I’ve been traveling and dreaming of traveling for as long as I can remember. Its a big part of my life. My priorities reflect my transient soul. My brain can’t comprehend the stereotypical American dream and how the average American spends their money and lives their life.
In this consumer driven society I’m incredibly cheap. I don’t eat out. I don’t go out for drinks. I don’t pay for a lot of activities. Mostly I spend my time engaging in free things like hiking, camping, & water sports.
For years eveything I owned could fit into 2 duffle bags. I owned a few nice things, but streamlined my wardrobe &
seasonal activities so things wouldn’t interfere with living my life.
So many of my friends pay for storage units because they can’t part with their purchases. A simple life has allowed me to save money, so I can travel and experience new things instead of wasting money protecting items I don’t use.
I keep my life mobile, but that doesn’t mean I’m in a permanent state of movement. I’m a huge advocate of slow travel. I like to live in an area for 3 or 4 years then move on. It’s an amazing experience to be completely immersed in a new culture. Its nice to try and learn something new. Be someone new. Meet new people. Learn a new language. Try new foods. I can work and have some satiability in my life while still taking shorter trips.
When I tell people I like to travel, most people don’t realize how much of my life revolves around that passion. I’m frequently told ‘everyone would love to travel if they had the money”. Traveling it’s not about the amount money you have though. It’s about your priorities in life, and how you use the money you have available to you. Here are three simple ways to cut corners if you really want to travel more.
Eat out for lunch, not dinner
Dinner menus normally run a lot higher than lunch menus. If I’m going to eat out I try and get a big lunch and take the leftovers home with me. Some people think the extra five dollars or so added to the dinner price tag doesn’t make much of a difference. However, when you consider the bus ticket between Malaga and Granada Spain that I just bought cost $5, eating out for lunch just saved me enough for one more day of travel.
Don’t buy drinks out
This doesn’t mean I don’t drink alcohol, but I try and avoid drinking out. The tab adds up too fast. Most of the time I order water at restaurants. Yes, waitresses hate me. If I go out to have drinks with friends, I will order one drink. Its so much cheaper to have friends over for a pitcher of margaritas than to buy one out.
Make your own coffee
I make my coffee at home. I have a Nespresso maker, a French press, and an espresso maker, among other things. I love coffee and have the ingredients to make it any way I want it, from home. My first job was as a barista. Buying coffee out is a huge waste of money. An Americano, the cheapest espresso drink costs between $2-4 easy. Sugar loaded, flavored frappes can cost as much as $8. If you buy coffee out 3 times a week and spend $3 dollars each time that’s almost $500 you have spent by the end of the year. That’s a nice weekend getaway you could have saved up for right there.
How do you save money for travel? Think my ideas are too stingy? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.