Guest Post by Andi Singer
With the exception of the extreme homebody, most everyone enjoys traveling. Most people only travel out of their community once or twice a year, while a rare few travel for months out of every year. For the average adult traveling more is very attainable--you just have to get out the door and go!
1. Put Money Out of Sight
One of the biggest things that limits people from travel is money. They simply feel like they cannot afford to go on vacation.
No matter how much or how little money I make, I always put some aside. I live with very few expenses, so even working 30 hours a week at an hourly wage I am able to put money aside. However transferring money into my savings account isn’t enough because I see the balance every time I look at my checking account. It’s too easy to pull from my linked savings when money is tight.
Instead I put a small portion of my income in an account at a different bank, separate from my long-term savings, simply for the purpose of travel and toys. I haven’t set up the online banking, so the only time I see the account balance is when I get a statement in the mail, or if I call in to check on the balance.
Putting money out of sight, especially when it is just a percentage of your income, can add up quickly. When I am ready to start planning a trip I can take a look at my “fun” account and plan my trip with a budget in mind.
2. Find a Sponsored Hobby
I travel out-of-state for free several times a year because of my hobby. I am a Muay Thai fighter, so I am invited to competitions around the States with most of my expenses paid. Athletics are a great way to travel for free or with some expenses paid, or if you have a crafting skill you can travel to festivals and conventions, and either have your expenses paid, or earn back your travel expenses.
Keeping your costs low when you travel for hobby purposes is also important. I always travel by road: either car or RV. RV travel requires more gas expenses, but if you have a group going it accommodates more people, or it can eliminate the need for costly hotel rooms.
Traveling for a hobby gives you a reason to get out more, and it gives you a specific location and timeline. If you know there is a convention coming up that you are expected at, even if your expenses are not paid, you will be more motivated to make it work financially wherever you can. It also allows you to meet both locals and other travelers with common interests, which can bring a new depth to your experience.
3. Learn to Travel Cheap
For some people, starting small is the smartest way to go. If you traveled out-of-state only once last year, make it your goal to make two or three small trips this year. You will always have better luck fitting a small trip into your budget as opposed to a long trip. Weekend road trips or short RV trips are a great way to see nearby states, and they can be relatively low cost.
Discount websites like Groupon can help you find cheap 1+ night stays within driving distance of your hometown as well as discounted international travel. If you are looking for simple travel and don’t require elaborate accommodations, Couchsurfing.org can help you find places to stay all around the world for free or for a very minimal cost.
Camping and backpacking are other great options for cheaper travel. Your main expenses will be for equipment and food, and any park fees that may be in place. Many parks have camp sites with restrooms, showers, and activities for a low rate, and rural camping is even cheaper.
Traveling can enrich your life with new experiences and new friends. Even if you don’t have a big budget, there are plenty of ways to make it accessible and attainable.
This guest post was by Andi Singer, who shares her travel stories writing with Indiana RV Connection. She started traveling solo at a young age and hopes to spend at least 2 months abroad later this year.
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