Travel Tips

How In The Hell Do I Afford To Travel So Much?

Hey there!

Beware this is a dry (less visual) post compared to my previous topics but I honestly get this question A LOT and it needs explaining!

An interesting conversation with my mom the other day sparked an idea for a blog post. She was humming and hawing over whether or not to buy a new phone (trust me she needs one) and she got to talking about the gopro7 I had just bought and it’s features.

All of a sudden she says “how in the world do you afford to travel so much and buy fancy cameras and other stuff?”

 

Well, ma that’s a damn good question, so here’s your answer.

 

Short answer:

  1. I hustle and grind hard… real fucking hard.
  2. I decided what I want in life and prioritized it
  3. I’m cheap and I’m thrifty
  4. I do my research

 

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Even when im “not working” im still working. Me working as a dishwasher in 2015… and again in 2017.

 

Explained:

 

1) My income is as follows:
I currently hold down a 40/hr a week job as a nanny for two brilliant children. I make an average salary for someone in this field with five years of professional experience. In my spare time, I pick up extra 10 hour shifts bringing my total up to 50 hours/week. I make extra cash by babysitting (1-2x a week) for three different families.

I adopted a minimalistic lifestyle and I sold, traded or gave away 80% of the things I owned.

I pick up odd manual labor jobs. I’m saving up to start an investment portfolio so I can make my money work harder for me (and also to save my butt during retirement).

This is what my month would look like: (light green is working hours scheduled). 

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Im working 80% of the time.

 

2) After returning from a year abroad living in Ireland end exploring Europe I had a moment of serious personal growth and soul searching.

I rediscovered that I absolutely love traveling, and I love to pole dance. So I decided I needed to make a commitment to myself to work and strive to actively keep doing these things. It’s honestly a daily struggle to remind myself what I think is worth putting time, energy and money into but It’s amazing how much you’re willing to give up when you realize what your true priorities are!

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–> Priorities

Suddenly I didn’t mind buying second hand again, not having coffee every day, not using food delivery apps or taking Uber. I have a strict budget that divides my income into 5 categories (and respective subcategories in order of priority): Bills, Travel, Investing, Life and Emergency. I had to let go and make peace with the notion that I would own a home before I’m 35.

 

3) I rarely eat out I don’t buy in to fast fashion, I buy only as I need and 90% of it is used.

I take public transit everywhere. I’ve owned the same winter boots for 4 years and I’ve had the same jacket for 5.

I look for deals on Groupon for fun things to do if I need to go out with friends or on a date. I have a huge list of free (and fun) things to do that can occupy my time and save me money. I shop at budget grocery stores and bulk stores, I don’t own a car, and I make sure what I spend my money on is worth it. Websites like Kijiji, Craigslist where people can list items they want to sell are my go to! Bunz is a great community as well! I also look for clothing swaps or free markets in my city! Anything can be sourced from someone else with the right amount of planning and time

When I travel I make a strict budget and look for cheap or free things to do there as well. I fly budget airlines and rarely take a checked bag.

Couchsurfing is my best friend. Hostels are my mistress. 

4) When I buy something, I put hours and hours of research into it! I wait and see if I can get it second hand and only buy it new as a last resort! When I book flights I use websites like Hopper, Secret Flying, YYZ deals (Toronto only) and Skyscanner to find the cheapest deals, when to buy and when to book.

I look for countries where my dollar (Canadian) is worth more, to get more bang for my buck… if I travel to an expensive country it was a total accident!

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Hong Kong im looking at you!

I rarely stay in Airbnb and hotels and when I do I search for an affordable one and the same goes for hostels. I eat at local restaurants (no chains) and often grocery shop and cook in the hostel, or simply eat fruits and veggies! I pick a few big ticket activities I want to do and do some serious googling into some cheaper or free activities as well! And forget about Ubers, local flights or expensive busses! It’s tuk-tuks and chicken buses for me!

 

This is not a list to say this is what you HAVE to do in order to travel a ton without blowing the bank, this is just a list of the things that I personally do that work for my lifestyle. Even adopting one or two of these habits can truly save you BIG bucks.

So what are you waiting for? Try it!

2 thoughts on “How In The Hell Do I Afford To Travel So Much?”

  1. I agree. If you are committed to a goal, you’d be surprised how much you are willing to sacrifice. My husband and I are in the process of remodelling our home and it looks like we will need to have a tight grocery budget for now. Thankfully we will have an Aldi down the street, so we can walk to the grocery store instead of drive. Plus, when I start my new job, I plan to take public transit to my new office more often. I hope it will be easier for me to reach my financial goals.

    Like

  2. Great post. Whenever we are about to cave and order UberEats or GrubHub we always think about the cost and what it could buy on the trip we are saving for. We would much rather enjoy a nice dinner on vacation rather than our local restaurant at home.

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