How to Manage Travel Funds in Limited Salary
Ever since I started travel blogging as my passion, I have been asked a lot of questions by many. A lot of you are perplexed on how I manage to travel and most importantly who exactly is sponsoring my travel. Travel blogging my friend is a tough nut to crack. Do not hop on it unless you really are passionate about uncovering hidden gems and take off to a new destination fearlessly.
I often hear questions like
“How do you manage to travel so often?”
“You are so lucky. Is someone sponsoring your to travel?” – (Secretly, how I wish someone would do that)
“Where do you get money to travel so much? You must be grabbing a thick paycheck.”
And the worst I ever heard
“You are fortunate that your dad sponsors you to travel” – Sweetie! Your parents will never sponsor your nomadic passion. You got to fight and work hard for it.
I am on a limited monthly salary which means I need to act smart and plan my travel plans well in budget. It is possible to fund your own travel if you are passionate about it and all you need to do is keep trying and work hard. I fund and sponsor all my trips with my hard earned money and still manage to save some.
How do I sponsor and fund my own trips?
I have been asked about how I manage to travel and if I have been sponsored. Wish I had someone to sponsor my travel but a passion for travel isn’t small feet. There is a number of ways to travel without being sponsored and the first is definitely having a full-time job. The sense of financial security when you have a full-time job is great. I don’t wish to live out of suitcase unless I have a well sustainable bank balance. So to give heads up, funding my own travel sprouts from my immense passion to explore, walk the beaten path, mingle with a new culture and create memories worth this life. Apart from my full-time job as a lecturer, here are some realistic ways to earn little more.
Earn from Your Passion – There are so many ways to earn from your passion and freelance writing has been my backbone support to fund my travel. You progress with your work and the formula is not to give up. I have taken up freelance writing since two years and it has helped me travel more. There are many other options like opting for freelance photography, fitness instructor, handling social media handles, selling artwork etc. to fund your travel. Know what passion you can use to convert into funds.
Online Tutoring – Not many are aware of options like online tutoring that helps a lot of people to even fund their full-time livelihood. Being into academics there is always a little advantage but it definitely is a lucrative way to earn some extra.
Freelance Itinerary planner – This is something that happened to me by chance but I did manage to earn some money out it. I have been offered to work as freelance itinerary planner for a start-up and it indeed is a good learning experience.
Assignment Help – There are many websites for assignment help and it fetches you good money. I have recently started with assignment help and it involves mostly academic writing and helping students prepare their assignments.
PS: The sky is the option if you are an adamant soul and want something really bad. Ask Google even the lamest questions and find out options to earn online.
Planning Trips with Limited Budget
To be honest, I am an extensive planner and for my long trips, I plan almost 6 to 7 months prior. I have a limited budget to work my trips out and being a solo female traveller, I need to consider my safety and comfort meaning decent accommodation. So here are few ways how I manage to cover my long trips well within budget. I read blogs, post on forums and ask questions to fellow travellers to complete a trip in best way possible, within a limited budget.
Two things that eat up maximum expense is flight fare and accommodation, rest everything is sort of manageable. I choose my destination according to my budget.
Taking care of flights
I am flexible with my destinations and choose one that is well within my budget. www.skyscanner.in is something I swear by because it is indeed the best app to book flight tickets. It compares multiple websites and brings out the lowest fare.
If you have a destination in the head and want to know when you get the cheapest flight, enter the place you want to fly from and to. In the date option, choose the cheapest month instead of a particular date. This will provide you information about when you get the tickets at the cheapest rate. If it is feasible, book the same. In this, the flexibility is with the dates of travel.
Now, if the travel dates cannot be changed, the best way to travel to a new destination to maintain flexibility is a destination. This applies well in case of an international destination. Simply enter the place you want to depart from, dates of travel and choose everywhere for flying to. This will give you the destinations with cheapest flight rates during the chosen time.
PS: If both the destinations and dates aren’t flexible, choose the necessary details and enter your e-mail to get updates on price alert. If you have few months to go, it will send you alerts when price change and you might grab the tickets at the cheapest price.
Next to flights, another major chunk of expense goes in accommodation. I am a budget traveller but I don’t choose to stay in the extremely unfavourable accommodation. I totally love the concept of homestay and prefer staying in one to get the feel of the place like a local. I read a lot of blogs and coordinate with fellow travellers to find out best stay options. There are some places that don’t really have home stays or are available at very expensive rates. At times I don’t mind treating myself to good resorts and hotels. I swear by www.ibibo.com for great deals and discounts while choosing resort and hotels, it offers at times unbelievable 85% off in excellent accommodations as last minute deals. Next, best option is www.airbnb.in for experiential stay options and www.hostelworld.com gives you cheaper, a good quality shared accommodation in dorms. I sort out my accommodation in advance at least for the first night.
How to Play Smart with Finances?
You are living no La La land and keeping your finance on a roll when you intend to travel long term is extremely important. I am not the kind who would put a zero in my bank balance and loiter around clueless of next. I make sure I arrange, analyse and plan my finances well in advance to be able to travel with a sense of security. Here is what I do to take care that I am on an okay balance to cater to my urgent needs.
- Make investments in form of mutual funds and recurring deposit. This is a sense of security that you have money when needed.
- I have a separate account for my freelance work payment. I try my best to save a major chunk of my salary from my full-time job and plan my expenses with money I get through freelancing.
- With a bank account dedicated to only travel expense, I manage to send in some money to the account every month that I use for my travelling.
- After deciding the destination for the longer trip, I fix a budget including airfares, everyday accommodation, food, explore options and miscellaneous expenses. Deciding the budget helps in saving the money needed for the trips. It also helps me plan my freelance work so that I can earn accordingly.
- Invest on good things that last long. There are few things that I use during all my trips like bag pack, joggers, good sunscreen, shoes, camera etc. I made sure I invested my money on right things so that it lasts for quite some time.
- Planning day by day itinerary helps in planning an estimated budget. I plan the itineraries in advance so that I manage to stick to the budget. This way it prevents you from splurging unnecessarily.
- I do extensive research for the availability of public transportation and depend on the same majorly while travelling. This helps better finance management.
So, all you want to know how I manage to fund my travel and take care of finance without going bankrupt is up here. Maybe someday I would get someone to sponsor my travel but currently, I have been too lazy to even try for collaborations. At the moment, my focus is simply on exploring hidden gems and enriching my soul with delightful experiences. Having said that, 2018 has a number of long holidays and I have already put in place my travel plans, have you?