This is a topic covered by many other bloggers. So why am I chiming in?
First, I am a strong believer in intentional, thoughtful, socially-conscious spending. And I happen to believe that responsible travel is a wonderful pleasure upon which to spend our money. Whether we go overseas to countries where our native language is not spoken, or we head elsewhere within the bounds of our own nation, travel can invigorate and inspire us in so many ways.
But how do we afford to travel? A few common answers:
There are some so-called industry secrets, many of which you are sure to find online. Some people get to travel a lot for work and do side trips along the way. Others get to spend large amounts of money on their personal Mileage Plus cards for their company, and then get reimbursed for it while keeping the credit. Still others will insist that if you simply cut out your daily latte, you’ll be on your way to Paris.
Then there are those who will give you the obvious tips, some of which are easier said than done: travel off-season, choose AirBnb, stay with friends, find airlines with crazy deals (usually off-season), avoid tourist traps.
While I appreciate these earnest ideas, the bottom line is that most of us simply need a lesson in saving money. There’s nothing glamorous about it, no true secrets that evade common sense, but there is one key ingredient many of us don’t possess naturally: self-control.
Because the truth is, travel does cost money. You can spend your own money or someone else’s (in the form of credits, connections, or some other social capital), but a lot of energy goes into transporting oneself from one place to another, and then finding housing, food and interesting activities to enjoy. This, however, doesn’t make travel impossible for those who desire it. Here’s my step-by-step guide.