How to Travel the World When You’re Not Rich

Nga Do
If you’re not a superstar blogger who gets paid to travel, and you didn’t win the lottery or be given your grandma’s million-dollar inheritance. You work full time and have a deep passion for seeing the world. How do you manage to do this with a limited budget?

This is a common question asked I get asked all the time. When I tell people I have traveled as much as I have, they automatically assume there is some secret bank account full of money that I don’t mention. The truth of the matter is that I work hard and limit myself from spending too much on material items. However, there are definitely some tips on how you can travel as much as I do with a limited amount of money. I have worked as a Lifeguard for ten years now to afford my travel!

How to Travel the World When You’re Not Rich
Sapa in North Vietnam. Photo by Sapa Tours From Hanoi

#1. Budget and Put Away a Certain Amount of Money Every Pay Cheque

Once you finally decide, “Yes! I am going to take that trip I have always wanted,” the first thing you’re going to need is money. Traveling can be very cheap if you are willing to make sacrifices. You must ask yourself if you are comfortable staying in a dingy hostel dorm, or if you would like a bit of comfort. It’s a good idea to also consider the costs that go into seeing the destination you’re going to, such as transportation and possibly tour fees.

Once it’s all clear what the approximate costs for your trip will be, then it’s time to put away money every paycheck. That probably means less eating out, shopping at the thrift store, and less beer money… oh, I am hurting with you, don’t worry.

#2. Keep Positive

Having your financial issues figured out, the next thing you’re going to have to face is keeping positive. Nobody saves up enough to travel in a week, more than often it took me upwards of six months to save up for a trip!

Time can really kill your dream of travel. As the months go on, it seems like it takes forever for the trip to come, but you must learn to stay positive. Watch travel television shows, or buy an international cookbook and cook the food of your destination. Whatever helps keep you focused on the trip, do it!

#3. Buy a Ton of Guide Books

This one is one of my favorite things to do to keep positive between travel times. Guide books give me new trip ideas, teach me about the country itself, and they are filled with beautiful images to inspire me to get there. They are also quite cheap! Depending on where you shop, Amazon tends to be the cheapest option (often cheaper than the guidebook company’s sites themselves).

Planet books are a great source of up to date information and are filled with stunning photography.

#4. Take Leave or Find a job with high Turnover

So now you must figure out your work situation. This can be easy if you decide on a two-week trip, and work gives you two weeks’ holidays. More than often this is not the case. In the past, I have planned a one month trip, only for it to turn into a three-month multi-country extravaganza after I bought a new guide book. How do I deal with this?

I have always worked in industries with high turnover, meaning that certain times of year they need employees, and other times they don’t. This is a perfect situation! Unfortunately, this may not be the case for you. Not everyone wants to be a Lifeguard like me.

I can go on for hours about why you should quit your job and find a new one because life without travel is not life at all, but I won’t. Instead, I will simply leave you with this: If you are fortunate enough to live in a country where jobs are plentiful, and quality of life is high, then take this advantage and use it to see the world, as there many others who want to and cannot.

#5. Don’t Buy Materialistic Items

This doesn’t mean cut out all you’re shopping, you do not want your life between trips to suck all together. Once you’ve decided you want a life of travel, you just give up on wanting expensive things.

When all your friends graduated from university, they got great jobs. With these jobs, they bought apartments, cars, expensive clothes, and other items which they flaunted with pride. For them, this was what they wanted, so good for them for buying this stuff. I wanted to travel. So, I gave up wanting that new car, paid rent to my parents, and gave up a lot of what makes some people happy. In return, I got new experiences, new languages, new friends and an appreciation of the world!

#6. Strategic Planning

From the day I decide I am going somewhere, to the day I arrive there, I am planning. I plan accommodation, transport, locations, festivals, you name it.

Planning in this detail can help you with knowing the exact amount of time and money it’s going to take to do the trip without any hiccups. Without this planning, you are going to run into many issues. With it, you will be able to plan a daily budget, know when embassies or certain sites are open and figure out if the holiday time you have will be sufficient. Start planning!

If you want to come to Vietnam, you will not have to worry about planning because we have always here interesting journeys ready for you to explore. JOIN NOW:

#7. Be Smart when Buying Flights

Your flight alone is going to be one of your biggest expenses when it comes to your trip. If you know the industry, however, you can avoid paying absurd prices to fly!

Flights change price almost every day. The first time you look at them they could be double what they will be in a week! If you are going to be able to afford traveling, then you’re going to have to master the art of getting cheap flights.

If you lack the budget and desire to explore the world, fulfill your dream of traveling, this article is really necessary for you.

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