Author: Sean Keener

How Do People Come Up with the Money for Travel?

Money, or lack of, is the biggest reason we hear from people when we ask why they haven’t taken the leap and traveled around the world.
While you do need money to be able to travel, you don’t need nearly as much as you might think, and folks are doing all sorts of creative things to help fund their journeys.

If you have questions about how people save the money to make their travel dreams happen, check out our FAQ’s below, and you’ll be making a plan and taking off sooner than you think!

I’m Freaking Out! How Do People Scrape Together That Much Money?

Let’s face it, some people you hear about that did RTW trips got help from their parents or have some other source of funds. Saving up $10,000- $20,000 or more is not something that most people can do in any short amount of time, but it can be done if it’s a priority.

The majority of people who have gone RTW are not rich, don’t have trust funds, and didn’t win the lottery.

The majority of people who have gone RTW are not rich, don’t have trust funds, and didn’t win the lottery. They were diligent and focused on a major goal, just like when people save for things like college, cars, houses, and having children. This is no different, and if you look at like the major investment it is, it might be easier to get over those mental hurdles telling you that you can’t do it.

But I Can Only Save A Few Hundred A Month. It’s Going To Take Me Forever.

If you’ve gone through your expenses and income and are only in the green by a little bit, it may look daunting right now. Don’t worry, it will get better. You just need to get creative. When you save for something big like this, you’re going to have to sacrifice and use some creativity to save the necessary amount of money – no one said it was going to be easy.
Check out these articles for tips and advice for saving:

Where Do I Even Begin?

The most important thing to do is start tracking every single dollar you spend. Find out where all your money is going. Then really think about where you can make cuts.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself and what you can do to start cutting expenses right now:

  • Do you spend a lot of money going out to dinner or getting carry out?
    • If so, start cooking.
  • Do you spend a small fortune at the bars?
    • If so, start buying booze at the store and inviting friends over.
  • Do you like to shop?
    • Stop now. You’re going to be ditching a lot of your stuff before you leave anyway.
  • Can you live without cable? A home phone? A massive data plan on your phone?
    • It all adds up, so prioritize what it is you really need.

This Sounds Really Difficult.

It is! This is why so few people travel the world. Society teaches us that it’s normal to sacrifice and save large chunks of money to buy stuff – houses, cars, etc. Saving for big purchases like that is also really difficult. The difference really is in mindset. Cultural norms say that is an acceptable way to spend a large chunk of money, but for some reason, spending the equivalent of a down payment on a house on a year of travel isn’t looked at in the same way, though it should be.

Like any type of large, life-altering purchase, you have to be 100% committed, or it will never work.

It is hard, like any big purchase in life, but ultimately you have to decide what’s more important. Another night at the bar with your buddies or girlfriends, or quitting your job and traveling around the world for a year. Like any type of large, life-altering purchase, you have to be 100% committed, or it will never work.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Save More?

Once you start cutting out unnecessary expenses, you’ll notice that monthly savings amount starting to go up. If it’s still going to take 5+ years to meet your goal (which is just the case in some situations), start thinking about ways to make more money.

Like Getting Another Job?

Exactly. Many RTW travelers work 2 or 3 jobs before departing. Not only does this bring in more money, but it cuts back on your free time, which is when you spend the most money. So more work helps double your savings. There are plenty of other money making methods, too.

What Else Can I Do?

Yard Sale
You have to use some ingenuity. Start going through all your useless crap that’s been piling up at home. Start selling stuff you don’t need on Craigslist and Ebay. Have a garage or yard sale. If you own a car, decide what you plan to do with that before leaving. Maybe you can sell it and start using public transport, cutting down on gas, car payments, and insurance costs? Donate blood, eggs, or sperm. Take part in medical testing. Do whatever your morals will allow you to do (just try not to do anything illegal).

Is All This Really Worth It?

Well, that’s for you to decide. This is hard. Very hard. You’re going to hate it at times. Constantly turning down invitations from friends and family for night’s out is not fun.

I’ve never once seen, read, or heard of any single person regretting taking a RTW trip. NEVER!

But once you’re on the road, it all becomes worth it. I’ve never once seen, read, or heard of any single person regretting taking a RTW trip. NEVER!

Is There Anything I Can Do To Keep Me Motivated?

Read blogs of people on the road. Join different travel forums (like the one here at BootsnAll) to talk to like minded people who are doing the same thing. A support group does wonders when you’re questioning yourself. Check out Meet, Plan, Go!
Print out pictures of destinations you plan to visit, put them in a small photo album, and keep it in your desk at work. When you’re feeling particularly discouraged, open it up. It’s sure to put a smile on your face!
So now you have a rough idea of how much this whole venture is going to cost. You’ve worked out how long you’ll have to save for, and now you have tips for saving and pushing that departure date up. Next up could also help with the budget. Have you thought about working during your trip?
For more in depth information on money saving tips, including another checklist, check out this article.
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Photo credits: Montage Communications, Larry Page