*This post is done in partnership with People's Choice Credit Union*
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I manage and afford to travel as much as I do. I love having a base and home and I’m not nomadic by any means, but having travelled at least 12 times in the last year, I guess it is a legitimate question.
While travelling has become more popular through the years, and many (myself included!) subscribe to the belief that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, I must say this: At the end of the day, travel is still a luxury. Technically, a human being can live an entire life without leaving his hometown. But I think we can all agree that it is one luxury that is getting close to becoming a need.
The way travel just broadens one’s mind is enough to make it a need – much like formal education.
Here are some simple ways that you can feed your love for travel without breaking the bank.
1.) Live Simply
I’m not here to preach about money or budgeting, but it’s astonishing to see the number of people who tell me they “really want to travel the world but can’t”, and then eat out everyday, and go partying every weekend. Newsflash: You need money to travel. And I don’t know about you, but I like to be comfortable when I travel. When I travel, I prefer to indulge in hotels, food, and activities. So when I’m home, I try to live quite simply, most especially with what I eat. If I ate how I eat during my travels when I’m at home, that photo above wouldn’t be possible as I would have literally broken the camel’s back.
And most people don’t realise that eating out often can be costly. Even cheap takeaways can total to 50-70 AUD a week if you do it often. But other than the cost, the motivating factor for me is how much healthier it is to eat at home. I love making my own food and knowing what is exactly in it.
Same goes with other expenses. Travel is really my biggest vice (ok fine, next to swimwear, cosmetics and clothes). But what I mean is, I understand that in order to feed this primary desire, the other desires will have to take a backseat. It’s all about knowing your priorities.
Happy is the man who can feed all superficial desires in equal doses, but the fact that I’m writing this and you’re reading it, that man is neither you or I.
2.) Travel Off-Season
The best times to travel in either North America or Europe are March – May or September – November. This is often heard and is not exactly some ‘pro-traveller’s secret’ technique. But it’s amazing how Summer and Christmas are still the most travelled times year after year. Some people have no choice, and some people just like those seasons to travel so much that they are willing to pay twice or thrice the price.
I always travel during shoulder season because airfares and hotel rates are at an all-time low and have several promotions, the weather is perfect – not too hot and not too cold, and the best part – there’s little chances of seeing busloads of tourists!
3.) Don’t be Bitter. Be Better.
“Well if only I could also have the access to the bank of Husband / Parent, then I can also travel non-stop.”
It’s inevitable to have these feelings creep up on you as you see one Instagram post after another of impossibly stunning ‘wanderlust’ and travel inspiration photos. But first of all, how other people afford to live luxuriously is none of our business. And second, instead of feeling bitter, why not better your situation and look for alternate / out-of-the-box solutions?
You may not have access to the bank of a sponsor, but who needs that when you’ve got People’s Choice Credit Union ? People’s Choice is one of Australia’s most successful member-owned financial institutions.
Depending on your requirements, budget, and lifestyle, they have different types of personal loans available. You can begin with as little as AUD 2,000 loan (enough for a return trip to Europe or the US!) with competitive interest rates fixed for the life of the loan.
Applications can be done easily online and they also have a personal loan calculator to help you calculate your weekly, fortnightly or monthly personal loan repayments. Everything is extremely convenient.
Why get into a personal loan?
I am by no means encouraging getting into debt. Sometimes, you need to realise that certain places may not always be there. For instance, the Maldives is sinking due to the rising sea levels. It is sad to wait for decades to have the money to travel only to realise that you are unable to go to the destination anymore.
4.) Learn to be Independent
It frustrates me when I see people who are able to travel, but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) as they are waiting for someone to go with them. Yes, I know that memories mean more when they are shared but you shouldn’t let other people’s situations tie you down.
When you travel with a group, you have to wait until everyone is ready and can take those days off. Sometimes waiting will mean missing out on a good airline deal, or having no choice but to travel during peak season.
I also consider time to be a resource. Most of the time it is a resource more important than money! So do not waste time and travel when you can. Just do it.