“The best thing money can buy is freedom to travel”
The present situation regarding COVID-19 has affected everyone differently when it comes to finances. While some people have been able to save lots of money because they aren’t able to travel or socialize as much, others have lost jobs or had their incomes reduced substantially. Whatever your circumstances, anyone who wants to include long-term travel in their future, will likely have to save some money.
Of course, if you are a digital nomad and earn enough to fund your travels, you’ve got it made! Indeed, if it is possible to work remotely for an extended period of time, it’s definitely the way to go. However, for those who can’t be location independent, here are a few ideas on how to save for your adventure:
Changing your Perspective
Our decision to travel meant that we had to completely change our financial perspective. It opened up a whole new way of living, which in the long run, was not only beneficial to us on a personal level, but also to the planet. We don’t purchase anywhere near the amount of material items that we used to. Due to our nomadic lifestyle, buying household products is a thing of the past. We only buy clothes because we need them, not because we want them. Many people accumulate an excess of material stuff, much of which they don’t ever use.
In the west, it is easy to get caught up in the materialistic, consumerist society in which we live. We are brainwashed into believing that we want things we don’t really need. Bombarded everyday by tv commercials and the internet spreading the word about the latest iPhone or miracle moisturiser, we are caught up in a constant cycle of purchasing and throwing away. Although there are movements to change this attitude, the majority of the population still buy into it.
When you are planning a long-term trip, it’s also a perfect opportunity to downsize and rid yourself of all the things that you have accumulated. Although we have now scaled down our possessions to basics, over the years we have done countless boot sales as well as selling books, CD’s and DVD’S on Amazon EBay and Magpie. In fact, at one stage, our flat resembled a post office with packages piled high, waiting to be despatched.
Another excellent reason to sell your stuff is because you won’t need it while you are travelling. If you are planning a long-term trip, you won’t want to pay for storage. Minimalism is the way to go! When you are on the road, you will realise how little you actually need to live. In fact, you may wish to check out our previous blog which explains how to travel with carry on only.
Renting out Property
If you have property, it can be rented out while you are away. Somebody else will be paying your mortgage as you wander around the world! Pre-departure, make arrangements to find a suitable tenant. An estate agent will take care of it all for you (for a percentage of the fee!) and will continue to take responsibility in your absence. It’s even better if you have a friend or relative who can do the job for you.
Other Ways to Make Money
There are lots of ways to make extra money for your travels. A second job could potentially rake in a substantial amount of money which can go directly into the travel fund. This would probably only be for a limited amount of time – when you know you are off on an adventure soon, it’s a lot easier to cope with!
Making money online by teaching a language, writing, translating or using a specific skill is a good idea. Additionally, it may be that you can continue to work online when you are travelling. There are also several websites including OnePoll which pay out cash on completion of surveys.
Saving money is easy when you get into the habit! The advantage is that when you have made the decision to go, you have the most important thing of all – an incentive! Consequently, it’s much easier to save.
Cut Back On Takeaways and Make Your Own Sandwiches
We have saved a fortune by cutting back on takeaways! We love pizza, Indian, Thai and Chinese……anything you can send out for! However, when you consider that a pizza in England can pay for a night’s accommodation in South East Asia (maybe two), it makes you think twice. Sure, it’s a grind sometimes, but we have got into the habit of cooking and have saved mucho dinero!
Likewise, rather than buying sandwiches every day, when we were working in offices, we took a self-made lunch to work. We saved a ton of cash. Many people spend a substantial amount of money on coffee from Starbucks or wherever. If you buy coffee on a daily basis, it’s surprising how much it can all add up to each month. Making your own coffee is another good way to save.
Collect Vouchers and Be a Savvy Shopper
Use vouchers and check for deals. Keep your eyes peeled for deals on products that you buy regularly, and stock up (but not too much – you won’t want to take fifty cans of baked beans on your adventure!) Compare prices at the supermarkets. If you always shop at the same place, use a loyalty card. Sign up for websites that keep you informed of up to date offers, and take advantage of them. Be a savvy shopper!
Watch Movies at Home
If you love movies, it’s worth subscribing to Netflix, Prime or Sky. For a reasonable monthly payment, you can watch as many films as you wish to. It will provide lots of entertainment while you wait to go on your big adventure. If there is a movie you really want to see at the cinema, go to an afternoon showing when it costs less or on a cheap night.
Keeping up with friends is always tough if you are trying to save money. Instead of going to expensive restaurants, bars and clubs, party at home! Invite your friends over and provide some drinks and snacks. Your friends will undoubtedly bring a bottle, and you can party to your heart’s content! (At the time of writing, of course, social distancing requirements won’t allow this. Here’s hoping that things will change sooner rather than later!)
If you do head out into town, choose somewhere serving cheap drinks and pub grub or a restaurant offering special deals. Again, you can often pick up vouchers for popular restaurant chains online. A night out in the wrong place can put your travel plans back a week!
Sell Your Car and Get On Your Bike
Get on your bike! Running a car can be a severe drain on your finances. If you have a car, think carefully about whether or not you really need it. Remember, you may well sell it before you leave anyway. As an alternative to driving, consider ditching the car and biking or walking. Not only will you be able to stash the cash, but you will get fitter for your adventures.
It is surprising how much you can save in the most traditional way of all. Just decide on the coins you are going to collect and ensure that they go straight into the piggy bank (or whatever your savings vessel of choice is). Every now and again, have a count up and you will be amazed! Bag it and bank it!
Cut Back on Miscellaneous Expenses
Aim to reduce your outgoings. Check your bank statement and analyse your expenditure. If there is anything you can do to reduce it, do so. Maybe you belong to a gym you don’t use. Perhaps you could switch to a cheaper phone provider. Open an interest account and transfer all your travel savings into it for maximum benefit.
It Will be Worth it in the End!
These are tough times, but one day we will be free to travel again. If you are in a position to, use this time to save money for a dream trip. Having something to look forward to is very important. It will be worth it when you are exploring the city streets of Buenos Aires or hiking in the Himalayas. Whatever your dream is – you can make it happen!