How do People Afford to Travel? The Honest Truth


It’s a question that we all ask. Don’t tell us that you’ve never seen someone and thought, I earn as much as they do, how come they can go on holiday to Thailand or the Maldives and we can’t, we have similar jobs. We wondered the same thing, but then we made some lifestyle changesWe’ve done some research too here to give you the best information possible, so let’s look at how people can afford to travel.

How do People Afford to Travel?

  •  put your everyday money management first.  Cash flow, Credit, and organisation.
  • Then once you’ve got this in check, look at booking holidays. And if you’ve done all of that, and still don’t have enough money, look at how to get more money.

Learn to manage these and you can go on your best holiday, when you want, wherever you want.

Money Management (This is a Game Changer!)

Your Cash Flow – A brief look into the nitty gritty

In short, how much money is coming in, and how much is going out every month.

Can you get to a number? Sure you can. This isn’t just your household bills, it’s your commuting costs, groceries, the lot!

Work out what the number is and you’ll have an idea of how much you have.

We did this when we first started thinking we wanted to go more places and it’s shocking sometimes. Just take a look at your bank statement and jot it down.

If you don’t have enough leftover at the end of the month think about what you can remove/cut out.

The worst is those free 30-day trial that you sign up to only realize you forgot to cancel. We had this with Amazon music and Prime. Cancel them, people!

Your approach to credit (i.e debt) – Don’t hate the player or the game

You can do so much if you have a good credit score.

You can use a credit card in a few ways to pay for a holiday but here’s a couple of days to do it without having to dip into your savings necessarily.

1) When you have a credit card you’re usually charged on a 1-month time lag, i.e 30 days after you make a purchase. When you pay for a holiday, you’ve got a 30-day window to pay i.e your next paycheck.

So if you plan it right you can pay some of the balance this month and the rest with a credit card the next month, with your next paycheck, clearing the balance. Voila, you haven’t dipped into your savings.

2) Another way to do it if you haven’t got loads of cash left over at the end of the month is to simply pay for the holiday on a credit card.

Get a credit card with zero interest for 24- 26 months, and pay the minimum payment which is usually 1% of your overall balance.

The reason we say go for a 24-26 month time frame is that even if you pay the minimum payment, after that time you will have paid a large amount of the overall balance, again without dipping into your savings.

A credit card with a shorter interest period e.g 6-12 months will put pressure on you.

If you can’t pay the balance after the 24 months you can, of course, balance transfer.

You will get charged a balance transfer fee to another card but even then we’re not talking big money.

We aim to pay our credit cards off before the end of our period mainly because you don’t want to be in a situation where you over-borrow and you want to keep payments out of your account as low as possible.

Your priorities – You’ve got to take it seriously!

What’s important to you? If every day you’re grabbing lunch, a coffee or two (we used to… well Bhavik did) you’re wasting £100s a month.

It’s important to put your savings into context too. It may sound silly bit saving money on a coffee and a fancy lunch is just as valid as saving on a mortgage.

They both give you a bit of extra cash at the end of the month.

Just restricting yourself a little bit can make a massive difference.

So we spend on the same credit card (2 cards – 1 account). We have looked at cash back cards, but we haven’t found the rates to be favorable. Unless you’re spending thousands of pounds, the return isn’t great.

Avios points cards are generally preferable and if you use them correctly can really be worth your while.

We use BA Amex  partly for the Avios points, but also the companion voucher (a free ticket anywhere in the world if you spend £10,000). It does, however, have a yearly fee attached (£195).

It’s also great for putting your everyday spending together in one bill, and treat it as one lump sum amount. Make all your bills as constant as possible i.e the same amount.

Seriously treat it like one bill, that way when you cut back you can see the difference month to month.

It just helps to identify patterns. Some times you may have overdone it without knowing it.

Going back to the Avios points you earn using your credit card, at least if you do overdo it, you get something for it.

Financial Organisation – The boring stuff will kill you if you ignore it!

You need to manage your economy. It’s crazy how many people are super-efficient, have great attention to detail at work but don’t pay attention to expired deals on TV packages, mobile phones, utilities or gym memberships.

Honestly, little changes do make a massive difference so however little the saving if it’s easy just get it.

For example, over the last year, we reduced our utility bills, gym memberships and phone bills and together it saved us about £100 a month.

We use an excel spreadsheet to track all of this stuff. It keeps us in check but also it allows us to dream.

What do we mean? Well if you tweak it here and there, it gives you a feel of what’s possible, for instance – how much money you have if you stopped spending money in X or if you cut back on Y…Or how much do you need to quit your job altogether? – We’ll look at this in the want more money section.

Booking Holidays (Get Ready to Save!)

Ok, so now it’s time to book a big holiday you’ve been dreaming of. What approach should you take?

If you want a guided tour

  1. Before you get excited when you find out you can go to let’s say New Zealand for a great price –  When should you go on holiday (a view of seasons) to your destination of choice i.e When are the summer/winter/autumn months in your holiday of choice. TIP: Look for dates falling just before or just after the summer months – You can usually get cheaper flights that way.
  2. Then figure out what you want to do – and get a rough idea for how much the activities cost – Only needs to be a guide.
  3. Get the best deal – Our process is going for the best deal consists of contacting multiple tour operators about 2-2.5 months before you travel. It’s usually cheaper – Don’t ask why (And we always ask if they take AMEX or your credit card or choice before we start our quote). Tell them everything you want to do and the type of hotel you want to stay in. Then wait for your quotes to roll in.
  4. Cross-check your quotes – there may be activities you want to include in one and not the other.
  5. Challenge the Operator when it’s crunch time, ask questions like – ‘hmm…Is that the best you can do?’
  6. Then it’s time to pay – This is when you can adopt the credit card strategies (Your approach to credit (i.e debt))

Tour Operators we tend to use are the following:

  1. Southall Travel – These guys are great for a price match when you’ve compared your quotes.
  2. Tui Holidays – Tui are massive and work with other operators, and because they are if you approach them at the right time (i.e 2 months before you travel you can often get a great deal.
  3. Home and Away Holidays – A smaller provider but we had a great experience booking with these guys recently, covering a tour of India (Bangalore, Goa, Dehli, and Jaipur).

If you want to book flights, hotels and do the rest yourself…

You can of course just look to book flights directly, and you really can get some absolute bargains. Here are some tips in doing that.

1) Google Flights are awesome – Check the price of a flight on here before you look at the usual suspects i.e Expedia, Lastminute.com, etc. FYI this is the tool that the likes of Jacks Flights use.

2) Booking Hotels – You can look at booking.com as well as other price comparison websites.

3) Another Hotel booking/excursion suggestion – (more applicable if you are traveling to Asia) to avoid the markup on the more expensive hotels.

On Trip Advisor you’ll see tour guides advertising their services. They are often in a great place to book hotels on your behalf, often at a heavily discounted price. You enter into this at your own risk, but this is absolutely an option.

If you have a friend that’s been on a posh tour, getting their tour guide’s details is a great way to do this.

Need more Money? (It’s time to get thrifty!)

So you’ve done all that and still don’t have enough… now it’s time to get creative.

So there are a few options to get more money:

– Job hop – Do the same job but get a salary bump working for another firm. You can work harder and get promoted but just be prepared to give up more of your time.

…Start to think outside the box

– You could invest in real estate if you have the cash in your house for instance (re-mortgage to buy a rental). We have to warn you that initial returns may be small, but it helps, it builds up and helps you immediately financially. Before you do this as well do your research!

...or just throw away the box

– You could start a blog like this. We use  Income School – Project 24,. They’re awesome.

Note, after you have completed the training there is a support network, which is the biggest pull in our opinion.

Use free resources . YouTubing blogger experts – the likes of Neil Patel who are good by the way. 

– You could also do some freelance work on Fiver for instance. Other online businesses – Amazon stores, drop shopping the list goes on and on.

One thing to note with the online businesses is they take time, commitment and crazy perseverance to begin with at least.

Before you do start a business though, look at your money before you start.

Just remember it’s not about how much you have, it’s about how much you can keep.  To put it bluntly, if you can’t handle your current income, how are you going to manage better?

What do we mean here? Well, we chose to go on more holidays and that’s what we spend our extra money on.

Taking out extra finance options on cars when you have the extra dough or spending money on clothes is counterproductive. There is just no point

…when the box is just a dot to you

If none of these options float your boat, you could opt to change your life completely. There are Instagram Influencers (Marie and Jake snow) and bloggers (Wandering Earl for example) who are living a life of constant travel.

This, of course, is not the only way of living a life of travel. You will have to build an Instagram following or Blog before you can live like this.

In the meantime here are a couple of articles on living a life of travel we think are great, if you’re thinking of selling up, or just spending a few months traveling, but looking to earn on the way.

Thrifty Nomads – How we afford to travel – This article is super useful if you want to know what it takes to prepare for a life of traveling as well as the reality of working and traveling. Well summarised, these Nomads give an honest review of their journey

Be My Travel Muse – How to make money with my travel blog – A really useful article of how to make money online, not just through affiliate marketing (the most common perceived income source) but also other opportunities such as freelance travel writing and becoming a virtual assistant to other travel bloggers. Kristen, the author, has also included some great links to give you an oversight of potential opportunities you can explore.

Conclusion (Lets Reflect!)

To summarise, if you need more money to travel, it’s in your power to change that, whatever your circumstances.

Before you look for other streams of income though, make sure you’re personally operating as efficiently as possible. And to recap:

– Cash Flow – Money coming in and money coming out – how much money are you spending versus earning, work it out – you need to see the issue (if there is one) so you can address it.

– Approach to credit cards – If you have a good credit score they can be a great tool to either give yourself a bit more time to pay for a holiday or form part of a longer-term strategy to pay off your debt without touching your savings.

– Priorities – Make sure you are prioritizing what’s important to you. Cut out the wasteful spending in your life i.e the coffees, the drinks.

– Financial Organization – Have a running log of your monthly outgoings. As mentioned we do this on a spreadsheet. Also try and bring your day to day spending together on a separate bill, e.g. with the BA credit card.

Once you’ve done all of that, you’ll know if you need/want more money, when it’s time to look at ways to earn more money i.e. through real estate, or online business like this one…or make a bigger change to travel the world as your profession.

What do you think about these options? 

Was this the answer you were looking for or do you have any better ideas?

Let us know in the comments below.

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6 thoughts on “How do People Afford to Travel? The Honest Truth

  1. Super informative post!
    I like how much helpful tips and information you included here.
    I like what you said about how it is not how much you make but how much you keep.
    So many people focus on their gross income and don’t put enough work into saving their money well.
    Focusing on the small money saving opportunities such as coffee and lunch could end up giving you the funds to go on another big trip.
    You clearly have traveled a lot and know about the good deals and where to find them!
    It can be tricky to watch someone who makes the same money as you somehow be able to have the funds to go on much more trips than you. But behind the scenes is that they are probably very good at managing and saving their money.
    Thank you for sharing this information!

  2. Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is amazing that you show people how to choose dream-like holidays and sort out expenses. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.
    Kind regards,
    Andrey

  3. Thanks for the super informative post! We are full time travelers and are always looking for hacks on how to travel and spend less money at the same time. The travel apps that let you set alerts are a game changer for buying less expensive flights and we have used them many times. There are so many ways to set money aside for travel and the ideas that you provided are excellent!

    1. Hi Jessica – lovely to meet you, and thank’s for taking the time to comment.Totally agree with you on the apps. On that note, we used one called Lucky trip most recently which we would recommend to anyone looking to find a last minute trip, flights and accommodation, for any budget.

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