People often ask me how I’m able to travel the world
And I usually respond that all you need to is set a goal you take very seriously. Of course there will then come the planning associated with setting necessary steps in achieving this goal. I shy away from saying that this will be easy because I know that for some people it may be extremely difficult. In reality, you’re setting a budget so that you can save enough money for X amount of time traveling. That’s the most crucial bit of long term travel: budgeting.
Everyone’s budget will be different
I consider a reasonable budget for myself to be somewhere between 30-50 U.S.D. per day which is essentially somewhere between 11k-18k per year. Thirty dollars per day can stretch pretty far per day depending on where you’re living. Things will end up costing more if you move around more vs staying in one place longer. Couple’s definitely have the good end of things here being that they can split accommodation costs which are quite considerable depending on location.
With packing, less is more
I realize that some people may always travel with two or three 23 kg. suitcases but you’ll find yourself miserable doing that long term. On my first trip abroad, which was three weeks long, I took so much stuff that I was miserable. I had a huge backpack full of my essentials, DSLR Camera with lenses, and my skateboard with some extra decks. Carrying all these things from the airports and bus stations to hostels was an extreme pain.The more I traveled the more I realized that less really is more. Realizing that I needed less resulted in me spending less.
Take advantage of credit cards and point programs
To me, this is all part of budgeting. If you can get a credit card before or during a trip then take advantage of something like a $600 bonus sign up on you just shaved that amount from your costs. A lot of these credit cards offer tons of incentives on top of the bonus like baggage & trip delay insurance, primary rental car insurance, cell phone insurance, and the opportunity to collect points on everyday spending. These points can add up to getting more cash back than the average savings account gives you per year, several nights stay in a top hotel, or a first class flight – whatever you choose to redeem it for.
If you have time, the slow route will often save you money. You’re not in a rush to be anywhere right? A ferry from Bulgaria to Georgia may sound expensive at 100 euros but once you factor in that includes accommodation, transportation, and food it’s a steal. Flying may save you time but it definitely doesn’t save you money in the above case. For those three days your daily budget would be locked in at 33.3 euros.
If I haven’t said this enough times already: track your expenses. Keep your priorities in check and be honest with yourself about what’s necessary. Cutting out an expense like buying coffee everyday could add an extra month to a year long trip – perhaps even more. I’ve got a spreadsheet where I log my expenses that tells me how much I’ve spent of my monthly budget and what percent on track I am for said month.
More to come
I’m looking forward to sharing things like the spreadsheet where I log my expenses, my favorite credit credit cards, and packing lists among other things. Stay tuned and comment if you’d like to read a blog post about anythin gin particular!