One of the biggest myths out there, in my opinion, is that travel is always expensive, and unless you have a huge income or trust fund there’s no way you can go anywhere exciting or interesting, or have a good time. Magazine and newspaper articles, cruise brochures, or blogs with gorgeous photos that show expensive hotels and destinations have led many to believe that unless they’re spending a ton of money, it’s just not worth going. The message seems to be: money = fun.
Traveling is not free (nothing is), but it’s just not true that you can’t go where you want, have the experience of a lifetime and a good time too even if you’re not loaded. Wonderful, inspiring and fun-filled journeys can be taken for a lot less than you might imagine. Even if your income is minimal, if you want to travel you can make it happen.
The great thing is that today there are loads of websites, blogs, apps and so forth devoted to travel bargains that can help make your travel dreams come true even if you have a minimum wage job and/or kids. There are so many ways out there to not only save for travel, but also ways to save while you travel.
Here are a few ideas for how you can travel even if your income is limited:
- Make saving for travel a priority. Even if your income is small, you can save if traveling is your goal. It might take you longer than others to gather enough funds to take your trip, but it can be done. These are my favorite ways to save, but there are loads of other ways to add to a travel account. The one exception to this is if you are carrying debt, get rid of it first! It’s so much better to be able to cover all your travel costs and expenses before you go, and not have to come home to even more debt.
- Search out information on how to travel on a budget. One of my favorite travel websites is Nomadic Matt, a blog dedicated to traveling more for less. Matt has pages of tips for taking great trips and making great memories for less. He encourages travelers to think differently, and look for the travel deals that exist out there. The Thrifty Nomads is another great site for learning how to travel for less. There are lots of other sites as well for things like house-sitting or swapping, earning miles or other travel points, etc. – just do a search for budget travel bloggers, check out some sites and see where they lead you.
- Change your mindset. This is perhaps the biggest step someone can take if they think they can’t afford to travel. One of the biggest obstacles to traveling for less begins with the thought, “I’m too poor to travel” or something along those lines. Start by getting rid of the idea that everyone who is traveling has money or income or time that you don’t – that simply isn’t true. Instead, tell yourself that you can travel, and then start looking for ways to make it happen. Start small, but open yourself to finding extra income, to looking for travel alternatives like using sharing services, or to earning bonus miles with your credit card or other opportunities to make your travel dreams a reality. If you don’t believe you can afford to travel, you never will.
If there are places in the world or just in your own state that you want to see, I firmly believe that almost anyone can make it happen even if they’re not rich or well-off. It takes determination, savings, knowledge and a maybe a change of thinking to make it happen, and it may take a while to achieve a your goal, but it can be done. Travel dreams can come true!