Travelling the world is a dream for many people. I believe that your twenties are the perfect time to travel. Of course people have different reasons for putting off travelling, but money shouldn’t be one of the reasons. I’ve put together the Ultimate Broke Girl Travel Guide To Travelling The World where I share some ideas on how to make your travel dream a reality. Even if you’re broke, like me!
First of all; if you are dedicated to seeing as much of the world as you possibly can, you have to prioritize travelling over everything else. I saved money by not shopping as often and I tried to spend less on going out and drinking. I also decided to keep living with my parents instead of moving out.
Start tracking your spending habits
Take a piece of paper or open excel and write down every single thing you’ve spent money on this past month (or start doing this for the next months). Write down EVERYTHING – from a cup of coffee at a café to your monthly bills. This way you’ll have a good overview over what you could potentially save each month. It also shows exactly where your money is going to so you’ll be able to rethink what you could save on.
Work and save
Obviously you have to work in order to earn money. Even if you’re still in school and travelling seems far away in the future, make it a habit to save a small amount of money specifically for travelling. You’ll thank yourself when you’re actually going travelling. If your schedule allows you to work more, do it! Maybe even get a second job, do freelance work or find other creative ways to earn some cash.
Save your extras
Whenever you’ve earned a bit more, don’t immediately spend it. Put it aside as soon as you get it! Don’t give yourself the feeling that you have ‘more’ this month, just keep with your usual budget. If you get tax returns, put it aside!
Look at your monthly bills
Check all your automated payments and see if you could cancel them or lower them in some kind of way. What kind of memberships do you have that you could save on? I share my Netflix account and Apple Music with my family, so instead of paying €30 a month for the both of them, I only pay €10. I also kept my phone when my plan was over so I could switch to a Sim Only plan, which means I pay wayyyy less than before. It might be a good tip to check your data usage and see if you could lower your plan if you never use all your data.
Organize your savings accounts
My bank allows me to have a couple of different savings accounts. I created different ones for different purposes. One is for traveling, one for health care and so on. I like to keep my savings organized so I can see what money I’m allowed to touch and what money has to stay untouched.
Put your coins in a jar
I hardly ever have cash on me because I’m used to using my card wherever I go. If you do use cash, try to keep your wallet free of coins. Put the coins somewhere else and don’t touch it. Then, when it’s time to travel, you’ll have that little extra pocket money that might be more than you think!
Instead of saving a lot of money and then spending it all on your trip, you could also work while travelling! There’s a lot of countries where you can get a Working Holiday Visa. The most popular ones are Australia and New Zealand, but people from certain countries are eligible to work in the EU, Japan, China, Canada and many more countries. Working in a different country lets you connect with that country’s’ culture and traditions a lot more. You’ll become one of the locals eventually!
If you’re a freelancer, try to make that work for you. I know a guy that made wall art in hostels in exchange for accommodation and food, a girl that organized photoshoots for tourists on the beach and there’s endless success stories of people becoming digital nomads. Think of things you’re good at or you enjoy doing and see if you could make some money doing it.
Another way of seeing the world on a budget is by volunteering. In some cases, you get you food & accommodation for free in exchange for some work. Check out WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) for cool volunteering jobs around the world.
Although this might sound super expensive, did you know that they provide free education in a lot of countries? In Norway you can study for €0, in Iceland you only have to pay a yearly registration fee and if you’re a EU/EEA citizen, you can also go to Denmark, Finland or Sweden! If you’re not a fan of the cold climate, some other countries where they provide cheap education are Italy, Taiwan, Argentina and South Africa.
Travel to cheap countries
‘Cheap’ really doesn’t mean that it’s bad when it comes to traveling. There’s so many affordable places on each continent – there’s really an option for everyone. Some cheap countries in Asia are Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. In Central and South America you could visit Ecuador, Nicaragua and Mexico. In Europe most of the cheap countries are in the East like Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Ukraine, but some other affordable countries are Estonia, Portugal and Poland
Make Skyscanner your best friend
Finally, I think every traveler should have Skyscanner as their homepage. Skyscanner is a website that finds different flights from different airlines so you can compare the prices and routes. Put ‘anywhere’ as the destination and choose ‘cheapest month’ and Skyscanner will show you the cheapest flights! I found flights around Europe for under €30. I even saw a return from Amsterdam to Londen for €7! There truly is no reason not to travel when the flights are cheaper than public transportation in my home country!
I hope these tips helped some of you out! If you still think you’re too broke to travel, let me know in the comments and I’ll make a part two of this travel guide. I can think of many more ways to make travelling very affordable! Travelling keeps getting cheaper so anyone should be able to do it.