Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to get the money to travel

Can you afford to travel?








People often ask me how I can afford to go on holiday so much.  First of all, I don’t go on holiday that much.  At least, not in my opinion ;-)  And secondly, I’m not a millionaire but I can afford to travel and have fun every so often.  Having established those facts, let’s move on to how you too can do the same. 

To go on holiday once or twice (or any number of times) a year, it has to be your goal.  Of course, you probably have several goals in a year like getting married, going for a second degree or eradicating world poverty but going on vacation has to be one of them if it is really important to you.  This may seem a pretty obvious point but some people don’t determine that travelling is definitely something they want to do therefore they don’t work towards it therefore they don’t get to travel like they want to.

Once you’ve made going on vacation your goal, you need to come up with a budget.  How much can you spare?  How much can you afford to spend on your vacation?  Next, do some research and find out where you can go and what you can do that would fit into your budget.  You can start your research by asking people who have gone to places you think you would like then moving your research on to the internet.

Personally, I tend to take the last two steps in reverse.  It’s the more optimistic way of looking at things in my opinion.  First, I decide where I would love to go.  Then I find out how much I need to go to said location.  If it’s an amount I feel I can reach, I save like mad until I get my financial goal is achieved.  If you can take on an extra job or two to get the money you need, do so.  If I feel I can’t afford the holiday of my dreams, I negotiate with myself.  If I can’t afford a week in South Africa what about 4 days?  If Singapore is beyond my budget realistically, what about Dubai?  Be creative and you’ll find something that will please you.

When it comes to saving, I’m a bit radical.  I deny myself many things just to achieve my goal.  I don’t buy clothes, shoes, makeup or other frivolities like that.  I cut down on eating out and become chummy with the gas cooker at home.  I cut down on expensive exotic drinks (which I love) and learn to love water (the best and cheapest drink around).  It’s painful denying myself all these things but when I travel, I buy all the clothes and shoes my heart desires and indulge in as much exotic food and drink as my happy little mind (and body) can handle.

So you see, as long as you have a steady source of income, you can go on holiday.  Just decide where you want to go and you’re on your way.

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