Travel on a budget. Travel cheaper. Travel anyhow. Say “I want to travel and I am travelling” instead of telling yourself “I can’t afford to travel”. Sure, there will always be “but”s and “what if”s. I will tell you from the starts, it starts with your priorities. Because travelling doesn’t require loads of money.

If you Google “how to travel on a budget” there will pop up more blogs than you have time to read in your entire life. So stop waiting for a miracle to happen, for your best-paid job to be offered to you and for you to win the lottery because chances are… it’s not going to happen. Sorry to break it to you like this (contact me and I will gladly help with some suggestions and planning), but things will not happen just like that. You will have to make it happen.

I used to think I need to be rich to afford to travel

I used to think I need loads of money to travel. I don’t remember who gave me that idea, but it’s clear now that it’s something I picked up along the way. The problem with such false beliefs is that it stops you from actually taking action. And discovering if it’s true or not. And this is true for any kind of belief, not just travelling.

As I grew older, I picked up many false beliefs, got myself filled with doubt, and got into this permanent state of fright. It took me years (and many personal development hours) to get over them. I can tell you this for sure: people speak out of fear and they project their fears onto others. That is… their own fears and insecurities. Most of the time it has nothing to do with the current situation, and that’s something you should get really straight in your head. Listen to them but DO NOT let them decide for you and please don’t adopt their beliefs.

That being said, I recommend doing this exercise. Nobody needs to know. Using pen and paper (not on your phone), write down 5 of the fears that come into your head each time you have a great idea, or in this case, when you think you don’t afford to travel.

Take your time and write what applies to you. Is it fear of what your parents will say, fear that you will get lost, or that you won’t have a place to stay? Doesn’t matter. But what it REALLY does matter is to be honest. If you will not get real and honest with yourself, you will continue to live this pretend life and no good will come out of it. In some cases, depression will come out of it. Like in my case.

Break down your own beliefs, using logical reasoning (not emotional)

Now take each of your fears and break it down. Write all the things you need to do to prevent that from happening, and you will soon start to have a plan. Break everything into small steps and work on those each day. That is, in a nutshell, everything you need to do.

Since I am not you, and I don’t know what scares you the most, I can only assume and use my own fears.

  1. I will never have enough money to go to South East Asia (or whatever I want to go)
  2. I can’t save up any money
  3. I need a better paying job, but I don’t know how to get it

And the list can go on and on. Sometimes I get so down thinking about all my fears, I can’t fall asleep at night. Assuming, you’re like me, I will guide you through my thought process.

1. I will never have enough money to go to South East Asia (or whatever I want to go)

Let’s take my first fear. “I will never have enough money to travel to ….”. This is more like a spell. It’s like I don’t really want to go and I am denying it from happening. Whenever I say stuff to myself, those things tend to happen, because I focus on them. If I say “this will never happen” it’s like accepting I will never have that and therefore live with the resentment and be grumpy about that topic forever.

BUT!!!! A small reminder here:

THINGS HAPPEN WHEN I WORK FOR THEM TO HAPPEN.

For that, I need a goal. Because goals can be achieved. I decided (decide on something concrete and work from there) I want to go to South East Asia and after a short research (Google is your friend) I discovered an average amount of money that I need, for a month. Now, I change that belief into “I want to go to South East Asia”. My first step is to keep in mind what amount of money I need for that. Now, considering what I know how to do, I will sell my time and knowledge for money. Here is all up to you.

2. I can’t save up any money

I’ve said it before, that everything is a matter of priorities, and travel is no exception.

I rather go out and eat or save the money and eat at home? Priorities! Tiny changes sum up to big accomplishments.

Can you tutor kids? Do you know any foreign language? Can you edit photos or be a content writer? What is your skill? Put your offering out there on the internet and people will start finding you! Tell your friends what you do and can do, and they will tell your friends.

Warning! What I don’t like and not a lot of people do, is seeing people going with the “current trend”. Don’t do something because it’s cool now, just to find another thing to pursue in 2 months. Stick to whatever it is that you are doing and people will notice you.

Write down a plan, make a constant contribution to your travel fund. Whenever you want to spend money, ask yourself “Does it work in my favour? Does it help me in any way in achieving my travel plan?” If the answer is no, then you should find it easier to let it go.

3. I need a better paying job, but I don’t know how to get it

Are you doing anything to get a better job? A better CV, asking friends, do you even have a LinkedIn profile? Because you should! There are tons of blog posts on Google guiding you step by step on “how to get a better job”. Have you read any?!

I tend to get a bit acid when talking about what’s keeping people from travelling, but I believe it is true. I believe these are not real fear, but excuses. And those real fears are still locked deep inside you and you don’t even know what they are. Again, you will not get anywhere until you have the courage, to be honest with yourself. Remember: most of the times, our fears have a lot to do with others, and little to do with ourselves.

Even if your job is not well-paid, I bet you can save a little. How much spare time o you have? Get another job. At the moment of writing, I have 3 jobs and I write on this blog. That’s what I could figure out by now, and most of my earnings go into my travel fund. Most days I am so tired, I can’t even be coherent in my native language. That is Romanian. But what fuels me that I know I can afford to travel now. And that is one of the best things in life, for me.

Travelling doesn’t require loads of money

When I was travelling across Europe, I realized this one simple thing, that travelling doesn’t require loads of money. I used Couchsurfing, and it was one of the best things I could have ever do. I wouldn’t do it any other way. I was forced to discover how to save money and a lot of stuff which most things are just stories.

Planning is the biggest part which you need to learn, and things will get easier from there on. Plan before anything, and you will get an idea of what you need to learn, to do, to save, to buy, to stay away from. Write down stuff, stay away from people telling you that you can’t. 

Most importantly, always keep in mind that you are in charge of your time. Do you want to use it to complain or to plan your travels?

Travelling doesn't require loads of money

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