How do you afford to travel?
Ask any travelller this and you will get a hundred and one answers, some offering tips such as look for the best deals or start saving a little everyday or start prioritising. But the honest truth is this: there is no set formula to affording travel. Yet still it is one of the most common questions people ask regarding travel.
According to Gloria Atanmo, there are a few things you may not realise everytime you ask someone how they afford to travel:
Problem #1: It insinuates that traveling is expensive to begin with.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Travelling is only expensive when it’s as convenient as possible. You’re paying for convenience when you book a flight on a specific day, non-stop, first-class, and with a beverage included. All that sounds great, but if a commercial ticket on the cheapest flying date of the week (Tuesday) could manage its way on your schedule, choose that instead!
But I do understand when the average working American has a two-week space in a year that they could use for travel, it really limits the flexibility.
I’m also very transparent about the fact that living and working abroad for an extended amount of time is by far the best and cheapest way to travel more and further, and I’ve blogged about that before here.
With Europe for example, if you’re already based on this continent, you have budget airlines, cross-country rail systems, international buses, and so much more that all give you multiple options and very affordable ways to travel. Like how it only cost me $100 for a roundtrip journey from Barcelona through the French Riviera with stops in Montpellier, Marseille, Saint-Tropez, Nice, and Monaco. I kid you not. Less than $100 with the help of my favourite travel, money-saving apps, which I blogged about here.
Problem #2: It suggests that you’re too lazy to do your own research.
A simple Google search of “How can you afford to travel?” will yield approximately 174 million results. And somehow I turn into a search box and get questions like, “What countries are close to Spain?” to my inbox. Ha. Does my Google work faster than yours? I don’t get it.
I really do love to help people find ways to travel, but when you’re able to do basic and fundamental research first, and then come to me with more specific questions, everybody’s happy.
I didn’t get where I am today by emailling every travel blogger and entrepreneur asking them broad and general things like “How can I get exactly where you are in life?” That’s a really vague question and everybody’s circumstances in life are so different, that my path won’t be identical to theirs or yours.
I get that you want a personal anecdote from someone you know or follow, but snooping around beforehand does volumes. The person on the receiving end is not only more likely to respond quicker, but they can also target your response in a way that most benefits you and your current situation. From garnering a general idea of opportunities and paths people take that allow them to travel, it could lead to more substantial questions like, “Do you recommend a specific teaching program?” or “What’s the biggest expense you cut back on?” or even “What was the first step you took to begin travelling?” These questions are so much easier, simpler, and honestly, more fun to answer!
And even though I still consider myself a newbie in the travel blogging game, and especially having met others who’ve been to 3x the amount of countries I have, I may downplay how easy and affordable it is to travel. And I still have to remind myself that not everybody knows that I could fly to Switzerland for $30 next week from Barcelona if I wanted. Not everyone is aware of European budget airlines. And not everyone takes into consideration that if you take the size of the U.S. and put it next to Europe, they’d realise that country-hopping in Europe, is no different than state-hopping in North America. It’s all about perspective.
EasyJet has this amazing feature where you can set your budget, and it’ll show you all the places you can fly to for under that price. So for £25 (pounds), €34 (euros), or $38 (dollars), I could fly to over 15 cities in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. That is chump change. That’s dinner at a restaurant. That’s a week of Starbucks. That’s half a tank of gas on a regular basis. Perspective, guys! <cont.>
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Reposted from: The Blog Abroad
Picture credit: The Blog Abroad