This post is quite heavy, so if you’re not in the mood to read there is a video version (here) on my YouTube channel.
My most asked question since the beginning of this year is ‘how do you afford to travel so much’ and its quite a tricky one to answer given that we haven’t done things the typical travellers way. So its about time that I sat down and properly spoke about my previous adventures and let you know how I afforded everything and a few tips if you’re hoping to travel yourself.
Now our travelling has only consisted of three countries in six months which doesn’t seem like much – but I’ve actually only been in England for around 8(ish)weeks since the beginning of 2017. Our plan isn’t to travel fast though. We haven’t thought up a route over a set period of time. To us its about seeing every part of the places that we visit. We want to explore as much as we possibly can with a one way ticket until we think up a new plan, or a new adventure. I don’t want to say ‘lets travel for six months and see twenty countries’.. I want to let my heart, fate and work help to influence my decisions and push me in the right direction. And of course, Adrian is going to be with me every step of the way.
So lets get into the nitty gritty and tell you everything you want to know.
Travel isn’t free no matter how much you budget, saving is essential so save like crazy. I spoke to a fair few people before leaving who saved between £3,000 and £10,000 per person so we used this as a rough guide for ourselves. Its difficult to work out your figures through others though because how much you need really depends on how long you’re going for, whether that part of the world is expensive, etc etc etc.
Between Adi and I, we worked tirelessly before we went to South Africa because we didn’t know how long we’d be away for. Adrian was working 12 hour shifts in a bar without days off while I spent every waking moment on my blog. We turned into zombies for a couple of months and never did anything fun, but we saved up a few thousand pounds between us.
It might sound tough but I didn’t even spend money on clothes. I just kept thinking ‘what else could I spend this money on?’ and it became a driving force for me to put the bank card down! I also found it helpful to sell anything I didn’t want on my depop. I had a huge clear out before South Africa but since coming back, I’ve found even more clothes that I don’t want that are being listed too.
Another thing that I find really useful is being open with a schedule and booking the cheapest flights. I always browse the whole month rather than a specific day because chances are, you’re probably going to save a lot. To put it into perspective, I looked at flights home from Croatia for a Saturday at the price of £90. It seems like a low price until you realise that the following Wednesday was only £29! So if you’ve got an open schedule or don’t ‘need’ to leave on specific day then its worth doing. We saved a fortune on our tickets to South Africa by just booking the cheapest flights in February – our leaving date was only a rough guide until we’d booked them.
Also, clear your computer cookies! You’ll be amazed how much the price goes up when a website knows you’ve looked a few times. Cheeky buggers!
Now we’ve mentioned flights, its time to talk about accommodation. You more than likely won’t be staying in a luxury pad like you see on Instagram unless you’ve got the budget to match. Everywhere we’ve been, our budget has been absolutely no more than £40 a night (£280 a week) because it adds up quickly.
My top tip for accommodation is to keep it cheap. As much as a luxury treehouse with a private jacuzzi might seem amazing, its going to burn your budget quickly. We are lucky enough to know people living in a few different countries so we try and stay with them to keep costs down. For example, Adrian’s family all live in South Africa so we only booked accommodation for a quarter of our time there.
Airbnb is my go-to. I love it for finding a private room or whole apartment because the prices are so low and sometimes its nice to have a complete space to yourself rather than living in a tiny hotel room. It does take a lot of browsing to find the right place at the right price but its worth it. Hostels are another great bet because they aren’t just bunk beds and shared rooms. We often stay in hostels where we have a private room at a cheaper price than a regular hotel.
And I have to mention that we both work as we go. You might know already that Adi is a qualified sailor so our trip to Croatia was essentially free. We both worked for a flotilla company and lived on sailing boats for the beginning of summer. This meant that our accommodation, food and pretty much everything we did (for the most part) was free. And we were being paid to be there.
It does really help that Adrian is qualified in a job that can be done almost anywhere in the world. As long as we’re near water, he’s good to get day work on Super Yachts or hit up another flotilla company. I’m thinking of getting an STCW too which qualifies me to do everything on a boat except sail it (essentially) so we can work together. Thats the great thing about travel, if you find a job then you’re being paid to keep going! We’ve already got our eyes on the Caribbean for Winter because its a hot spot for Skipper/Hostess jobs.
I have to mention also that my blog does come with me wherever we go. Its my main source of income and greatest passion so I can’t leave it behind and it also keeps a steady flow of money coming through (as well as trips, clothes and more). I’m actually so thankful for this little space on the internet because it allowed me to travel in the first place and keeps me going. Its been quite the godsend the last few months and gives me an incredible way to document our trips.
And finally, I can afford to travel because I really want to travel. I want it so badly that I put my all into saving, planning and just letting go. If you really want it, you can do it regardless of the sacrifice. Now I know that sounds a little OTT because some people can’t leave full time work or kids, but long weekends and other ways of travelling are out there – it doesn’t all have to be big trips.
Thats the end of my post – sorry its quite heavy but there is a video version HERE if you want to listen rather than read! 🙂
a twenty-something exploring the world with a double espresso and a camera.