So I thought it was only fitting to start off 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 or 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!Β  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.Β  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?



  1. Josh Baker on January 31, 2014 at 4:22 AM

    Thanks for a little motivation. I know we just need to made some trades and save some money. Hopefully we’ll do some good traveling this summer.

  2. Yuna on January 31, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    I’m absolutely agree with you, travel needs money, but it doesn’t need to be be that luxury :). it based on our priority. I’m so agree with your post πŸ™‚

    “God I hate people who think that they can’t afford to travel. Oh hey, nice smartphone by the way.”
    Love the last time, hilarious πŸ™‚

    noted: Let me know if you put Indonesia on your travel list πŸ™‚

  3. dburley1 on February 1, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    Great Post ! The concept of saving money and prioritizing what you want out of life is so fundamental, yet totally missed by most people.

  4. Jen on February 4, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Where do I want to go? To the sand dunes with this pretty awesome girl I know! πŸ™‚ And then when I get brave….Nicaragua!

  5. wwwander on February 27, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    ‘You don’t need to be rich to travel’ – I totally agree with you! Once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug all you can think about is ‘save! save! save!’. Great post!

  6. stretchingittotravel on April 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Great post! I want to flick people in the forehead who tell me “it must be nice to be able to travel!” It is nice but I am just choosing to spend my money differently than you. I am willing to stay at the hotel across the road from the beach to save $120 a night. Its all about perspective.

  7. […] first ever blog post was “The Biggest Myth About Travel”, which of course was me ranting over how you can be broke as a joke and still see the world. As […]

  8. […] is “Shalee Wanders” birthday! One year ago today I posted my first blog “The Biggest Myth About Travel” and ever since my life has become a giant whirl-wind of […]

  9. Kristin on April 22, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Very inspiring message. I will print this post out and share it with my daughter. I want her out experiencing life rather than wandering in an air-conditioned mall shopping away. I’m 39 myself, but truly enjoy “adventuring” as well. And work in advertising :). Best wishes to you.

    • Shalee on April 28, 2016 at 1:46 PM

      Thanks, Kristin! Glad you enjoyed it. Tell your daughter I said hello! πŸ™‚

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