Image via Pixabay
Getting out on the open road (or the high seas, or flying through the sky) and seeing new places is arguably one of the most uplifting experiences that a person can undergo. At least, if you’ve got a temperament for wanderlust and the desire to step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, though, you need some resources in order to go on your adventures, and there are a few logistics involved. Some people put off their travels indefinitely, telling themselves that they’ll get around to it one day – maybe in retirement. But life is unpredictable, and it’s better to get a start on living your dreams sooner rather than later.
One of the leading reasons why people defer their travel plans is due to an apparent lack of finances. While there is, hypothetically, always the possibility of looking into personal loans no credit check as a way of financing your Around-the World-in-Eighty-Days-style adventure, it’s best to explore avenues of fundraising that won’t accrue debt, first.
So, here are a few tips for organising your finances to travel the world.
Ask the question; “what sacrifices am I willing to make to travel?”
If you’re currently unable to finance both your lifestyle as it is today, and also cover the expenses involved in travel, the most obvious and immediate short-term solution is for you to change your current lifestyle so as to be able to put more money aside for seeing the world.
In other words, you need to ask yourself “what sacrifices am I willing to make to travel?”
Maybe you’re willing to do without your Netflix account. Maybe you can stop eating at restaurants for the next few months. Or maybe you can quit your gym membership and train at home.
Only you can identify the specific areas of your life where you’re willing and able to trim the fat and salvage a bit of money, but if you’re anything like the majority of people in the developed world, you’ve likely got more than a few regular expenses that aren’t integral to your survival or wellbeing.
Get organised in general — use a personal planner and organisational system to structure your plans
The more organised you are in general, and the more organised you are with regards to planning your travels, in particular, the better able you are going to be to structure things in a cost-effective manner and make them happen.
There’s a general productivity principle that goes; “whatever is measured, improves”, and the same holds true for personal planning and organisation in general.
Create a planner system, perhaps along the lines of David Allen’s Getting Things Done method, or perhaps in the form of a Bullet Journal. The key thing is that you make a systematic list of the things you’ll need to do to turn your travel plans into reality, as well compiling essential information and comparing potential accommodation, package deals, and so on.
Handle things in a systematic way, and you’re likely to find that you’re able to achieve much more than you ever were before, when you were doing things “on the fly”.
Budget meticulously, don’t just save and manage your finances by intuition — account for every penny
If planning out logistics meticulously is essential, budgeting meticulously is certainly no less essential.
Many people manage their finances by intuition. They know how much money they’re going to be paid each month, they know how much they have to spend on rent, and they more or less guesstimate the rest and hope for the best.
Often, this system more or less works out — but it’s far from ideal, and always allows far more money to escape between the cracks than you might like.
When you budget meticulously according to a zero-based budgeting model, that assigns a job to every dollar — in the parlance of the company You Need a Budget — you ensure that all the margins are tightened up and that you can reduce financial waste dramatically — maybe all the way down to nothing.
That, of course, means that you will be able to free up a lot of money that can be spent as you see fit in arranging your next travel adventure.
Budget for spontaneity on the road
It’s very easy to completely misjudge how much you need to budget for a travel outing, especially one that is set to last for a significant amount of time — a week or more, let’s say. This is because it’s all too easy to budget from a position of “idealism”, rather than from a position of realism.
For example — you set aside a certain amount of money to cover the cost of your accommodation, and you can generally be pretty accurate about that. Then you set aside an exact amount of money to spend on your flights and transport. So far so good — what was all the fuss about, anyway?
But then it comes to the less predictable expenses. Stuff like buying snacks during the day, paying for buses, picking up souvenirs on location. And here is where many people dramatically under-budget, only to inevitably over-spend at their destination, and end up in real financial trouble.
Rather than doing this, include budget allowances for spontaneity and unseen expenses on the road. This might sound a bit funny, but it really means you should err on the side of caution and leave yourself a spending buffer, to ensure you don’t overspend.
Consider travelling with others
If you can travel with a partner, a friend, or even a relative, you are likely to be able do certain things in a more cost-effective manner, while also benefiting from companionship on the road.
You could, for example, book an apartment and go halves on the cost, and then share the food bill and alternate meal duty. Or you could enjoy group discounts to various sites. Or maybe you could take advantage of a packaged travel and accommodation deal.
Travelling with others won’t necessarily be more cost-effective in every situation, but it will likely make your trip more enjoyable, not to mention improving your security on the road.