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How to Travel on a Budget

Posted by Paco de Leon on 11/8/2017

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Traveling is the new luxury and experiences are being commodified and sold through pictures online. Whether you’re making six figures or just starting out, you should always create a budget for your travels. The budget is relative. It’s relative to what you earn and how much you spend in other areas of your life.

Make It a Priority

I’ve met people who have earned $15,000 a year doing one big gig and have managed to stretch the income out over a year and travel. The details of where and how they traveled are certainly a function of the amount they can ultimately spend, but the example is used to point out the first necessity: you must make it a priority.

For some people, making this a priority means setting up a travel savings account and putting away a certain amount of money into it each month. The certain amount of money is a function of prioritizing your savings over other things. If it’s not a priority, you’ll always find a way to spend the money you need for travel.

The Cheapest Way to Travel Is to Work While Traveling

The reason why this is the cheapest way to travel is because you don’t need to have all the money saved up. You can earn it as you need it. Some options to work while traveling is teaching English overseas or working at a hostel. I’ve met a lot of people who use their talents to travel the world like dancing or playing music on tour. I’ve met people who set up their own businesses to be location independent and have moved to a place where the cost of living is lower. These are the people who are clearly prioritizing travel.

Stay with Locals

Have a buddy who just moved to Portland? Crash on their couch. If you are comfortable couch surfing, that is totally a thing that people do. If that isn’t for you, we have the sharing economy that can also be leveraged to stay in a room for a fraction of a hotel. Hostels are also very affordable and more often than not, the staff will be able to let you know about discounts for sightseeing or free tours. If you do your research, you might find a hostel that will feed you breakfast or give you some discounts on food.

Leverage the Exchange Rate

Find destinations where your home currency is stronger. For example, if you live in the U.S., the dollar goes a lot further in Southeast Asia than in France. The cost of living will be drastically cheaper. Everything from the hotels and hostels you stay at to the cost of meal and tourist attractions.

Avoid Tourist Traps

Tourist traps can be harsh on your wallet. Do some research and you might find some off-the-beaten-path attractions that are more affordable or better yet, free. Walking tours are another great way to see a place on the cheap. If you do want to hit up the usual sightseeing, do some research beforehand. Some attractions have certain days that are open to the public for free or you may get a discounted ticket if you buy it online. Hiking, yoga on the beach or taking photographs and appreciating the history of a new place are all ways to be in the moment and experience a place.

Plan Around Peak Travel Times

You can save several hundreds of dollars by traveling during “off-peak” times. Make sure you understand what the weather will be like during the off season. Just a little bit of planning with timing can really help you avoid price hikes.

Traveling soon?  See our other posts on traveling abroad, saving on car rentals, and adding a travel note to your account.

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Occasionally, Logix will invite guest bloggers to post on assorted financial topics. These posts may or may not represent our views

Topics: Travel

Meet our blogger

Paco de Leon

Paco de Leon

Paco is the founder of The Hell Yeah Group, a mission-driven firm that helps creatives not freak out about finance through financial mentorship. She has focused her career on working with creative businesses doing business consulting, management, financial planning and wealth management.

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