Secrets of how I was able to travel to 60+ countries (without breaking the bank)
I avoid talking about money in general because I don’t want to create a perspective that your girl is a baller because that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is I am still living on a student budget as I try to get this PhD studentship completed.
After getting bankrupt and going over my overdraft in my second year of university; due to a terrible relationship decision (a story for another day), I discovered quickly that I needed to fix my finances to still have enough to travel the world. Thinking about it maybe that should actually be my first tip, stay far away from anyone that makes you finically responsible for them.
It’s a hard pill to swallow but travelling is not cheap, maybe sometimes affordable but certainly not cheap; and definitely never FREE. Anyway, this blog post is to highlight some tried and tested ways to help me save up and experience some financial freedom when it comes to travelling.
- Find a side hustle: I have always been about how can I make money, maybe it’s the Nigerian in me. I had my first job when I was 13 years old working in a local salon on Saturdays shampooing hair and doing basic cornrows for the professional to install the weave on. Then I went into tutoring and finally a beauty sales position. I’ve found having some kind of income definitely guarantees some kind of freedom. My trip to India in my third year which was discounted by the university only went forward because when I asked my parents for permission to go, this was much easier as I was paying for the trip my self.
- Find travel /exchange programs organised by your university – I found out only in my third year my university has something called the Global leadership programme that allows students to travel to experience new culture at a subsidised rate. I had literally just missed the deadline to visit Malaysia the day that I found out. I still kick my self till this day. The advantage of going with your university is that everything is massively discounted, accommodation transport and a level of safety is guaranteed. Definitely was a great way for me to start this travelling journey.
- Create a travel account – the day I discovered that I could actually dedicate a spare account to travelling was a game-changer for me. It meant from my monthly pay a fixed percentage goes automatically towards travelling which is amazing because I don’t have to do any long calculations before booking any trip, I simply have to look at one account and the answer is a simple yes or no if I can afford to take that trip.
- Cut down on shopping – there is a long-running joke between my friends that I am long overdue for a whole new wardrobe, and they are absolutely right, after all, I still have some outfits from college (almost 10 years old!). Do I crave the need to shop? Absolutely! But what I do is those moment is usually going on the website select the items I want I ensure I fulfil all my ‘shopping’ desires adding each piece into the basket – but instead of clicking pay, I trick myself that I will come back in a bit but that never happens. Or when it does most items are already sold out or no longer available in my size. And life keeps going. It works for me.
- Seek out for the cheapest flight deal – I am fondly called Ryanair- bae because I am a loyal customer. They might not have the best customer service but honestly, they are still unbeatable when it comes to flight deals. After bagging a £9.99 return flight deal on their Boxing Day sales a few years ago. I immediately knew there was no going back.
- Travel local – I am a big believer in travelling locally. 70% of all my travels was within Europe. Travelling local means you can keep costs down by exploring multiple countries at once especially with the open borders present within Europe.
- Make new friends – I also tend to make international friends with the help of social media. Therefore when visiting their visiting I usually just automatically have a host which results in large cut down of general travel costs such as accommodation or feeding. Plus its also nice to have a local taking you around.
By implementing these few things I have been able to explore new and exciting destinations on a budget. I hope you find the tips useful. Let me know in the comment section the ways you save enough money to travel.
Love and light