Is it your dream to travel before you enter the workforce? Maybe you’re like I was; a school leaver or university graduate who wants to take a gap year to see the world with a friend. To travel is something most students desire as there might be very little time once you start your career and it’s a great way of learning about yourself. However, travelling needs prior planning or you might end up skimping, by eating one meal a day and cutting down on other necessities.
Be realistic and create a budget that works
The main thing to keep in mind is to start planning earlier rather than sooner. Something that you can do years ahead of your graduation is to open an ISA specifically for your gap year travel. This way you have time to look for other ways to increase your income such as taking a part-time job if your studies allow. You can also decrease current expenses to generate cash to set aside for your adventure.
When you have established your biggest expenses and smaller ones, work backwards. Take the trip’s cost and divide that number by the amount of funds you have coming in and set up a separate savings account to save up for what you need. Share your dream and plans with friends and family and allow them to rather contribute towards your trip, instead of buying gifts before you leave.
What to do with a tight travel budget?
You want to enjoy your travelling experience and create memories instead of bills, therefore, proper planning is essential to avoid reaching for a credit card. These are a few things to bear in mind to avoid coming home with debt and bills. Identify your expenses and focus on what is vital, which includes, transportation, meals and accommodation. Your flights are just as important and travel at non-peak times or watch out for flight sales and purchase flights with points.
Save on transportation and food
Use public transport when navigating around town and wherever possible rent a bicycle or scooter. Instead of your own taxi, which is an expense worth avoiding, use ride share or travel off-peak. If you can walk, then that is also preferable as you get in some exercise while finding hidden gems within your host country.
Something that will richly enhance your travelling experience is to eat like the locals. Ask around and eat where they eat even if it’s off the beaten path. This way it will be cheaper and more authentic too.
Maximise accommodation funds
Your aim is to go for affordable, comfortable and clean. Saving money on sleeping means you have more money when awake! Share a room with your travel buddy or volunteer at organisations that will give you a room in exchange or stay at a hostel like a backpackers.
If you have done your planning and find that you still are coming up short financially, alternatives like a work-travel experience, au pair or farm hand are well worth the adventure. Realising your dream is the first step to living the type of life you want.