For those of you who are loving followers of Inspired She Lives, you know that I am a college student in love with the idea of experiencing every corner of the world. I have had many questions from friends asking me how I can afford to travel while I am paying for text books, rent and other expenses. Below are some personal rules I go by when considering my next adventure.
1. Have an Income: This seems pretty obvious but it’s true. You have to be working in order to have an income to go on a trip, there are sweepstakes and such but you might be waiting forever before that can happen. Find a job, even if it’s a part time deal. I had two jobs and now only have one and don’t make even $9.00 an hour. Which leads me to my next tip.
2. Budget your money or be aware of your spending: This is the MOST IMPORTANT part. You can make a very small income but if you know how much you can put away in savings for your dream trip, you have a time frame of when you think you can take the leap for your trip. I realized how badly I wanted to travel and every time I was about to make a purchase I would think of how it might affect my future goals of travel.
I made a budget using Microsoft Excel and put in my spending predictions as well as my income so I knew approximately how much I should have by the time I wanted to leave for a trip. It made me realize where my money was going and in some cases, I was shocked about how much money I spent.
For instance, I got coffee probably 4 days out of the week at a coffee shop. This cost me about $15 a week. It doesn’t seem like much but that is $780 dollars a year. That is an all inclusive trip to Cancun that I just gave away for a cup of joe. Some choose that coffee shop but I will always choose adventure. I also used to buy a lot of “stuff” that I didn’t really need. I would just ask myself do I want this $65 pair of jeans or do I want to go to Europe next summer? In my mind, the choice got easier as my savings increased. If you want to travel that bad, you’ll make it happen.
What I tell people most when they ask how I afford to travel is “I don’t spend money… ever.” This isn’t true because of course I still go out to eat and grab coffee once in a while but compared to the average person, I am really strict with my money. I would rather pay for an experience than pay for stuff that I don’t need. I have never regretted spending my money on travel.
That is why this step is the most important and the most difficult because it involves a lot of self-control for some people.
3. Decide a dream travel destination and do your research: Knowing where you want to go is essential in starting to save. That way you can picture your vacation and daydream about the experiences you could have there. If you start saying “I’m going to this place” you will be more conscious of every day spending decisions that might inhibit you getting to this place. Also look into if you want to go with a tour company, by yourself, with a vacation package, etc. It’s as if you are setting a travel goal. You will psych yourself up if you start doing your research and can name reasons why you want to go to this specific place.
4: Get excited and tell your friends: They will either want to come with you or ask you all about how you plan on going on this trip. Either way, you will get excited and more invested in making the trip happen.
5. Use Social Media or technology: I created a Pinterest board of where I want to go and have my computer background of the next place I want to see. I am always itching for a new adventure and constantly seeing beautiful pictures reminds me that I am going to try my hardest to get there. If you’re visual, use it.
These are the most important aspects I use when considering my next travel plan. If you have any further questions for me, please feel free to comment below and I will gladly help out a fellow inspired traveler.
Anna Marie ❤