Now I’ve written a couple of posts like this one in the past, how to save money, how to book trips easily etc to ensure that you can travel as much as possible. However, even so, I still have people approaching me dumbfounded as to how I can travel as much as I do. Just a little disclaimer, I do not travel all the time, I sometimes go a couple of months without going abroad, however, I will acknowledge I do travel a little bit more than the average person around me. Plus being a student only earning minimum wage, it does appear to be a pretty impossible situation. However, it is possible, and no before anyone says anything, it is not student loan (I wish!). My student loan does not even cover all of my expenses. Which is why if many of you are considering that option as you have the cash to spare, don’t. It’s not meant for travelling, nor is it sustainable (one day you won’t be receiving that loan!)
So here’s a brief but brutally honest guide to travelling frequently if you’re not blessed with tonnes of cash! If you want more detailed trips, my two posts ‘How to save your pennies and go travelling‘ and ‘How to travel with ease whilst living the student life‘ should help!
SAVE NOT SPEND
Of course, travelling can be excluded here, but just think logically, how am I able to travel all the time? I don’t buy makeup, clothes, meals out, luxury items, nights out frequently or sometimes at all. Have a think about how much you spend on the aforementioned items…I bet it is quite a lot! Sometimes even hundreds. Stop spending and start saving, put the cash away that you would normally spend on those ‘pointless’ things and before you know it, you will have a nice travel fund. If you really struggle, put some money away as soon as you get paid into a limited access account!
Now, this is also important. You may have some cash saved up now, but how on earth can you travel when a week in Spain in the summer costs over £1000?! Well, the answer is, you don’t go to places during their peak travel time. Nor do you pick a destination spontaneously. To travel a lot, it is best to collate a few lesser known destinations, travelling to them when they are at their quietest and cheapest. Of course, don’t do this to the extent that the trip is unpleasant, but jiggle your dates around to optimise cost and experience. I understand that sometimes you may want to visit somewhere during the peak period, which is fine! But understand the cost will be higher, and not every trip should be like this.
LOTS OF SMALL TRIPS > ONE BIG TRIP
I’m not going to lie, I love a huge escape away, but of course this zaps your cash away instantly. By staying on the continent and going away for a few two-four night breaks away, you can see more places and experience much more within a year. For instance, I have visited Poland four times within the past year, with the average cost being £100. That is the cost of two high-end makeup palettes or four items of clothing in New Look or three nights out or four meals out…or a mixture of all of those things. Illustrating it this way…it’s not that much money to spend to go abroad is it? In comparison my near three-week trip to Japan this September will cost over £1000 – and I’ve been saving up for 5 months so far with 5 months to go. Which is why I only recommend big trips if you are willing to do the saving and be patient waiting for it, otherwise opt for lots of small trips. Plus with £1000 that’s 10 short trips to Eastern Europe if you wanted it. Small trips > big trip
Booking in advance and booking smartly too is key. As I already mentioned, I had to book my Japan trip nearly a year in advance to be able to afford it. Moreover, this also means the flights were cheaper as they were bought in advance. Booking last minute can be extremely risky as when demand goes up, so does the cost. The only situation I can recommend it is if you are trying to go away during an off-peak period, as many places will be desperate for you to book! I also recommend that you book everything independently and shop around. Travel agents and tour companies quoted £3000-£4000 for a 3 week tour of Japan, yet I’ve got it for £1100 per person all because I have booked it all myself. A HUGE saving. Also due to unstable exchange rates, I’ve shopped around and re-jigged my accommodation from hotels to Airbnbs, something I am super excited about. The total cost has been brought down from £750 per person, down to £320…for more space which in Japan isn’t exactly aplenty. As I’ve already said, this final aspect is key, you’ve done the saving, you’ve done the itinerary, all you have to do now is book smart to keep the costs down to an absolute minimum.
I hope these tips find you well, it really is quite simple. Just don’t spend your cash, go to the right places at the right time, go on small trips and book it all yourself in advance <3 If fellow travel bloggers from all walks of life (students, freelancers, full time workers, anyone!) want to shed light on some of their tips below that would be fabulous, as this is mainly from the perspective of a student of course!