Author: Liz Saldana Rojas.
I’ve been blessed to travel and explore a bit of the world these past three years. I must say that I never thought that at the age of 21 I would have visited 13 countries. It might not sound like much but travelling to 13 countries in 3 years is quite a lot for me.
All of this travelling happened so quick!! It’s crazy!
People are always asking me how do I do it? How can I afford and fund all my travels? Well let me tell you, you don’t have to be rich and have lots of money to travel, you just need to be wise with your money. What you need to understand, is that you MUST know your priorities and values. Is it more important saving money to travel to that city you’ve been dreaming about, or buying that expensive Gucci handbag? Ask yourself, what’s more important to you? Also, having a good budgeting strategy will help you achieve your goals and save money to fund your travels.
Once you know your values and your priorities, you are set to go and explore the world.
Here are 5 tips that can help you in planning your next adventure:
1. Layby your flights!
Last year I went to Europe and got the opportunity to visit: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Holland, Greece, England, and France. It was such a great experience; however, all this was possible because I laybyed my flight. A lot of travel agencies now provide this option, where you can lay by your flights and pay it off up to the due date in instalments. This is such a great way of buying your flights without breaking your bank account, especially if you don’t have the full amount to pay upfront. While still giving you extra time to save up for other expenses. It is like paying your mobile phone plan.
2. Have a saving ‘Travel account’
Having a saving account just for traveling will help you achieve meeting your traveling saving goal. Set yourself a realistic amount you want to save and a time frame, trust me it will encourage to put money aside whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Make sure you stick to your plan and always put a designate it amounts into that account. The way I do it is setting an automatic transfer from my access account to my savings account, this way I don’t forget to do it and I don’t even feel the money missing.
3. Avoid ATM fees!!
ATM’s charge you a fee for every transaction you make, and it adds up!! I recommend to have a mixe of both cash and card. This way you can avoid ATM fees by paying most things by card in big retailers and use the cash for food or places where cards are not accepted. Also if you do need to withdraw money do it in large amounts to avoid transactions fees. For my recent trip to Korea, I opened a Citibank account as it is an international bank and available in most parts of the world, thus the ATM only charges the currency exchange fees and no transaction fees. Always do your research before going away as it will help you a lot in avoiding those nasty ATM fees!!!
4. Find free accommodation!
Taking accommodation off your travelling expenses makes your travelling more affordable. Obviously accommodation is not free, but it can be if you have friends or relatives living in the cities you are planning on visiting. When I went to America, I stayed at a friend’s house in Atlanta, it was so good because I saved a huge amount on accommodation and was able to use that money on other things. This is why is important to stay connected with friends and family who live overseas. However, you can always look at good accommodation deals, which bring me to my last advice…
Booking.com is a website where you can find great deals on accommodation to any destination. I like this website because it gives you a lot of options to choose from at the price range you want. Also, Airbnb is another great way to find accommodation. Airbnb gives you that home stay vibe, as if you are renting an apartment or a house while you stay in that particular country. Airbnb has partnered with a lot of travel bloggers, and has given them a discount code to share with their followers. So if you know any travel bloggers check out their discount code and use it for your next trip!!! Lastly, hostels are also a great place to stay and meet other travellers like yourself and make new friends on the way. Trust me most hostels are clean and provide a good cheap option of accommodation, I myself have stayed in a few and met many people that have now become good friends from all over the world! So don’t be afraid and remember whichever accommodation you choose will only be used to sleep at night!