How I afford to travel so much and how you can too

By Lauren - October 15, 2021

The Met, NYC. 

“How do you afford to travel so much?!" This is a question I get asked all the time.
 


No, I’m not rich. (Don't I wish!) I don’t go into debt to afford my trips, nor do I have anyone else funding them for me. Read below for how I afford to travel consistently.  


1. I prioritize travel. I budget for it and make sacrifices elsewhere in my budget which usually means less eating out, less concerts/event/movie tickets and hardly any impulse shopping. I don’t get my hair and nails done every month. Maybe a few times a year. I don’t shop at the most expensive stores for groceries or clothes. What do I do for fun then? Hiking, volunteer work, reading, urban exploration and taking advantage of free things to do locally. My side hustles also take up a lot of my free time. 


2. I hustle. I have 2-3 additional side gigs on top of my 9-5 job. Pet-sitting, web design, sponsored IG posts, freelance social media clients + a small amount of revenue from book sales. All this usually adds up to an extra 1-3k a year or more which goes straight into savings. 


3. I take advantage of travel deals in my inbox. Sometimes I don’t have a set destination in mind and I book what’s on sale. I also travel during off-season. Not during holidays or during the summer which is peak travel time and prices for many places.


4. Credit card hacking. I  have a good credit score and pay off my cards each month. It took me a few years to research/get into this but it can be lucrative if done correctly and timed right. I jumped on a credit card offer this year, put all my bills on that card for two months and BAM got 9 nights worth of free hotels stays in points. Just for paying my bills I would’ve been paying regardless. Be sure to read the fine print on cards before you apply or open new lines of credit! I'm still researching this a lot and don't open many cards at once because it will affect your score.


5. Lifestyle creep. It’s a thing. I’m not as frugal as I once was when I first started traveling years ago. As my salary increased, I didn’t upgrade my apartment or buy all new furniture etc. and most goes into savings now. 


6. I couchsurf or stay at hostels! I don't need to do this as much anymore since I can afford hotels with my salary now but in the past I really wanted to travel and I made it work on a shoestring budget. (much to my parent's dismay about staying with strangers on Couchsurfing, LOL. For my safety tips read here. ) 


These are just a few of the things I do to be able to afford to travel so much. Do you implement any of these or have any general savings tips of your own? Let me know! 

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