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Many of us feel that we want to see the world but simply can’t afford to. With expensive flights, a comfortable place to sleep, and enough food to get through each day, expenses add up quickly and the costs of a vacation seem highly unattainable.
However, there are many ways to travel for the low-low. With some cost-cutting tips in your everyday life, you can save some major cash to take you somewhere else in the world, where even a tight budget might get you the vacation you’re looking for.
Dine Out Less
One of the biggest ways Millennials throw away money is by eating out far too often. Those who tend to eat out most nights might want to discontinue their lazy cooking habits and reconsider their grocery list. Someone who spends just 10 dollars a day on food ends up spending a whopping $300 by the end of the month. Imagine how quickly $30 a day adds up!
Say Bye-Bye To Bar Life
Those shots at your favorite spot might seem like a great decision at the time, but by buying a bottle at the liquor store and pre-gaming with your squad at home, the cost of drinking on a weekend could be reduced to half as much.
Unfortunately, this goes for coffee too. By brewing a pot at home instead of spending $5 a day on that little cup of heaven, another $150 can be saved by the end of each month.
By eating in more often, or drinking just slightly less, it is possible to save enough money in about four months to afford a vacation. It is a good idea to start a savings account or a trip jar where you deposit just a little each week equal to the amount that usually would have been spent on food or drinks.
As you learn to cook, take these ideas with you while you travel. Hostels are always a cheaper option to hotels, and often they have a fully equipped shared kitchen. While it’s always fun to try new foods abroad, it can get really expensive over the course of your journeys. Every now and then, it might be just as fun to home cook a meal for yourself and your new travel buddies.
Add a quick stop to the grocery store or local markets to your itinerary for some fresh produce, and have a picnic at one of the outstanding landmarks.
You’ve Got Legs, Use Them!
Another easy way to save money is to start walking more. The $5 you spend on the bus every day, or that $20 you put towards gas each week, can easily be reduced by getting some fresh air and exercise. Not to mention that it definitely won’t hurt to get that beach bod ready for your upcoming summer excursions.
Look Into Rewards Programs
There is also always the option of opening up a travel credit card to redeem rewards for your expenses. If you just can’t stop spending money on food, caffeine, or alcohol, you might as well get rewarded for each purchase!
You’ll find many choices when signing up for a credit card, so it’s best to pick one that fits your specific needs. Many travel related credit cards have higher APRs, so it is important to weigh all the benefits versus the setbacks.
Similarly, many airlines, hotels or booking companies will give rewards in exchange for signing up and utilizing their services. For example, loyal travelers using Hotels.com receive three nights free after their tenth stay. The American Airlines AAdvantage program offers frequent fliers to collect miles on flights (or on every-day purchases with any Citi AAdvantage credit card by MasterCard) to be exchanged for both air travel and hotel stays.
Scope Out Affordable Locations
There are many beautiful countries that are extremely inexpensive to explore with the exchange rate of the American dollar. Thailand and Indonesia, for example, can be visited for about as little as $25 a day.
If this still seems undoable for the wanderlust workaholic who simply can’t justify taking time off with no steady income, there are always options to work abroad. What better way to immerse oneself into another culture than to work there? Tending bar and waitressing are universal jobs that can earn you some quick cash, especially in countries that tip. Some hostels will even allow travelers stay for free in exchange for work. Lasly, there are endless opportunities to teach or nanny abroad, if you put in the time to seek them out.
Travel is always possible for those who are willing to make it happen. By making simple adjustments to your spending and saving habits, you’ll be amazed how attainable your dreams really are.