“It seems like you have been travelling a lot recently”, “where are you heading next?” “how do you manage to travel so much”. It’s become so common for me to hear these statements from most of my friends. I’m neither a permanent nomad who has all the time in the world nor a trust fund baby who gets all the trips sponsored. I too have a job to report to at 10 AM every day. I too have rent to pay, sometimes I work 12hrs a day to meet deadlines. Besides all these, the main reason of how I afford to travel as often as I do is: I have made travel my priority. As simple as that
If you take a look around at people you know who travel a lot or if you follow any travel bloggers I can pretty much guarantee that those people don’t have a ton of excess time and/or money. But they somehow manage to scrape through, that’s because they know to prioritise what they want in life. As far as I know there are two main reasons why people want to travel, but don’t. One is time, other is money.
I think one of the biggest misconceptions about travel is that you have to have a lot of time in order to go somewhere. I don’t have a lot of time either. I work full time and take a yearly vacation for that big trip of the year. Most of my other trips are on weekends, if am lucky then I make it an extended weekend trip. But yeah, going on International trip does not make sense if it’s just a weekend or a 3 day trip. But to see a place nearby that’s within the driving distance or just a short plane away! Why not! Travelling doesn’t mean it should always be to an exotic island in a far off country, it can be a beautiful place in your country.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. There are so many people who quit their jobs and earn on road while travelling. There are so many articles that tell you how to save money for travel. One thing is clear, at the end of the day, travelling costs money. It just does, there is no reason to sugarcoat the fact. But if you make travel your priority, you will also choose to set aside some money in your budget for travel.
The bottomline is time and money will always be scarce, spend on the things that make you happy. I can spend my money on an Armani watch or a Gucci bag but I would rather spend it on a trip to Ladakh as I know the latter would give me the sense of happiness in life. At the end, it really boils down to the choices on what we spend our money for.
I have no special tricks up my sleeve that make my trips uber affordable. But sure I know tricks for finding some good travel deals. Here are few things that I follow to make my travel life a little easier
Subscribe to Emails
Subscribe to certain Airlines and hotels so that every week, you’ll get emails from them on the sale or discount available. Once you become a member with them, it’s even more easier.
Learn to use booking search engines
This actually can be a separate post, but yeah, once you start traveling more, you will learn the knack of using different booking search engines. My favourite for travel and stay options are Skyscanner, Booking.com, Couchsurfing and Hostelworld.
Check prices often and book at odd times
There are some airlines that will have a reduced rate during the middle of the week. It is always better to check prices when you plan a trip and book it way prior to the trip. Last minute booking will only incur more cost
Travel during shoulder season
The overall travel cost will shoot up when you’re travelling in the peak season. On the other hand when you travel during the off season, the rates are cut down by half but you might not enjoy the weather or the place as much as possible. So, I always plan my trip during the shoulder season, that way I can get good rates and enjoy the place as well.
Stay in hostels and use public transportation
I almost always use the cheapest mode of transportation. I also prefer staying in hostels, that way I can cut down costs and it is also a great way to meet new people.
If you don’t want to be the one who says “wish I could travel as much as you do”, make travel your priority and get, set, TRAVEL.