Tips on how to save and spend reasonably if you lead a nomadic lifestyle.
Different travellers don’t have the same travelling goals. Some can last with a tight budget and have a great time exploring hidden gems, while other believe they need to feel more financially stable to explore the world according to their likings. Whether you are a luxurious traveller, or you plan trips on a small budget, we thought of some things that might be helpful when you’re thinking money before you put a travel plan together.
Money is not always the first thing that comes to mind when you are looking through new places to explore and get inspired by bloggers, neat-looking bohemian travelling publications and travel experts with exploration lust. This is the boring part; we’re not going to lie. But, as travelling is a big responsibility, it needs to be approached accordingly.
An important part of each adventure is planning it financially. Everybody has different needs so you must tailor your expectations by being honest with yourself. Travellers, who are seeking the high-end lifestyle can afford much bigger budget, but for the backpacker a few pesos saved a day make a difference between experiencing one more adventure or missing out on it.
Figuring out a sensible budget depends on things you can’t part with and things we all need to take care of such as accommodation, food, border costs, activates, etc. If you are honest with yourself, you will be able to roughly calculate what amount of money per day you will need to be able to get by. Some people set a budget of £15 - £30 a day, others can afford to spend just that extra bit more. Whatever your number is, try to stick to it and be disciplined about your decisions when on the road.
It is not as complicated as it sounds. There are quite a few free budgeting apps out there you can use to calculate your expenses. Some of them have free-to-use features, which will help you stay on track with your spending goal. Make sure to back up your data as it is very useful to refer to records from previous month and calculate how much and on what you spend the most. This will help you navigate your finances. Eventually, it will all come naturally to you and analysing the daily or monthly outcome of the numbers will transform into an easy task.
The best part of budgeting is that apart from being able to see a lot of the world, you will also learn to pay attention to what are the more meaningful ways to invest your money in order to experience the best adventures out there.
It is sometimes the case that we travel and stumble across a tiny village, a quirky town or a charming location, which seems to be far away from the rest of the civilisation. Travellers do tend to fall in love with places of such kind and transform their plans by deciding to make a stop for an indefinite amount of time.
It is understandable why you could be drawn to the beauty of such placed. Different cultures are often incredibly interesting and have a lot to teach foreigners. There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay somewhere for longer than initially planned and make that transition from a passenger to a want-be local. However, this comes with a certain set of responsibilities.
You need to plan your stay carefully. At first, the living expenses in a certain destination can seem quite affordable for travellers, who were born and raised in countries with stable and well-developed economy. If you stay there for longer though, things do change. You need to adapt to the lifestyle, and this often makes thing more expensive in the long run. If you adapt the locals’ lifestyle, you also adapt their difficulties, social situation, political rules and regulation of the country and costs of living.
Most countries have different regulations regarding longer stays and expanding your travel visas. Some document regulations are quite tight and must not be treated with an ease. Usually the government or other extensions of it the institutions that can approve your visa for staying longer and even working in the territory of their country, but this is not always the case. It is important to become familiar with the regulations if you desire to settle down for a while.
The good thing about becoming a long-term resident is that you get the chance to explore the place from an entirely different perspective. After you’ve dealt with all the documentation, we suggest you use your time wisely, get familiar with the local culture, participate in any traditional rituals, maybe even begin to learn the language. A little effort goes a long way and is often appreciated by locals.
When you are limited by time or are planning a month-long trip, it is tempting to want to cover as much destinations as you possibly can. We personally think that even if you are pressured by time, it is better to consider the advantages of the SLOW travel.
There is just so much to see, so many places to be at. Sometimes the time is simply not enough. We are huge believers in travelling with a purpose, in taking the time to learn things about the places you visit and the people, who live there. You can only do this if you take your time and take it all in.
Here are some simple things you can focus on if you wish to make the most out of a place with a ‘modest’ budgeting plan.
An accommodation with a kitchen
Wandering around the streets of a town you visit for the first time can turn out to be the best way to find a cheap place to sleep at. Try to hire places, which already have kitchen available to use. It is always so helpful and so much cheaper to eat in and cook your own meals. It can be rather enjoying and provides you with some time to think about all the great things you saw during the day. When you do eat out, try to pick the local restaurants. This way you will be supporting local businesses as well as eating quality food for less money.
Plan your own trip
Organised trips sound all great and fun. They promise to cover everything deserving your attention and some of them do that, but they are also quite expensive in specific area. If you can and will enjoy it, try to plan your own route, it is easy to get inspired by other people you follow or read about, who visit destinations you want to see. This is also a good excuse to explore at your own pace and take your time where you want to stay longer at.
Getting around is not always the fun part of the trip but it makes good memories. That one time you might end up on a chicken ride, and the next you might have purchased a ticket for a second-class buss. Choosing this option might not always safe you time, but it will make a difference when it comes to counting your expenses.
Walk a lot
If you are headed anywhere that you can reach on foot, get there on foot. Walking is a great way to see the towns and villages from a new perspective and if you are only there for a couple of days, it can feel as if every day there is something new to see even if you are passing by the same streets and narrow alleys.
Know your budget
Tracking your budget doesn’t have to be something complicated to follow. Once you figure out how much you need to spend on what, it becomes a bit easier to control your spending and even plan ahead. Do the small thing to help yourself out such as doing your own laundry and making sure that you do yourself everything that can be done on your own. From planning your trips wisely to being there in a low season, the details add up and help you experience parts of the world on a tight budget.
NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.
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