Life on the road can be addictive. Anyone who has tasted long-term travel knows how strong the desire to keep going can be, and how crushing it is when you run out of money and have to rejoin the “real world”. A big part of delaying that day for as long as possible, is learning how to make your money stretch with insightful money saving tips – which is exactly what we’re going to cover in this post.
1. Start Where It’s Affordable
What do parts of Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Central and South America all have in common? Most countries in these regions are still relatively inexpensive to travel to and they offer just as much culture, history and diversity as some of the most expensive places in the world.
2. Organise Your Money and Accounts
Being constantly on the move makes it harder to keep track of one’s money and accounts and nothing is more irritating than having to give up your hard-earned travel bucks to pay fees that could have been avoided. Keeping a well-organised record of your bills and expenses will help avoid such occurrences.
3. Do the Math on “Rewards” Cards
Many budget travel gurus recommend using rewards credit cards, particularly to accumulate air miles. While this can be a good idea, it has backfired on many travellers when they realise the hidden fees they’re paying their bank, which essentially cancels out any rewards they have earned. Watch out for this trap and be very careful before you get sucked into using the wrong card.
4. Budget for Your Blowouts
Traveling on a limited budget doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not allowed to indulge once in a while, but a well-rounded traveller also knows all about alternatives: lunch menus and happy hour specials in a Michelin starred restaurant, or matinee showings instead of primetime. Some experiences are worth every penny but you don’t always have to pay full price for them.
5. Build Your Own Couchsurfing Network
No doubt you’re well aware of the Couchsurfing website – but when you’re travelling, it’s often easier to build your own personal network from the people you meet. If you’re active about keeping in touch with people you’ve met from all over the world, you’ll never be at a loss for a place to stay. Even if a friend you met travelling can’t put you up, they’ll be more than happy to help organise a place for you through their own travel-friendly network.
6. Freelancing: Your Quick-Income Life Saver
Sites like Elance, oDesk, and Guru make freelancing possible anywhere in the world. Job postings are plentiful and often require quick turnarounds so you can write an article about travel money tips or the best travel money rates available in the morning and get paid for it in afternoon.
7. Live Like a Local
Locals have a fountain of knowledge when it comes to their neighborhoods and are often generous about sharing them with eager travelers. Blending with the crowd not only saves you from expensive tourist traps, it also provides you with the opportunity to create lifelong friendships.
Do you know some other long term travellers who could benefit from these finance tips? Go ahead and Share.