I’ve been traveling in some form or another for the past nine years. Many things go into how I can afford it all, but ultimately it comes down to being budget conscious on a day-to-day basis whether I am at traveling or not. The $3 here or there can seriously add up! By being aware and cutting back on some every day habits, you can significantly benefit your financial freedom without missing out on positive experiences. Some say I’m stingy, but I prefer thrifty. 😉
#1: ALWAYS carry a water bottle. Is it only me who thinks buying bottled water is outrageous?!? Water is an everyday necessity that in most countries, is provided to you for free or in your small water bills. You wouldn’t… buy a new battery every time your phone dies when you could just plug it in, so why buy a bottle of water every time you need a refill? When out and about exploring a new place, you could easily spend an unnecessary $35/week. Instead, buy a $10 reusable water bottle that’ll last you much longer. You can even use a reusable water bottle as a way to track your travels with different stickers from all your adventures. And, reducing your plastic bottle use is much better for the environment.
#2 Snack. Having snacks is essential, as it prevents you from buying an overpriced mediocre pastry from a cafe or corner store while out and about. I usually carry an apple, almonds, and gum when out for a day, so my hunger doesn’t tempt me to make a needless expenditure, unless I have planned in a great restaurant or new food to try that day.
#3: If with a travel companion, SHARE! I’m all about indulging in the signature dessert of a city, but you probably can get the same wonderful satisfaction of the New York Cheesecake while sharing. If you’re comfortable with your travel partner, sharing food can save you money, calories, and let you explore more food! My boyfriend and I never get the same meal because we love to try bites of each others. Ice cream is a prime example of sharing and easily cutting costs. Ice cream places usually have a small price increase for double scoops, right? So instead of both of you buying single scoops for $5, why not get one double scoop order for $7? Same amount of ice cream, but 30% off. 😉
#4: Opt for the Americano instead of the Latte. You hear all the time about how if you stopped grabbing that Starbucks every day, you can (fill in the blank). As a coffee drinker, I don’t care… i still want my coffee. It’s also a very common thing to go “meet for coffee.” But there is definitely a compromise to be made. I opt for Americanos, drip coffee, or tea when I’m out instead of spending double the price on a frappe. The same goes for when grabbing a meal out – Tap water over soda every time.
#5: Walk more. Less spending on transportation, healthy exercise, AND new perspectives of a city you wouldn’t have seen. Win-win-win in my book. This also goes along with exploring the different options of transportation in an area – uber, taxi, your own car with parking costs, public bus/tram, and walking. Weigh your options based on distance and cost. Google maps is my best friend in these cases. 🙂 Planning my day in Melbourne based on walking has resulted in saving $10 per person that we could have spent on public transit.