This blog post was updated on January 30, 2020.
I consider myself quite the thrifty person, and that trait has definitely transferred over to my travel life.
Knowing I’m getting a good value for my money has a way of making travel that much better, so I always try to shop around until I’m satisfied, often testing various flight routes and dates, and always comparing hotels and tours wherever possible.
By being alert and savvy, I’ve saved plenty of money on my travels, but that wouldn’t be the way I’ve saved the most.
How do I save money? People wonder how I’ve been able to afford travel to so many different parts of the world at my age.
To some, a holiday is a two-week occurrence at most, so you really can’t get too much done in terms of checking off the countries on your bucket list. Instead, it’s one long-haul flight to each far-flung location, and a good chunk of change placed on the bill. Besides the flight, there are typically lots of rushed transportation costs to further set you back.
I, on the other hand, save money by traveling long and slow.
How does long-term travel save money? I remember the first time I heard about round-the-world plane tickets. One can easily drop $2000 for a roundtrip ticket to Australia while an RTW plane ticket can get you stops in New York City, London, Bangkok, Sydney and back to NYC for a price that’s not much more (it varies, but maybe in the $3000 range). Imagine getting individual flights to each of these locations on each year’s two-week vacation. The cost will end up being heaps more.
Alternatively, one way tickets from one location to the next, as some places you’d like to travel may not be too far away from each other, will help to cut back on transport costs that normally arise when taking long-haul flights once a year.
Slow travel over an extended period of time opens up the possibility to move around less. Instead of 2 weeks in one part of the world, maybe you can spend a month and rent an apartment in the process (and saves money on hotels). Moving around less also cuts back on transportation expenditures, while also spreading what you do spend over more time abroad. In other words, your day-to-day travel costs will be less.
How can you make long-term travel possible? Not everyone has the luxury of taking a year or even a few months off work to pursue long-term travel, but there are more possibilities out there than you might imagine. I’ll try and touch on other aspects of long-term travel including this in future posts. The main goal of today’s was to discuss just how long-term travel fares financially for travel lovers.
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