How I afford to travel

I get asked a lot how I afford to travel so I wanted to share with you how I’m able to go on all these trips!

Sorry to disappoint but I don’t have a sugar daddy financing these excursions and my parents are not paying my way : )

The biggest thing  I do is go on a financial diet when I’m home. I don’t have a large disposable income but I joined mint.com years ago for free and it keeps track of my spending and I can see where my weaknesses are in my budget (for instance eating out for me was adding up to be a lot so I joke about how I eat ramen noodles to afford travel.) I’ve been learning to cook more and it’s definitely saved some money.

I also realized I’d be happy sacrificing a few things to set aside travel money. I only get my hair done maybe 2 or 3 times a year now and pay to get my nails done rarely. I cut out my Starbucks habit and bring my lunch to work. Those things were adding up and while I enjoy them, traveling is more of a priority to me at this point in my life. I’d much rather have new experiences than go shopping. I also save money by having 2 roommates who are wonderful and have been so sweet to take care of Raja when I am away.

Whenever I get the itch to buy something, I ask myself, “how many hours would I have to work to pay for this item?” If someone came to me and said, “will you work X amount of hours and I”ll give you this in exchange would you say yes?” I spend less and even with a full time job I will gladly wait tables or walk dogs on top of that or whatever odd job comes my way to add to my travel budget.

Some of you have asked if I make money from my blog. Yes, I do but it is still a new blog (less than a year old) so definitely not enough to fully support myself yet and I don’t accept every offer that comes my way because I want it to be representative of me.

I work 12 hour days at my office regularly when I am in town so I don’t have much of a social life due to the schedule and my friends are so much fun but when we do get together I find myself wanting to spend way more than I should. To avoid overspending at an expensive place downtown, I invited a few girlfriends over tonight for a spa night at my place and it’s something super easy and inexpensive where I still get to spend quality time with them. As long as I work hard when I am in town, my boss is very understanding about my desire to travel and I’m so appreciative for that.

Traveling has also shown me how little you really need so I don’t have the same urges to buy new things. And it feels really good to rid of things and donate them. (I will admit I get more attached than I should to clothes – my denim skirts from high school are sitting at Goodwill as I type this).

I travel cheaply, too. I research a lot and if I can’t find a hotel in my price range, airbnb.com is my favorite tool to use when traveling.

I realize that everyone has such different priorities when it comes to spending but travel has become more and more important to me and after reading some comments, I wanted you guys to understand I don’t have piles of money laying around I just have to choose what I’m going to give up in order to make it happen.

*This post was not sponsored by mint.com I just really like using their tools and it’s helped me so hopefully it will help you too 🙂

 

117 thoughts on “How I afford to travel

  1. I enjoyed reading this. I’m always being asked how I afford to travel and my answer is usually “I spend less on travel than you do on x, y, z, etc.” I still live near most of my immediate family and this is the 1st year, I can’t even think of any material things to ask for for Xmas & birthday.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I always get asked the same thing too! I joke that the reason I can travel is the reason I live paycheck to paycheck. But really I save money for my excursions, like you said, and skimp on other things so I can make sure the travel budget grows! Great post!! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great post. If you’re not aware of FareDealAlert.com, you should check it out. They have some ridiculous deals to all ends of the world. They have an entire page for Charlotte deals 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Traveling is fun and can be done if you really want to make it part of your life. Thanks for stopping by and liking my recent post, Paleis Het Loo. What a grand place that was–as nice as Versailles! True opulence at its most lavishness. Sigh . . . but if I lived in a place like that I might not want to leave it and travel so much, or maybe I still would. Who knows? It’s so much fun seeing the world. Happy travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right! When I’ve traveled to beautiful places and made friends there many of them have said they live in paradise they think it can’t be topped so they don’t want to travel! It’s nice that they still appreciate the beauty even though they’ve always seen it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Johanna. You have some great advice there. My starting point is always to go for the cheaper option where I stay. I just finished a trip to Canada, and I was perfectly content having the most basic accommodation possible. That keeps me out of the hotel and in the city. I was never crazy about those travel shows where the host or hostess goes on about the expensive hotel he or she is staying in. I can understand spending more for a good location, but who cares about the delux sheets or if you get chocolates on your pillow every morning?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just read your post ,every comment and all of your answers. Very well done.
    I definitely like your writing. I’ve never tried airbnb, but every time I hear about it, it is always very good reviews.

    I’ll have to look into that because, as you said, I’m only in the room to sleep and store my gear. All other times, I’m our for pictures and video of wherever I am at the time.

    I love Ramen noodles. I haven’t had any in a while but I used to add cut up chunks of baked chicken breast with seasonings… I loved it. In fact, if I started eating it today, I’d probably gain a lot of weight because I like them so much, lol.

    And you’ve inspired me. Being single, I eat out all of the time. And it’s usually bad food, like fast food. That is a large chunk of my monthly expenses. I’ll look into mint.com and see what it’s all about. If I budgeted like you, I could take several trips a year, instead of one big one where hotel is a big expenditure for me.

    I’m considering Rome for my next trip. My sister wants to go, so I’ll have to try airbnb next time, because she is definitely a nice hotel type person, lol.

    Maybe I’ll see you at an airport sometime. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that’s amazing you’ve been through everything on here! I loved Rome I meant to write more about it. I took a cooking class there which was one of my favorite experiences. Yes, I love mint and people don’t realize I sacrifice a lot of other luxuries in order to do things but it’s all about priorities. Glad you feel inspired : ) I’ve traveled with those who need luxury and those who are fine sleeping outside so it’s all about compromise or maybe even saying, “we’ll rough it here 2 nights maybe you pick the next night” I definitely mix it up and I appreciate it more when I do stay somewhere that actually has air conditioning and amenities. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  7. Yes, people have different incomes and can afford different travel styles, but everyone can travel with a bit of saving up:) I travel somewhere because I can get a cheap ticket and find budget stays, I only occasionally splurge on luxury stays:)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Small world histories: I read this post months ago on FB that I friend from Oregon shared on her biography. I loved it that time and now I enjoyed again! I totally agree with you, now I kinda “settled” here in Punta Cana, but I´m from Argentina and travel since I turned 18 years old!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maddie! I am still learning but have been lucky enough to have other bloggers give me some tips. One suggested coming up with products and selling them (which I haven’t really taken on I am not the crafty kinda girl lol) Most companies that have hired me have found me through my Instagram account and e-mailed me so that’s the bulk of it so far. I hope that helps!

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    1. I understand what you mean! I have worked for my boss for 8 years now and I’ve even gone a couple of years without even going on vacation before so after all that time solidifying a really great relationship with them, they’re happy to see me happy traveling so they try to accommodate any time off I desire. I realize I’m lucky but it also took years to get the point where I am

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Never mind! I just asked you in another post how you can afford to travel, now I know and it’s exactly what I thought, I still need to discover what you do for a living and how your boss let you go for so long, I guess I will be discovering it little by little as I read your blog 😉 where is the follow button?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a manager in North Carolina where I live but I have worked with my boss for 8 years now. I had a couple of years where I didn’t get to take any vacations! But after such a long time, they allow me to take a lot of time off as long as I work very hard when I get back. So when I’m in town I work 12 hours days sometimes 6 or 7 days a week but it’s worth it to me if I can be off a few months!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. wonderful photo! It sounds like you have your priorities straight.
    A wonderful book that was written years ago is “your money or your life” by Joe Dominguez and Vickie something or other. Everything they say still applies today.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the tips about using mint.com and airbnb.com. I use Quicken, but I hear Mint is a great site. I will definitely be using airnb.com when I travel to Ireland next year. I definitely need to go through my budget though, and see where I can trim out a little fat. 🙂

    By the way, thanks for liking one of my blog posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. of course! Thanks for reading! I looove Airbnb and have used it in a few different countries now and it’s helped me save so much money. For instance, in Paris I couldn’t afford a hotel room for just me but I didn’t paid less than $90 to stay right by the Eiffel tower and Seine river which was SUCH a good deal by using airbnb. Ireland sounds amazing I’ve always wanted to go there!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for this post. It was good. I love to travel too. I think some of the things you use to save i did too. Like not getting my hair done and doing my oun nails. Also what help me a lot was bring food in from home to work. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! food was a big one for me. I work 12 hour shifts regularly so getting one meal during the day out was a way to reward myself and then I decided to reward myself with travel instead! So it’s lots of soups and teas and homemade sandwiches at work but I see the difference in my budget big time.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Well done Charlotte ….. many young people could take a leaf out of your book, even if they aren’t travellers. Being careful with money is not being mean it is a sensible lifestyle choice giving you the chance to be goal oriented and save for the things that are really important to you. I am older, have done heaps of travel on all budgets and some of the most memorable experiences have been ‘on a shoestring’. I love to wander away from tourist routes and do my research before I leave home to find where the locals eat and live ….

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I agree, airbnb is great. We also like hostels which are fabulous places for meeting other travellers and self-catering saves money too.
    I gave up smoking a few years ago and set up a regular deduction for the amount I would have spent to go straight from my pay into my travel account. It’s amazing how quickly it adds up.

    Liked by 1 person

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