People who “cant travel” just don’t have enough of it to get their butt on a plane and experience something outside their bubble.
If this is you, read the following suggestions carefully:
1. Stop drinking so many store bought coffees!
You know, I used to drink 2 or 3 cups of extra large Tim Horton’s every day, at least 5 days a week. At $2 a pop (I like to tip a little for each one) that’s $1560 a year! Not to mention I wouldn’t shy away on the weekends either. If you’re a $5+ latte fiend that likes to hit up your local Starbucks every morning before work, you’re spending over $1300 a year! Even if you drink half that much, consider that $650 during peak flying seasons can still get you from New York to Paris.
Too broke to travel you say. Can’t scratch up a grand or two to get a plane ticket and some living expenses, you say?
Stop kidding yourself. I buy a 5 pound bag of Bulletproof coffee beans for around $100 and it lasts me — a caffeine junkie and “coffee snob” who’ll only drink the freshest, toxin-free black nectar — approximately six months!
2. Why not prepare your own meals?
Sounds crazy, I know. Even if you only eat out a few times a week and buy the value meal at your favorite burger or taco joint, it’s literally impossible to squeak away from the til without dropping at least $7. Say $21 a week conservatively (though this is a hopeless underestimation for most of you out there) — another thousand buck-a-roonis per year ($1092 actually). That’s almost enough to get a round-trip ticket to Tokyo from most airports in North America! Grab a sammich at home and put that money away.
3. Cut down unnecessary services…
Get a prepaid smartphone and stop texting so bloody much. Getting rid of life-robbing services like unlimited talk and text plans, which not only take up valuable time you could spend finding ways to make more money and drawing up your dream travel budget and itinerary, they also rarely cost less than $70 a month (again, likely quite conservative for most modern handheld gadget junkies). I know most people spend $100, so let’s chalk this expense up to another yearly roundtrip ticket you could buy to a far away place. London for instance.
You can also get rid of your car, which gets rid of numerous other expected and non-expected expenses. Few who long to truly travel ever see anything inspiring driving around home in their car anyway. Obviously if you have a family, this might not be possible. Perhaps consider buying a used car outright, instead of clinging to the so-called “reliable” 2014 model SUV that requires the most expensive lease payments and insurance and knocks you back over $150 per fill up.
Gym membership? Come on! If you don’t use it, stop paying the fees just so you can carry the card around and tell everyone how you have a VIP membership at Gold’s.
One last suggestion when it comes to unneeded services (yes, there are many): Call your home phone/cable/Internet provider and tell them you’d like to cancel or downgrade your services. The agent will invariably put you in touch with one of their “retention agents” who’ll offer you a wicked deal to maintain your services with them for the next year, with some wild savings. I did this recently, trying to put my “telemarketer-only” home phone to rest for good. They made me a deal I couldn’t refuse and gave me the phone for $2 a month (on top of my Internet) for the next year!
4. Sell stuff…
Cars, bikes, four-wheelers, second hand clothes, shoes, old CD collections, furniture, electronics (though most second hand electronics aren’t worth much with Walmart selling 50″ TV’s that’ll do 1080i), etc. Hit up the second hand stores and pawn shops. Sell on EBay, Craigslist, Kijiji, etc. If you’re heart longs for the road less traveled, why smother yourself with this stuff anyway?
5. Automatic savings account…
Ah. If only we could travel back to the time when mommy would force us to save all or a portion of the money we made working as kids and teens. Now, as adults we still sometimes need a proverbial parent figure to reach into our pockets and put some of that hard-earned cash away for our own betterment. All banks offer automatic savings accounts, which pull a set amount of cash from your checking account every month and transfer it to the safety of a savings account (or travel savings account in this case!)
Name your destination.
Wanna go to Australia next year? $200 a month will cover the plane ticket over 10 – 12 months of saving. $100 a month will get you most anywhere else on the planet you want to go. Even $80 a month for 12 months will get you a roundtrip to Sou Paulo, Brazil. Here’s an example of what Chase Bank offers: www.chase.com/savings/automatic-savings-program (non aff link)
Obviously, I’ve been really focusing on airfare as a major hurdle people face to travel. That’s because it is, with lodging a close second if you’re planning on extended travel and staying in hotels. Once you get to Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, the UK, etc., airfare from one place to the next is the same price as a 100-mile train ticket over here. Get over the airfare hurdle and everything else is gravy (in my opinion), but please do budget for food and lodgings once you get there!
Pick a destination to find out an approximate financial target you need to hit: Expedia.com
Hotels, hostels: www.budgetplaces.com
Housesitting gigs: www.housecarers.com
Food costs?: Lemme Google that one for ya.
This is a great travel budget calculator: www.independenttraveler.com/travel-budget-calculator
Comments, tips, destination suggestions? You know where to put them.
Main Image: “Key West” by Ed Yourdon