A lot of people see me as a free spirited woman with endless pit of cash for travels. Social media does that, so anyone can snoop in to anyone’s lifestyle. In truth, I’m kinda like a work hard, play hard type, still paying off loans and so I’m here to lead you to get that travel fund started and find your weekend haven too.
Started with nothing.
Started from the bottom now we’re here. Haha. Seriously, it all depends on your priorities and goals in life. Among my top priority is keeping myself healthy and well-balanced. Being introverted, I’m pretty emotional and travel is one of my outlet to keep the balance in my life. I work hard, I will play harder coz I deserve it.
I kid you not but none of our trips so far are sponsored. All expenses and itineraries were fruit of our sleepless hours of working hard.
Here are some tips to get you started with winning the travel department.
1. Start Local.
Explore your town or city if you have not done so yet. You’ll be surprised to find some hole in the wall restaurants, the lake with a view that you’ve taken for granted or an old book shop that you didn’t know exists for years or colorful alleys for your next instagram background. It’s cheap, most of the time free, and you dig a deeper connection with your roots. When you know you have grounded yourself well enough, it’s time to spread your wings and prepare to fly. :)
2. Start your travel fund.
How to save for travel fund? Keep a separate budget for travel. Small or big, your savings will all matter at the end of the year. Set your focus on your destination. Do you intend to travel locally or internationally? Logistics you might consider in keeping your budget close to reality: accommodations, visa requirements, travel season (winter time, requires winter outfit), travel buddies, transportations, food, etc.
3. Plan early.
Airline tickets, hotels and tours usually have early bird promos. You will save almost 50% of your travel cost by booking early. Mind you, minsan pang-budget meal lang. I even scored P500+ return tickets of Manila-Jakarta for two.
Of course, it will come with a risk of no refunds in case you change your mind later on. Pro-tip: go on off-peak dates to score more discount. Read on travel blogs to get you started with itineraries.
4. Work Harder.
If you work at an 8-5 job, chances are you think that you don’t have any leisure time to travel, more so, travel fund to seal the deal. My addiction to travel actually sparked during the times that I had my first job and I only earn a minimal wage. My friends and I, all employees of different companies, meet up occasionally on weekends to go on an overnight climbing or beach trip. It’s cheap, clean fun for us. We get to unwind in the mountains from a busy work week and recharge ourselves with like minded people. It was that time that I realize, spending on an out of town trip on weekends is cheaper than spending my time on a crowded mall.
Work hard and reward yourself with a little pampering trip for the body, mind and soul. Recharge and repeat.
5. Side Hustle.
If your full time work is not paying enough to make up for your travel fund, why not explore your other talents and do a side hustle. Marketing, Online Jobs, Driving, Plumbing, Data entry works, App Developer, are some of the services you can offer to make an extra moolah.
This is what takes a lot of my free time. I do freelance graphic and web design. I have an online shop I ran by myself. It get’s pretty hectic most of the time but I am blessed to do something I love.
Before a big trip, I usually end up with some small projects that takes away most of my waking hours/ supposed sleeping hours plus the stress of doing itineraries. So imagine my relief of finally breathing fresh air, away from my computer screen and eating delicious food instead of guzzling cups of coffee to keep me awake for the deadlines.
Remember: Good things come to those who hustle.
6. Shop less.
I confessed I’m not only a travelholic but a shopaholic as well. But I know how to control myself more if I need to focus on big goals. I don’t buy high ticket items if it don’t benefit me for a long period of time (years if I may), as well as low value items if it will only last for months. I usually do a double take if I need to put the money on investments instead of material things. Travel fund is life. That is my Tita moment right there.
7. Do it yourself or Group Tours?
What may be best option for us may not be best for others. We prefer doing tours by ourselves. Drafting our own itinerary and moving from place A to place B via public transport. We even get to choose to slow down or indulge in a full packed activity day. We get lost sometimes, but in Google Maps we trust. Of course, the kindness of locals we encounter during our travels are what we feel most privileged to experience.
Wishing you the best of travels this year. Keep on walking, keep on traveling!