I get asked how I manage to travel so much, or people mention how they wish they could travel more. I understand that in some circumstances it is just not possible to pick up and leave for an extended period but for the most part where there is a will…you will find the way. I do not think of myself as a hardcore-budget backpacking-travel expert, I am your average office worker on a modest income taking 1-3 trips outside my province a year. I cannot do long-term travel or live abroad as I have a chronic condition (Crohn’s Disease) that requires IV medication in a timely manner which I talk about here. I DO love travelling and have a bucket list that I am determined to make some progress on in the next few years
So now the how…take a look around you. Where is your money going? Bigger house? Newer car? Weekly dinner dates? If you want to travel more, you need to make it a priority. If you are not going to go long-term and will be coming back home in between trips like I do, you need to change your lifestyle while you are home. You need to make your life and your choices about your top priority, and is that top priority travel? If not, you have some work to do.
When I traveled South America I lived at home and saved money by working my butt off at a few jobs and went into debt for it (DO NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR TRAVEL) because of the debt it has taken me over three years to be in a position to do another long-term trip (more than a couple of weeks) it has taken a year of saving, scrimping, and planning while the other two years were getting out of debit in between smaller trips. I have never lived on my own, either with family or with roommates which keep my living costs down.I drove the same car for over 7 years and recently bought a new one (Honda Fit) which is super great on gas and on the lower end of the price range for new vehicles. I camp on crown land and stay in hostels when visiting the Canadian Rockies. You either need to cut your daily costs and/or increase your income and set it aside for your trips. If you want to make travel happen faster that means more cuts and all extra going into the bank…and not coming back out. Our society leads many people to keep up with the Joneses and really why do we need more stuff? If you want happiness and lifelong memories, leave the stuff at the store and start putting your money into experiences not things.
Within the next week I will be posting a break down of my pre-trip expenses and what my budget goals are for the upcoming trip to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. So stay tuned…