The thing we get asked about most often is how we afford to travel. It isn't easy and we work hard to make it happen. We've come up with a list of some things everyone can do to help make their travel dreams a reality. Here's a fun list of some things we do to help save.
1. Become a Homecook
One way to drain your funds quick is by eating out for every meal. Cooking at home is one of the main ways that we save money. Brainstorm what kind of meals you want for the week and head to the grocery store with a list. This might sound corny, but its a must for us. A list will help you from buying unnecessary items, like those cookies you love. Besides generally getting to eat healthier meals at a much cheaper price, you will become a better cook. Tip: Try making a meal of things you have left in your kitchen. We always buy a few "beef chuck roast." Normally each roast is enough for two meals for two people. The meat is super cheap, we add in all the veggies and herbs that are going bad, and throw it all in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours. There you go, a clean fridge, and a good dinner. This helps us become more creative cooks and gives us a free meal!
2. Go All Natural (for the ladies)
We live in a crazy world, where fashion and consumerism is king. With the constant pressure by companies to buy the latest products and keep up with the newest trends we fall victim to unnecessary spending. Limit your beauty appointments and watch your spending for "want vs need." Learn to live without these things because when you live out of a backpack you can't bring it all with you anyways.
(For the dudes)
We know you want the new mountain bike that cost $10,000, but that isn't gonna fly! The toys are endless, but keep those older toys running and keep your eye on the prize. Remember you can always rent dirt bikes and other toys abroad, just be kinda safe.
3. Get funky with your old clothes
Pull out some clothes you haven't worn in awhile and try them on again. Styles change all the time. Mix and match your clothes, try a hat on, or add some fun jewelry. No need to buy new clothes when you have some hidden gems in your closet.
4. Cancel your gym membership
Okay, I know this seems drastic we all need to stay in shape and healthy; but gym fees are expensive! Ditch your gym and get outside for your workout. Hop on that old bike, go on a hike, be creative. Ang also loves to do workout videos at home, from zumba to ski training, youtube has you covered. When saving for a trip you need to make cuts and for us this is a no-brainer.
5. Cut your cable
Cable TV is no longer needed with new technologies like Apple TV and Roku. As long as you have internet you don't even need a TV these days. Ever heard of Popcorn Time? It's free and has every show and movie you could want. Check it out.
6. Limit the Cocktails
This is the hardest rule to follow. We all love to go out on the weekends and hang out with our friends, but cocktails can be expensive. We hate to say this but it's true and one of the most important things you can do to save for a trip. If you are brutally serious about going abroad, your pocket can't handle excessive craft cocktails! It sucks sometimes but when you have a goal in mind you need to make sacrifices. You you will never have a beer in Paris if you cant stop being a booze-hound at home. You can still go out and see you friends just try ordering a soda water and lime. No one will know the difference. Our trick....boxed wine! Its nothing to brag about, but hey its still vino. Cook with it, drink it, spill some, whatever, its cheap and keeps cost down.
7. Planning Planning Planning
The more you plan and prepare for your journey the cheaper and more enjoyable it will be. We use a ton of different online resources to plan our adventures. Ang loves to use Pinterest to find cheap and free activities to do in different places. We use Kayak religiously just to know what flights are available. And our favorite travel resource is Rome 2 Rio We use AirBnB and Hostelworld to find affordable accommodation. The more you know about your trip and its destinations, will directly result in how much you get out of your experience.
We hope this helps. We are no different than others, saving sucks; but we have seen the payoff and we cant say enough at how traveling has changed our lives.