Yes, You CAN Afford To Travel
I love to travel, so I always get sad when I hear someone say things like “I’d love to go to _______, but I could never afford that”.
I always want to shake them and say “Yes you can!”, especially when I hear the longing in their voice.
Instead, I restrain myself and just ask them why not.
Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly?) they usually give me a kind of shocked, blank look before muttering something vague.
Challenge your assumptions
It’s pretty clear that most of the people I’ve asked that question have just kind of assumed that travel to faraway places is out of reach.
But it’s not, so long as you’re willing to be a little flexible. It’s true that it’ll be extremely hard to stay at a 5 star resort and eat every meal at the priciest restaurants if you make minimum wage, but that’s where the flexibility comes in.
Think about what’s important to you and prioritize so that the biggest chunk of your budget (after transportation) goes toward those. Actually make a list of what you love to do most, or think you would love to do most while traveling, and then figure up how much each activity will cost.
My favorite thing to do is poke along the streets of a city, popping into any store that interests me. That’s usually absolutely free (since I almost never buy anything) so it’s very feasible. But maybe fine dining is your thing. In that case, you could skip attractions with pricey admissions, and spend the money eating out instead.
Juggle things around until you come up with something reasonable that will fit within what you’re able to spend. Usually trying to think and act like a local will help you get good deals. (Since most people spend less when they’re at home.) Don’t take phrases like “New York is expensive” for granted. Sure, it can be expensive to travel to New York City, but it doesn’t have to be. You can get a $5 sandwich at Subway, or a $17 one at a deli. It just depends what you choose.
Time is your friend
Remember that you don’t have to go on a trip this week. Time is your friend; time to save up, and time to do your research and get the best deals. Frequent travel boards like TripAdvisor to see what other people’s experiences have been like and to get tips.
If you want to travel but have thought it was out of reach, focus on how to make it within your reach, because it’s entirely possible, even if you make a very low wage. It just takes some creativity and planning time, both of which actually add to the enjoyment of any trip.