THE BIGGEST MYTH ABOUT TRAVEL
So I thought it was only fitting to start off ShaleeWanders.com confronting the biggest piece of crap myth about travel. Guesses anyone? I'll give you a hint:
"How do you afford to travel so much?"
If I got a dollar for every time someone asked me that question I would be in Costa Rica right now. What also blows me away is that I don't even travel that much. I'm not jetting off to Paris then spending a week in Bali, I go to school full time and work a part-time job. All I do is make the most of my free time. I mean, of course you have to have some money to travel, but you do not need to be rich to travel.
Should I repeat that?
You do not need to be rich to travel.
God I hate people who think that they can't afford to travel. Oh hey, nice smartphone by the way.
All it takes to travel is a little bit of saving and some good planning. This counts for any kind of traveling, whether it be a 5 hour drive or 6,000 miles away. City or not.
Excuses for not being able to travel are the biggest load of crap. You can always afford to travel, if you don't have the money it is just because you chose to spend it on something else. If you really wanted that Xbox you gave up a four day trip to New York City. Which is totally fine because you might prefer that Xbox instead. It all depends on what is a priority in your life. If you make travel a priority it will happen. Need help on how to make it a priority? Stop taking monthly trips to the mall, eat out less, say no to that night of drinking with your friends. Everything that I buy I ask myself if it is worth it.
"Is this scarf worth the $15? Or should I save that $15 for a nice meal in Italy?"
It's really a simple concept and it works really well.
However, if traveling to you is staying at the Four Seasons Resort, you're right maybe you can't afford to travel. See I like adventure travel, which is perfect for budget travel. Skip out on hotels and stay in hostels or try websites like airbnb.com or couchsurfing.com where you can actually stay in others homes at a way cheaper price. Every experience I have had doing these things has been wonderful. Many people have the wrong impression of hostels through movies, no they really aren't sketchy (most of them).
You know what's great about the internet? Reviews! Go to the website and read the reviews, if there are multiple comments saying "this is sketchy" then stay away.
Make smart choices. Don't settle for an expensive hotel because you "give up" on searching after 5 minutes. Spend extra time now so you can save later. With the couple hundred to even a thousand dollars, you save you can go on a whole other adventure! The best-priced hotels are never the first hotels displayed. Plus Expedia is not going to advertise a room on the beach you can get for $70 a night. Do research. Research is key.
Another thing people don't realize is that you don't have to fly to a foreign land thousands of miles away to find adventure. Adventure is literally right in your backyard, wherever you are. You know how many adventures I have had within two hours from home? So many! I mean I went skydiving 30 minutes from where I grew up. That's pretty adventurous!
There's somebody out there who is probably thinking about how they want to save up for a trip but have no idea where to start. Start out small, every time I pay for something in cash and get the change I pretend like I didn't get anything back and put the extra money in a savings bin. Once the bin builds up I take it and put it in my savings. Easy as that. You will be shocked at how fast those savings will grow. Even if you just put 2 dollars in.
So stop saying you can't and start! A little motivation will give you even more motivation to save.
Just ask yourself, is that 3 dollar coffee really worth it?
All in all, people choose to spend their money on different things. For me, I like spending it on experiences. I would much rather pay 30 dollars to go zip lining instead of a new shirt from the mall. If you would rather zip line too, say no next time you're debating whether to buy that shirt or not.
You will hear me repeat these words again and again in future posts and in more depth in budget posts. I am going to drill it in your brains and you are going to get annoyed of me saying it. But this is such an important concept. Should I say the magic words again?
You do not need to be rich to travel.
Say it with me now:
"You do not need to be rich to travel."
Okay, now that we got that out of the way. Start planning! If you could go anywhere right now where would it be? Not sure? Start saving anyway! You never know when you're going to want to take a spontaneous trip with your friends. As I always say, some of the best trips are planned in a day. Budget trips can still be last minute trips. You'd be surprised at how much planning can be done in one night. Find a good place to stay and the most important part is taken care of. See? Easy!
Another important thing is not to bring too much money on your trip. If you had a trip goal of $800 but you saved up $950, leave the $150 at home. If you bring it you are more inclined to blow it on a stupid toy replica of the Eiffel Tower and a pack of underwear that says each day of the week in French. Just use it as a jump start for your savings on your next adventure.
I'll wrap this first post up with this:
It is possible. Let your friends laugh at you and tell you "good luck with that". I'm sure they'll still be laughing looking at a picture of you on a camel in Morocco.
So what are your thoughts? How do you save for your trips?