How to Afford Travel
Austin and I are frequently asked, how is that we can afford to travel. Here's a secret, travel is not for the rich. It might even be for the modest. Below we've compiled a list of things that we don't spend money on which is an example of some of the cuts you can make in order to travel. I used items that a lot of the people who ask this question often seem to have or buy. I then looked up the average price a consumer can expect to pay and compared the prices to a trip.
Not all of you spend money on the items below. So I will ask that you look at your current situation and create a money journal so that you can keep track of the things that you do spend cash on. Again, these are things that we live without so that travel isn't a strain on our wallet.
Designer Bags ($795)
You will never, I repeat, never see me with a Louis Vuitton, or a Gucci, Hermes not even Marc Jacobs bag. It won't happen. Time and time again I will consider the places I could visit instead of spending that money an expensive bag. My option? I love dollar totes, I'm a sucker for them. A lot of the time they are given to me from donating to special charities or organizations. This also helps because when they get dirty, which they inevitably will, it doesn't bother me.
Perfume and Cologne ($96)
Aside from so many of them being terrible for you (your skin is the largest organ of your body, be careful of what you put on it) they're so expensive. I completely understand the allure of wanting to smell good. If you think of what it actually does, it allows people to judge you instantly, the smell of a well-known expensive perfume immediately represents wealth. It's almost like you're bathing in money. Austin never wears cologne and never has, his deodorant keeps him fresh along with daily showers. I personally use natural, deodorant that has a fresh scent and some organic body sprays when I'm trying to be fancy.
Okay, here we are talking about those party brunches. Number one, we're approaching our 30s so this is totally not our scene. Also, since I'm approaching my 30s I'm completely aware of the price of eggs, orange juice, and champagne. In what world does that add up to $60+. Eating is supposed to be comfortable why are these women wearing sky high heels and booty shorts for an omelet and some music? End rant.
The average cost of cable right now is $103, I pay none of that. Austin didn't grow up with cable television so this was a no-brainer for him. I, on the other hands, did. To be fair, this was during the dial-up days. But now that the internet exists, along with Netflix and Hulu, I prevail. I know you're thinking, well, you pay for two subscriptions. But I don't I pay for one. My cousin and I share each other's accounts. Why should we pay for two separate accounts when we have the same taste in shows and movies? She pays for Netflix and I pay for Hulu. It's a perfect balance.
I believe I the price of makeup is way more than this but I decided to choose a happy medium. This doesn' even scratch the surface of what could be makeup brushes, cleansers, moisturizers etc. I've implemented a "one and done" rule. It has saved me so much money. I used to be so indecisive. Now when I buy something, I thug it out. I use it fully until it is all gone and only then can I purchase a replenishment whether it's the same or different is up to me.
Remember earlier when I said everything matters? Yeah, that includes those little forever21 dresses that are so cheap. Everything adds up, every scarf, accessory, pajama, bra etc. They all add up to a lot of money and probably your closet over flowing. Why are we so fixated on keeping up with trends? The only person that you have to impress is your damn self. Save your money, wear what's in your closet on your next big trip!
New Car ($479)
This goes for me, Amanda, I bought a used car a couple of years ago right out and now I only pay car insurance. I don't have a car payment and the fact that I own my car fully means that I don't have to max out my spending with Esurance. On average, the cost of a new car can run you $479, that's not even calculating gas. I personally don't care to have a brand new car, when it gets dented and scratched it's not a bother to me, which also keeps my stress down. Austin does have a new car and pays a lease but for him, the reliability of getting to photo jobs with all of his equipment makes it a pay off.
479 + 60 + 29 + 103 + 60 + 96 + 795 = 1,622
Now let me break down one of our bigger trips for you. For a 10 day trip to Thailand this is what your expenses would look like.
Roundtrip Flight to Thailand ($520)
Airbnb in Bangkok ($450)
Average Meal ($5)
Thai Massage ($5)
520 + 450 + (5x3x10) + 5 x 10 = 1,170
$1,622 - $1,170 = $452
That money can be used for transportation via TukTuks. Also chances are you're traveling with someone else so you can split transportation costs along with the Airbnb cost. Thai Massages are a must, we switched off between hour long body massages and hour long foot massages, so you're going to want to work those into your daily budget.
Again, look at your spending habits. Download a money management app and start living your wanderlust goals.