Hey, Travel bloggers. “How can you afford to do all that traveling??”

Scroll down to content

Actually I’m not asking you that question. I get asked that question myself, and I know it can be a frustrating question to answer. So how do you answer it? What other question do your less or non traveling family and friends ask you?  My answer is below.

Sorry about the blurriness. This was taken on a non digital camera and that was then uploaded. This is me in Thetford, England visiting my uncle who lived there at the time. Visiting family and friends is a great way to save money while traveling and makes the trip so much more enjoyable as well.

So how do I afford to do “all that traveling”? Well, actually I don’t feel like I travel that much at all.  At least, not near as much as I’d like to travel. It would be interesting to see how often I would get asked the question if I actually traveled to the degree I dream of doing.  But really the best answer I can give is the pictures you see when I travel are only the end result.  You don’t see the careful planning, work, time, (and most often overtime) I put in to being able to do this.  I often have some money on my  credit card I have to work off after the trip as well. (Although I try to avoid that because it can really wreak some serious havoc on your life)

Mostly, it is just meticulous planning. Figuring out a budget. Reading a lot of travel books and some of the absolutely amazing blogs I have been blessed by coming across.  The community is wonderfully supportive. The more you travel, the less expensive it can become. You build a network of friends who are invaluable. Also, there are things like work/volunteer opportunities, home stays, hosteling, and little known discounts to help as well.  Seriously, if you want to find a way to travel, the way will find you if look hard enough.

Probably the most frustrating comment I hear is probably  a variation on “Boy, I wish I could travel that much but, …..”  I don’t want to presumptuously speak for all travelers but I think many of us would say  ” You could if you really want to do it”.  Besides, everyone doesn’t have to go to Timbuktu to be a traveler. Travel starts in the heart. It’s a spirit, what W.B. Yeats called “The pilgrim soul”. There are amazing things to discover in your own city and your own country.  Going to the other side of town can be traveling if you approach it from a spirit of adventure.

So what say you? What questions do people ask you about travel? How do you answer them?  Lets start a conversation.

33 Replies to “Hey, Travel bloggers. “How can you afford to do all that traveling??””

  1. I think travel is possible as long as you prioritize it and don’t get in your own way. A frugal lifestyle and budgeting toward your goal is the most effective way to achieve your goals! This topic is one of the staples of my blog, so if you’d like to read more about it, follow this shameless plug to https://jamcafe.blog

  2. Great post! I can remember my parents scrimping and saving and planning so we could vacation each year. We stayed with friends and relatives and also camped.

    Another way to afford travel is through business trips, if available. I’ve done a little exploring after the work day, from time to time. I didn’t get to pick the initial destination, but it balanced out the trip.

    1. The business trip is a great way to travel without putting a lot of your own money up. A lot of the big business travel cities are in places like NYC and San Francisco, or Chicago all places witha lot to see and do. Thanks for your post.

  3. For decades, I knew in my heart that someday I would travel. Now I am. My mom and dad lived through The Great Depression. During that terrible time, my mom cleaned houses for a dollar a day and my dad was part The Civil Conservation Corp, a program started by FDR for unemployed youth. My parents formed a particular attitude toward money which they passed on to me. My mom saved enough money to pay for the college education of all three of her daughters. They both taught us how to stretch dollars by solving problems with a do-it -yourself approach or by buying things used at a fraction of the cost. I’m a saver. I buy most of my clothes from second hand stores and my beautiful home is decorated with garage sale treasures. I want to travel. I don’t want to spend my life surrounded by things. I want memorable adventures and experiences. I made this choice a long time ago. It’s working out well.

  4. Being frugal and realistic is the starting point, I think you’re right. Wannabe travelers who only consider a luxury vacation to the Seychelles or a world tour as “real” travel probably won’t get very far indeed. Native English speakers also have the tremendous advantage of being able to find teaching work pretty much anywhere in the world, which is a great way to travel to several countries while being paid. On the other hand, volunteering nowadays is becoming less and less attractive an option as most organizations offering interesting projects ask for astronomical sums of money, so it’s actually becoming more expensive (and less interesting) than just backpacking it. The only ways I can see to avoid this are making arrangements directly with the place you’re interested in helping, woofing, or being lucky enough to find an organization that doesn’t charge a fee yet.

    1. A lot of work can be found just showing up and asking around. Hostels are good options to network. Woofing is also good. Sadly volunteering has become a bit chic. And businesses who arrange them want their cut. Teaching even as a freelance is good as well as some virtual nomad options

  5. They way I do it this. 6 on and 6 off! 6 months in England picking up casual work up until Christmas then head off South to somewhere cheap and warm for the next 6 and do that cycle again catching the English summer June or July. has worked for me well since 2011. By the way, I live 30 minutes from Thetford, it’s a town I know well.

    1. Sounds like you have a good formula for traveling. I am curious as to where you live? I am familiar with a few towns close to thetford I explored while I was there. Cambridge of course is gorgeous. I liked Ely and the cathedral there was phenomenal. I liked Norwich ( I am a big fan of Alan Partridge so i definitely had to visit there.) I liked pretty much all of Norfolk.

  6. Good posting….I travel full time on my retirement pension. This sounds glamorous and it is but I don’t have a home. I had to choose between living in my own house and traveling a lot. And since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, travel is cheaper than living in my own house! And a lot of my travel is solo, which has been amazing (and at times difficult)

  7. Travel is a matter of priority. Do you need a new car every three year? A cartoon of cigarettes every week? A five dollar latte every morning? A speedboat? We choose travel…

    Do it in off season or fringe and save money. Don’t eat out in restaurants three times every day. In Tahiti, we bought a jar of strawberry jam and each day would walk to a local store and get a warm baguette, as opposed to the hotel’s $20 breakfast buffet for four people. Get a bottle of wine, cheese, salami and bread at the market & have a picnic. Rent a small car & book cheap hotels on the Internet instead of a tour. Spend your money on a museum pass, or a rail pass if you don’t want to drive.

  8. I think it’s also a matter of how you prioritize and what you choose to spend your money on… Do you want to buy fancy clothes, a nice car and a big house or could you buy less and spend the extra money on travel? I would always choose to spend my money on travel because (especially as I get older) I feel like I don’t really need a lot of material things in my life. As long as I have the basics covered, I don’t need more stuff taking up space. So, I basically just spend on food on a daily basis…some clothes every now and then but nothing over the top. And the rest, goes towards traveling.

    1. Hi Jolly Traveller. Sorry i didn’t get back sooner. Sometimes when a question comes up on an earlier post it doesn’t show up on my feed. But it is an excellent question. Well… The first time when i went to Europe back in the 80’s , I devoured my copy of “Let’s Go Europe’ by Harvard Press. The next time I went back to Europe it was 12 years later and the book didn’t seem as relevant to me (it is written for 20 somethings) I used “Rick Steves” guidebooks and enjoyed them very much and thought they were tremendously helpful. Outside of Europe (Middle East, Pacific, Caribbean and Central America) I really liked the “Lonely Planet” series. Hope that was helpful. Thanks for posting

  9. I just wrote something this morning on this generations lifestyle and how our parents and grand parents didn’t get to travel like we do. Your post is spot on, people always think if you travel lots you’re loaded or something else is missing. I keep getting asked when I’m settling down and having kids! I think travel is a luxury for most and it is a way of life for others. It is a choice to make and sometimes a sacrifice. I don’t live a lavish life but I go away 4 times a year. It’s worth not going out every weekend and it’s worth budgeting all year just to explore different places. Kelly

    1. Hi, Kelly Thanks for posting. Being on a budget for means traveling is more about quality than quantity. Sometimes I get the impression people think I travel more than I do is because I have so much fun when I do travel. ,

Leave a Reply