Travel is a big dream for many people, and if you are one of those who finds themselves staring wistfully out of a rainy window, thinking about the cocktail you had on the beach on your last holiday, then it’s your dream, too. Dreams cost nothing, but unfortunately, adventures do. Not everyone with a hint of wanderlust and itchy feet feels like a life at the beach is for them. A beach is a wonderful way to unwind, but only after the mountains have been hiked, the bungee has been jumped and the ski slopes have been conquered. The world has so much more to offer than just a cocktail by the beach, though there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s a dream for you. For a lot of people, the first thing that they picture when they think about an action-packed vacation, is money. And the lack of it. The thing is, no money is no problem when it comes to finding an adventure.
Being on a budget isn’t a curse, it’s simply an obstacle to get to where your feet want to take you. There’s a great big world out there, one that is packed with ways to get you where you want to go on a limited fund. There are plenty of people who are travelling the world, securing their dreams and collecting their passport stamps like pennies on the street. The thing is, the people who are able to do that are either blessed with the right amount of cash in their pocket, or they have been a little more creative about their vacation time and how they spend their money. Try not to feel jealous of those in a privileged situation who have no care in the world and money is no object. While it would be nice, it’s just not on the cards for everyone. It doesn’t matter how many times you hear someone you know bragging about this place and that place, you could be doing it yourself. Don’t shake your head, reader, where there is a will and all that. This means you have to be smart and get really creative about your finances.
Choosing not to plan adventures because you see the end number and think you can’t afford it, is an easy way out. No one ever said that chasing the globe was going to be easy, but it does have the potential to be cheap. There are people out there cycling round the world on a tiny budget, and you don’t hear them complaining about the chafe! It’s all about how you think and how you plan, and planning is the ultimate key for adventuring the world on a budget. Committing to living to a tight budget while researching the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is the way forward. Your adventures are banking on you keeping the right mindset, and if you have it on your mind to go and taste the rainbow when you jump into a waterfall, then you’ll do it. Well, if you truly want it, you’ll do it. Finding the cash to do it is easy enough, you just have to be willing to adjust your lifestyle and the way that you spend your cash, so that you can funnel that money into your savings account. Adventures cost money but the memories that you make back from them are priceless.
You could take yourself to your death with all the riches you’ve ever accumulated. Or you can be bold and save up, and for every thousand that you save, spend it on an adventure. There are plenty of adventures that you can have for a thousand dollars or less, and if you’re creative enough, you’ll find it easy to save what you need to. The one thing that most people don’t realise, is that an adventure doesn’t have to be a long-haul flight to Ayers Rock. It doesn’t have to be a sixty-day cruise around the tropics, either. Your adventures can be as big or as small as you and your budget choose for them to be. When you want to camp, head for the websites that are selling camping equipment second hand. Why does your equipment have to be brand new? You want adventures, but your wallet doesn’t want you to go. So, get around it! You don’t have to be loaded to camp under the stars and pretend you are hurtling through space. Adventure is all about getting back to basics and experiencing the world as raw and as beautiful as it is in front of you. Limited resources mean living out of a backpack and hand washing your smalls as you go. It means carrying a sleeping bag and a tin kettle for a cup of tea over a fire. Is that not just the best adventure?
Once you realise how much your feet are willing to walk you through the world, you need to make it happen. That bug, that wanderlust, it never goes away. All you are doing is making it so that you are your own obstacle: stop doing that. Look at your lifestyle and make changes that can change your life. You don’t need a takeaway a week; swap it for once a month. Those other takeaways you would have bought? Chuck the money into the savings account. You could easily save a couple of hundred a month doing that – easy money, really! Stop nipping into the local shops for ‘bits and pieces’ and stick to a list and a meal plan. There’s not much worse than living to your means. It’s easy to say you can’t afford to take a break and go on an adventure, but if you are spending your money on the best and biggest television package and the biggest smartphone deal, then you are simply spending on things that are standing in your way. Downgrade your television, get a pay as you go smartphone and only spend what you need. Use the money that you would have spent on those other things on adventure savings.
Being torn between the fact you only live once and wanting to stay out of debt is a difficult one. I don’t want to tell you to max out your credit card by having a once in a lifetime adventure, but then again, some adventures ARE once in a lifetime. The best thing to do if you are tempted to use your credit card is to look at the benefits your credit card gives you while you travel, such as insurance, and make sure that you can pay back your card over time. Nothing is impossible if you want something badly enough. You could choose to avoid flying around the world altogether, and instead hitchhike on ships. You can use websites like this to hop a ride with new friends, although you should stay safe when you do this. Carpooling is a great idea to share the cost if you want to get somewhere, but it’s a good idea to ensure that you let someone know where you are and who you are travelling with at all times. It’s nice to meet new people, but safety first, ladies and gents!
If you are still doubting whether you can afford to go on adventures, then you need to start looking at cost of living indexes for various places and work out the cheapest places that you could take yourself. Remaining disciplined with your spending and taking the time to work out how much cash you need to use and working hard to save it is always the better idea. You could earn as you travel with these ideas, and you could exchange your volunteering services for accommodation and food. There are some countries that pay in kind rather than give cash, but when you want to travel on a budget this is a good thing. You need a country that is going to inspire you while you spend your money exploring it. You also need to make yourself a list of dream destinations and the types of adventures that you want to have, so that you can always keep yourself motivated to live in a more frugal manner.
The only person that can stop you travelling the globe is you. If you have a family to consider, plan your adventures with them. Hike together, swim in the big oceans as a family. Learn where you can make cuts to the household and live frugally but comfortably until you get your cash reserve built up and ready for your adventure of a lifetime. The world is literally laid out in front of you, and with the right planning and cash, you can make your world your oyster. Keep in mind the amount of discipline that you need to have and don’t give yourself a chance to cave in. You’ve got your destiny in your hands, all you have to do is plan where you want that destiny to take you.