I’m often asked “how do you do it?”.
How do you manage to travel so much, do you have a money tree or even if I have rich parents who pay for my travels around the world.
Long and short answer: no.
I have always lived by the work hard, play hard lifestyle… and that has been how I have saved (my own) money for travel. Budgeting is a job in itself, but once you get in a routine it can soon become fun to achieve and reset your savings goals. After all, the more you save – the more adventures you can have! Here’s how I’ve learned to cut my expenses and save for travel.
Cut All Expenses Not Detrimental to your Livelihood
Straight off the bat, my golden rule: if you want to save crazy amounts of money for travel, make it your priority. That means saying no to ‘a night at the movies’ or grabbing a Starbucks every day. But it can also mean cutting expenses like a gym membership, wardrobe refreshers, and even switching from expensive to cheaper brands on your supermarket goods (okay, not entirely necessary – you still gotta be happy in your every day life). But for sure, the easiest way to save A LOT of money REALLY quick is to cut all expenses not detrimental to your livelihood. That means you could cut back to the bare necessities: rent, power, food, medical expenses, transport to/from work and even get creative in ways like car pooling… the list is endless.
No one likes the ‘B’ word… but budgeting can be fun if you become brutal with it and take it on board as a challenge to yourself. Create a budget, stick to it, meet your expectations, reset them, and watch the digits stack up in your savings account. Every cent you save goes toward another night away on your travels, another activity, another city stopover…
Work Hard, Play Hard
If there’s any secret ingredient you’re waiting for me to uncover, I would have to say that this would be it. I’m extremely fortunate to have lived my life in Australia where work is in abundance and the opportunities to have work have always been there. But of course it is always a choice! Since turning 14 and 9 months (the legal working age in Australia), I have had a part time job. I first started out working in a supermarket putting groceries into bags. It was mundane work, but it paid. I would work after school and on weekends and save the money I earned instead of spending it. Then a few years later I landed a job in hotel reception and began to work on average 30 hours a week. When one of the other hotel receptionist’s quit, I convinced my boss that I could handle double the workload instead of him hiring more staff. Before I knew it I was working up to 60 hours a week alongside my full time university degree, volunteering at the local hospital, still enjoying a semi-social life by attending regular dance + gym classes and travelling in my holidays. It was a crazy year but I managed to save a significant amount of travel funds that I have since used for years.
*IMMEDIATE EDIT: Whenever I write about this year that I worked up to 60 hours a week I seem to attract a few non-believers. That’s fine, I don’t have anything to prove. But hundreds of readers asked me to answer how I saved for full time travel and this is an honest recount of how I managed to do so. The most I can say on the matter is:
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”
– THOMAS JEFFERSON