It’s true that many awesome travel blogs out there are written by people who did quit their job to travel the world. We must admit, it does sound appealing. We too were secretly dreaming of this nomadic lifestyle after reading these bloggers’ amazing stories. But the truth is that long-term travel with no end in sight didn’t quite align with our other life priorities to have a career, getting married, friends and family we can see on a regular basis, and our desire to have a home to return to.
We know that there are many people out there dreaming of the exact same thing; exploring the world and experiencing foreign cultures, while wondering if they have to abandon their current lifestyle in order to fulfill those dreams.
Here are our tips for how everyone (you too) can fit travel into your ordinary life:
Tip # 1: start saving
- Start preparing some home-cooked meals – Seriously, cutting down take-out meals and trips to the restaurant helps big time!
- Bye bye morning coffee – We get it, we love Starbucks too, but making your coffee at home may yield some big savings in a short time.
- Cut down the bar nights – Alcohol is expensive! Instead of bar hopping, invite friends over to your house. A bottle of booze at the store is much cheaper than the drinks they serve at a bar.
- If you’re a smoker, quit smoking!
- Bring your lunch to work – Ordering a sandwich or salad while at work can really empty your wallet. It’s time to prepare and bring your own lunch to work ;-).
- Do you really need a second car? – or do you really need a car at all? Using public transport can be way cheaper!
Tip # 2: travel cheaper
- Be a tourist in your own country – we hardly take the time to explore our own country. Somehow it always sounds more exciting and exotic to explore a country on the other side of the globe, while there are tons of local attractions to explore.
- Travel like a local – using local means of transportation and trying street food or local restaurants isn’t only cheaper, it’s a great opportunity to meet local people and have a more authentic experience.
- Book last minute trips – tour companies and airlines need to fill the seats and offer great last-minute deals, sometimes offering up to 30% discount.
- Travel off the beaten path – some countries are cheaper than others. Travelling to Bolivia, Cambodia, Thailand or Greece may give you more value for your dollar than travelling to Australia, Italy or Canada. Choosing the timing of your travels wisely may have a big impact on your budget. Travelling during low- or shoulder-season may cut your expenses in half!
Tip # 3: make the most of your vacation days
- Short getaways – sometimes, a weekend trip is all you need to have a fun and memorable experience. We get more joy and relaxation from small, frequent breaks than we do from one, enormous break.
- Schedule your travels around national holidays – by combining your vacations days with national holidays you can travel for a longer period of time without consuming extra vacation days.
- Understand your vacation benefits – I know Europeans are advantaged when it comes to vacation days but sometimes it helps to simply understand how your vacations benefits work. Make an appointment with HR and exchange salary for extra vacation days or review your contract.
- Unpaid leave – It’s not a personal favorite but if you’re in need of a longer vacation or finally planning that around the world trip, asking for unpaid leave might be a better solution than quitting your job.