As much as we backpackers pain to say it, we need money to travel. How else will we get to the joys of Australia and New Zealand or perhaps even party our way through South East Asia?
Things add up. Flights, transport, food, drinks, accommodation and even foreign exchange.
So the best thing to do is start saving and budgeting your money! So how can we do this when you are already on your travels?
1) Keep a Budgeting diary – probably the best thing I did. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t write in painstakingly every transaction but at least I could know where my money was being spent (mostly food, the fat arse I am), and also find out ways I could reduce my biggest outgoings. Also, it was useful to know how much I could budget for a week. I mean, you don’t want to be blowing all your money on partying across SE Asia only to find there’s no money left in your bank account for the rest of your travels. Sometimes, I had to say no to activities because it would mean stretching out my budget for later dates. I knew I wanted to do all my maximum adrenline activities in New Zealand so the activities I would have cheerily signed up in Australia before, I didn’t do and it was worth it! To this day, I’m very proud of having kept to a strict budget and still come home with some savings to live on while I find my next job (to save for more travels!) when most of my family reckoned that I would be calling the bank of Mum and Dad half way through my travels. I didn’t and they are eating their words…
2) Work for accommodation – I did this a few times when I was in Australia. They are many organisations that offered this but I chose to go with WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farming). I worked a few hours a day in exchange for bed and board. And it can also be really interesting and you can even discover the way of life for some local residents. I helped trap animals in rainforests, I worked for hostel owners, I helped design some websites and even gardened in the nude at a nudist resort! It all really helps to save your money and you realise that when you are in a position for work, you don’t really spend that much as you are too darn knackered out experiencing the work of local residents.
3) Working Holiday Visa – if you can, many countries offer this. I was very sorely tempted to do this at the end of my stay in New Zealand. There are a variety of backpackers jobs to undertake whether it is fruitpicking, working in the nude, publicity work and if you’re really lucky, getting a professional job in your area of expertise. Many backpackers I’ve met in Australia were doing this. It’s a great thing to top up your bank account if you looking to travel long term.
4) Remember the Exchange Rate! Things cost more in some countries, and things don’t and perhaps even cheaper. Using an analogy for foreign exchange, I used a pint of beer. In the UK, it would cost around £2.50. In Vietnam, it would be 20p! But in Australia, it would be £7! So in Australia, I didn’t really drink much but in Vietnam, I probably did. Just as long you realise the rate and cost, you would be able to budget your living costs easily. It wasn’t easy for me when I arrived from SE Asia to Australia to find the prices have dramatically shot up! So no more eating out at restaurants, ordering ‘expensive’ drinks or splashing out for ultra-luxurious transport!
5) Monetize your Blog! If you have a blog on the go, get in touch with some advertisers. Many companies are now realising the importance of travel bloggers publicising their country or company through experiences and are looking to place travel links within your guest post. How else do you think I survived this long without calling my parents to hit up the bank of Mum and Dad? I love blogging, I love writing, so why not monetize what you enjoy doing?