I get a lot of emails on a weekly basis and a lot of them come from similar-minded folk, asking how it’s possible I’m able to afford my vagabond lifestyle. While maintaining this blog certainly helps, the answer has more to do with a little bit of luck and a lot to do with being financially savvy. But it wasn’t easy to get here.
Developing a travel budget takes some help when you’re just starting out. While I’ve refined my own strategy over years of traveling, I’ll tell you this right now: Never go it alone – and the Internet doesn’t count as a financial advisor. Yet the internet can be a great source of resources when it comes to collecting travel points. One of the easiest way to do this is by joining great rewards system offered by select companies. For example, can save money on collecting chase sapphire rewards and then exchange these reward points to free nights and other benefits as airline ticket discounts at appropriate airline companies like United, Southwest, British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Air, Virgin Atlantic, and Air France/KLM.
That’s right. Although I’m happy to share some my sage wisdom on travel budgeting, these tips also come from a guy who nearly failed economics in college. In fact, the only reason I passed that course was with the guidance of my friend Luke – who in turn, was extensively coached by a tutor.
See how this works now? My first tip to you is simply be sure to ask for help from someone who handles finances for a living – or just has a lot of personal experience. Before you splurge on that ticket to Spain, find out how much you’re really paying – beyond dollars and cents – from someone who knows.
The next tip is pretty obvious: save ahead of time. I know it sounds crazy, but a lot of nomads out there fall in love with the ‘Into the Wild’ itinerary – just dropping everything at once. If you never read the book or saw the movie, you’ll know this doesn’t exactly end well for the protagonist. A foreign destination is no place for the romanticism of, “I’ll fly by the seat of my pants!”, it just makes you look like an idiot tourist.
Your lodging doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Your main objective as a worldwide traveler should be to pack it all in within a short frame of time – you can’t accomplish this from a luxury hotel room. Sure, the sheets might be made from Egyptian cotton, but the real adventure awaits you outside those four walls.
You really just need a place to rest your head each night. Think back to your college days, even those early days in elementary school – a time when your sleeping conditions didn’t matter one bit if you were having a great time. Might sound ironic to sacrifice comfort on the road as a weary traveler, but this will prove invaluable to your budget.
I’ll be posting more budget tips in a future post but that should be enough to get the ball rolling for some of you who’ve been asking. Thanks again for checking out the site and keep the comments coming!