So you have a budget and it looks like you can travel for a few months. But before you buy those tickets there are some things you need to know about yourself and your traveling style. And many of these factors can chip away at that time span…
- Spontaneity. It’s a hassle but accommodations planned on the fly are cheaper than those planned in advance. The cheapest hostels and guesthouses don’t have websites. They have a non-english speaking granny standing at the bus station with a folder of photos and reviews. You haggle you get a deal. What? You’ve arrived and there’s no granny? Then you do the Lonely Planet shuffle. Walking from hostel to hostel looking for space. It can take time but that’s how it’s done.
- Comfort. Transportation costs can be a big part of your budget. So why pay for a long distance train or bus just to arrive in the evening and pay for a bed. Sleep in your chair. Can’t afford a rental car and a room? Sleep in the car. Learning to sleep sitting up can save you money. You’re young. It’ll make for great war stories down the road.
- The Need To Party. Nothing chips away at a budget like drinking the night away. You’ve been drinking, you make bad money decisions. Enough all-nighters and you’ll be out of cash and arguing with the airline about your ticket change fee in no time. Yes, you do need to go to a ruin bar in Budapest or a full moon party in Phuket but for the most part don’t you want to remember your epic trip?
- FOMO. You may have to get over your fear of missing out. You can go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef or you can do the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb. But you can’t afford both! You’ll have to make some budget choices and stick to them. Just tell yourself that you’ll come back someday as an independently wealthy mogul and throw cash around left and right. Just not on this trip.
- Gifts. It can be tempting to go crazy in the markets of Peru or India, loading up your backpack with trinkets for everyone you’ve ever met. Take my advice, these trinkets mean a lot more to you than they do to your family and friends. Pick up a few things to remind you of your trip and just send postcards home.