world, reach out to them about your travel plans. They may invite you to stay with them, which can greatly reduce your vacation costs. If they don’t offer a bed or a couch, ask them if they know anyone who owns short-term rentals who may give you a friend or family discount. They may also offer to show you around town, which can be a great way to get the local experience without paying for a costly tour guide.
Stay at Places Within Walking Distance
Save on gas and rental car prices by choosing hotels, hostels or Airbnbs that are within walking distance to the sights you long to see the most. It’s also a good idea to make sure a grocery store, restaurant, and other activities are nearby, as well. If that can’t be accomplished, try to find a spot near a public transportation stop. While a rental car can cost you upwards of $50 a day, you can use the bus or the subway for less than $5.
Double Dip on Professional Development
Will your employer pay for you to attend conferences or other professional development activities? Pick a conference in a city you want to explore so you can both grow in your career and explore a new culture. Many companies will pay for your travel, hotel. and conference fees. You can attend the conference during the day and go out on the town at night. If that’s not enough, try to add a few days on the end or at the beginning; you will likely have to pay those hotel fees yourself, but even a few days is better than a whole week.
Traveling opens doors not just to the world, but also to your body, mind, and heart. The more experiences you have, the broader your perspective on life will be. You can also expand your ability to empathize with people different from you and see the world through their eyes. That’s why it’s important to not let finances keep you from your adventures. It might take a little extra thought and attention to detail, but you deserve a getaway that doesn’t break the bank.
Guest Blog by Jesse Clark at Soulful-Travel.com