I’ve been meaning to write a post like for a while now after reading other people’s and listening to other travellers experiences. I find it such an interesting topic because people do this differently and have different attitudes when it comes to budgets and their finances. I am going to be brutally honest, and it may not be what you were expecting to hear, in that I can’t actually afford to travel.
Before I left the UK I sold my car and saved every penny I could to make sure I left with a lump sum of money, but since that point I have pretty much been scraping by. I am currently on a working holiday visa that allows me to work while travelling around Australia, so this is how I get by. In some places I found it particularly difficult to find work, so it has meant I have had to rely on help and had to use my credit card a few too many times to make sure I can eat and put a roof over my head. There has even been times where I have’t been able to afford to do that so I have stayed with friends, lived in a tent and even resorted to dumpster diving! It sounds a little crazy but I would much rather be scraping by but seeing the world than living comfortably back home doing the same thing everyday.
I am very fortunate that I have an incredibly supportive family that are able to help me out if I desperately need it, but I am very stubborn and NEVER like to ask for bail outs. My parents have very kindly helped me out when I was desperate without me even asking, but this is definitely not how I fund my travels. I get by on whatever I earn and generally like to stick to a work for a few months then not work for a few months kind of lifestyle. This is a lot easier if you’re avoiding major cities by the way.
So in terms of having enough money to fund my lifestyle or trips, I can’t actually afford them. I rarely have a lump sum of money in my bank, unless I have worked somewhere for a few months, I generally just stick to a basic budget and work wherever I can. I’m not necessarily saying this is the right way to do it, of course it would be a lot better to have a safety net and work as much as you can to get money behind you, I’m just saying it is possible to travel on a very small budget if you’re willing to sacrifice. Travelling on such a tight budget is definitely not for everyone, especially if you’re a big fan of home comforts and material possessions, but it is totally doable!
I am probably the perfect example of how not to travel as I’m a little bit too laid back and am slightly irresponsible with my finances. Like I said, I don’t want to advocate travelling to the other side of the world with no money, I just wanted to make the point that it is possible to fulfil a dream of travelling with a much smaller budget than you thought. Working your way around the world is the way to do it and maybe giving up a few luxuries and creature comforts. I promise you that if you really want to travel and are willing to make a few sacrifices, they are totally worth it!