I am fortunate to be a professional travel blogger. This allows me to visit both exotic, and adventurous destinations, staying in high-end hotels, villas, or lodges with the expenses covered by the client. This hasn’t always been the case, like most people I have had to balance paying my everyday living costs with a passion for travelling. In this post I’ll provide some budget travel tips, for travelling while still paying a mortgage.
Regardless of how important travel maybe, it’s essential to prioritise effectively, having a roof over the head, and food on the table is the number one priority. Funding a once in a lifetime trip to that dream destination, at the expense of paying the household bills isn’t just irresponsible, it’s plain stupid. It’s therefore important to budget effectively, cover all living costs first, then keep a little more aside for unforeseen emergencies. Hopefully, there will still be some left over to save towards that dream holiday.
Modern full-time nomads, that have sold all their possessions, and are travelling long-term around the world, without a home address are a relatively rare breed. Most people need a degree of security, some roots, and a place to call home, however, most of the tips here are will be useful for both, most digital nomads have learned these already from experience.
It’s also necessary to decide what the priorities for the vacation are, only the rich and famous don’t need to worry about the cost. Deciding to fly long-haul to a luxury destination may need some compromises in accommodation, and dining options. It is dependent on the individual, which is more important, the experiences the trip will provide, or staying in a luxury all-inclusive resort, is fine dining preferential to including several excursions.
Saving money by staying in hostels may not be first choice for everybody, but self-catering apartments, caravans, or even camping are ways to save money in destination. Buying sensibly from local supermarkets, and cooking a few meals instead of dining out is undoubtedly cheaper. If this doesn’t sound appealing then choose restaurants wisely, there are usually plenty of good value restaurants, serving tasty meals, save expensive Michelin starred restaurants for a treat.
Buying wine, or beer in the supermarkets, will also save some hard-earned cash. Enjoying a drink with a meal, or spending time in the local bars is part of the pleasure of holidaying for many, but restricting the number of expensive drinks purchased, and sharing a bottle of wine on the hotel patio can be equally pleasurable, and certainly wise.
Taking a short hop to a more ‘local’ destination on a budget airline, or even by bus will probably mean there is more cash left in the kitty for the extras. It maybe that several long weekend trips are preferable to one long holiday, a lucky few can even afford to combine one, or two longer trips with several shorter breaks, it’s about balancing the budget wisely.
Once a comfortable budget is decided, the next most important step is to do plenty of research, shop around for the best deals, nobody accepts the first mortgage rate offered, finding the best interest rates is imperative, it’s equally true when looking for travel deals. There are dozens of sites which allow airfare comparison such as CheapFlights, and accommodation providers like Villas.com allow searching for a variety of options in the desired destination. Some operators may provide deals which combine both, take the time first to find the hot deals which will save money.
Paying for the trip, and holiday expenses with a credit card often means purchases are covered by short-term insurance. However, failing to pay off the balance within the limit will result in interest charges. Using credit facilities to fund a once in a lifetime trip maybe be an acceptable option, providing it’s accepted that this may impact on the following years travel budget. Sometimes compromising, and securing a small loan are necessary to meet an otherwise unreachable dream, it’s a balancing act, which if managed sensibly can fund a lifetime of travel.
Do you have any budget travel tips, how do you balance the cost of living with a passion for travel? Please share your tips in the comments section, and help others achieve a healthy balance.