If traveling the world on two wheels sounds like something you want to do, but you don’t see yourself having the funds to actually do it, you aren’t alone. Budget is a big concern for travelers, but it’s an achievable dream nonetheless. Here are some creative ways to save money for travel.
1. The 20% rule
Saving 20% of your income is a sure-proof way to put away enough money for your travels. How long it’s going to take to save up for your big trip depends on how much you make and how much you want to spend (check out this post to get a rough idea on a long-distance travel budget), but putting 20% of your income into a savings account will quickly add up. If it sounds like too much, start with 15 or 10% and gradually increase that number. The key is to put that money away and forget about it until you have enough to leave for that long motorcycle journey you’ve been dreaming of.
My friend, traveler, and blogger Elisa Wirkala paid off her student loan and mortgage and had enough saved up to do long trips around Asia and Australia on her bike, all on a teacher’s salary. Sounds too good to be true? Read her full story here, but in a nutshell, Elisa followed the financial advice she got from the Mr Money Moustache blog. Frugal living, minimalism, and smart planning enable people to retire at 30 – and go around the world. Is it worth sacrificing those lattes, restaurant lunches, and new stuff you probably don’t need anyway? Only you can tell.
Saving money for travel is all about mindset. A great way of thinking about it is “your money or your life”, a phrase coined by Vicki Robin, author of the same title book. The idea is so simple it’s brilliant: instead of thinking of dollars or euros, which are replaceable and renewable, think in minutes, hours, and days of your life that you can never get back. If you make $20 an hour and spend $700 on an iPhone, you have just traded 35 hours, or a full day and a half of your life, for a gadget. When you think of it that way, saving becomes a lot easier – and faster.