Financial Plan For Traveling The World – 13 Tips On How To Save Money While You Travel
I am going to tell you something that I know you are already aware of : Travel and Finance are two complementary topics and truth is, few people like to bring this up, mostly because they see it as an impediment to travel; but what if we’d look at it from a different perspective? What if we would financially plan our travels? I took this extra step and worked hard in perfecting the art of part-time financially sustainable travel. Now if you are curious and would like to learn how to do it yourselves, just go ahead and take a coffee or a tea and deep dive into the below guideline:
Not long time ago I participated in this amazing tour in Amsterdam about financial history and it made me think a lot about how I financially plan my travels around the world. As you guys most probably already know, Amsterdam had opened the first stock exchange in the world and even more, that it had issued the first stock certificate paper. That means just one thing: people have tried for hundreds of years to refocus all of their lives’ ambitions and to engineer their finances to get what or where they want. So, obviously, the question came, what about me? As a part-time traveler, I have tried to perfect the art of making my own dreams come true and travel the world in a financially sustainable manner.
Until recently, I thought the cheapest way to travel would be to just plan a long holiday, around 3-4 weeks and just go around the country and try to see as much as I can. I still agree with this, as long as you travel long distance (for e.g. imagine traveling twice to Asia to visit Vietnam, just take one flight and travel within the country: it’s better, right?)
Just like a stock exchange, I tried to reinvent the wheel, by having new mechanisms which would allow me to travel more. I will tell you more about how I plan my trips, but for now let’s discuss financial matters.
How do I afford traveling once per month? Do I have a trip budget planner? Of course I do, otherwise, my travel around the world costs would skyrocket just like one of Elan Musk’s rockets and my bank account would be a bust just like his first attempts of landing back to Earth the damn things.
So, what is my secret? Well, honestly, there is no secret! I decided to do a lot of traveling in Europe to the most affordable holiday destinations, but I have to admit this: I have gone way off track with Stockholm.
Below, I put together a random collection of Financial Travel Tips (which I will constantly update based on my experiences) addressing a variety of topics and techniques (just like the stock exchange) related to travel and finance:
• Financial Travel Tip #1 Eating Locally with Locals (Most of European cities have a food tour, where if you go, for around 20 EUR, you get to try around 4-5 different local foods. This helps a lot with networking and meeting other travelers, but also making new friends and that means you have also an opportunity to go visit their countries, just the way they can visit yours)
• Financial Travel Tip #2 Earning Frequent Flyer Miles (If you travel in Europe, most of the airlines have created a consortium - like SkyTeam for example, where KLM, the major Dutch airline, is part of - therefore, you can get miles for your flights and most of the time discounts for new destinations.) Don’t stick to one, get all of them and always book the cheapest flight.
• Financial Travel Tip #3 Free Tours and Local Friends (I always go for the “free” tours, and yes, they are “free” because the actual cost is as much as you decide it to be, based on your own experience. Usually this is how I get my hidden gems spots for Instagram). In regards to the local friends.. Oh well I have built up wider my international community and I can basically say I have friends all over the world, so it’s super easy for me to travel to unknown places and have the locals show me around.
• Financial Travel Tip #4 Finding Gigs as a Blogger (Well, for this one, I am not an expert, YET! What I can say is that from time to time, you have opportunities to get a free meal or a discount for hotels; keep a smile on that face and this can happen for you as well!)
• Financial Travel Tip #5 Cheap Accommodation (Hahaha! I have an entire history of booking my accommodations. Check this one: I am allergic to dust and my skin gets all red if I don’t have clean rooms. My suggestion here: do your research thoroughly and book free cancellation as much as possible in advance and you should be good to go. I always check a week or two prior to my trip, to see if I can find something better and cheaper. Until now it happened a few times, so I guess it’s also about luck here.
• Financial Travel Tip #6 Saving on Transportation (If you visit small cities, always go by foot and if not, bikes are the best option. In Paris for example, you can buy a day ticket for 1,5 EUR and use the bike for 24 hours. Pretty cheap, right?)
• Financial Travel Tip #7 Having Emergency Fund While Traveling (It’s always good to be prepared, in case your luggage is lost or stolen, or in case you get sick, or God knows, you find an extremely expensive item and the only thing you can’t afford is going home without it.
• Financial Travel Tip #8 Saving for Travel – Changes You Can Make Today (This is what I do, I save money for travel. Plus, if an emergency occurs, I can use the money saved up to cover the emergency)
• Financial Travel Tip #9 Souvenirs and Controlling Impulse Buys (Oh, my favorite topic – How to spend all the money that I have saved for this trip right away? Well, I have decided not to and buy only one item as a souvenir, ALWAYS, no matter what. I avoid shops, malls or any areas which can get me in that cray-cray spend mode, but if I know I can visit a local shop which I heard about it, I simply go for it)
• Financial Travel Tip #10 Getting Sponsorships (This is similar with Tip #6 and since I am not an expert I can’t advise much, but I did have a few deals with tourism boards and restaurants.)
• Financial Travel Tip #11 Budgeting and Tracking Travel Expenses (This is very important, I always keep all receipts until I check my bank account and see if everything matches and also I get to see how much I spend daily, since usually my budget is the most important tracker to get to travel often)
• Financial Travel Tip #12 Managing Currency Conversion Rates (I come from Romania and as most of you know it has its own currency, so I always have to check the conversion. Same happens if you decide to visit Budapest, Prague or Minsk, so always take this into consideration. Most of the time, the best way is to just withdraw money from ATM, rather than exchange cash to local exchange spots, but this always depends on each country. I always pick an ATM from an international bank or if a local one, at least a very well-known one. Random ATMs charge you an extra fee most of the time) In order to keep my conversion rates low, I starting using Revolut (not sponsored!) to get good exchange rate and to be honest, until now, I am pretty happy with the outcome.
• Financial Travel Tip #13 Supermarket Saving (I always go to street food markets and I try at least one local cuisine spot, but for long stays, sometimes it’s good to just get stuff from the supermarket, those can also be local)
This is it for now, but I will try to update my tips on the way. Do you have any suggestions or tips and tricks for being able to afford traveling more?