50+ Travel: Tips on Affording to Travel

How to afford to travel

Uh oo, finances. Probably one of the top reasons people cite for not following their travelling dreams and ambitions, but trust me, you can afford to travel. Here’s how our baby boomer bloggers dealt with counting their pennies and what they did with their worldly possessions…

Sell what you have

Doris Gallan @boomertraveling

“We sold our car and house, as well as everything we owned, when we started our first round the world trip on April Fools’ Day 2006. We were left with just a backpack each to travel with and a file box of memorabilia—mostly photos—of 23 years together.

We didn’t want to store a lot of stuff because we figured it would tie us down too much. We didn’t want stuff to be the deciding factor in where we would settle down (if we decided to settle anywhere). By selling the house and car, we didn’t have to worry about renting them out or paying bills plus it helped to fund the trip. It was also very liberating getting rid of practically everything we owned.”

How to afford to travel

Rent out your home

Wayne Dunlap @wdunlap

“We rented out our four-bedroom, ocean-view home in California and this gave us extra money to travel.

We had many concerns before we started. Could we afford it? Is it safe? Is it right for us? Instead of having fear keep us in our familiar routines, we learn the difference between the fear that keeps us alive and the fear that keeps us from living. The first can save you from potential dangerous things like dark alleyways and sleazy characters. The fear that keeps us from living is of the unknown. It limits our potential for wonderful things. Once we started, we learned that it was safer, easier, and more affordable than we thought.”

Keep it cheap

Barbara Weibel @holeinthedonut

“The bulk of my income is generated through ads on my blog, though I earn a bit from freelance writing and selling the occasional photo for publication. I’m not getting rich doing this, and my meagre income means I stay in hostel dorms and inexpensive guest houses, but I love every minute of my life these days.”

Get some pretty nice hostels these days

[HostelBookers has some pretty nice hostels for your cash! Like this one in Whistler, Canada.]

Get deals where you can

Doris Gallan @boomertraveling

“What surprised us the most was how cheaply you can travel especially once you gain self-confidence. The longer we were on the road, the less we needed to have our trip pre-planned and the more we could save money by booking things at the last minute or not at all.

We didn’t buy a round the world air ticket as we found it too restrictive: you can only go in one direction, you have to know your itinerary in advance, and it’s more difficult to go north/south as they’re really designed for east/west travel. Because we plan our travels ourselves, we can save a lot of money by learning from other travellers—especially those we meet in hostels.

Affording travel and plotting route

The cost of getting there—especially by air—remains high no matter where you travel to. But other costs such as accommodations, food, activities and shopping vary greatly depending on the destination. Asia is the biggest bargain right now with South America a close second. Why not lounge on the white sandy beaches and swim in the turquoise waters of Vietnam for 20 to 50% of what it will cost you in the Mediterranean or Caribbean?”

Learn from the best

Wayne Dunlap @wdunlap

  • Travel off season.
  • Follow the disaster – look for places with recent bad news. People hold back from travelling there long after it is safe again and bargains can be great.
  • Explore a region more rather than flying to many locations.
  • Use the internet to find bargains.
  • Stay in guesthouses and hostels. [Oo, yeah!]
  • Look for “last minute” travel deals often available as much as 2-3 months before departure.
  • Include less expensive, but interesting smaller cities and towns.
  • Eat in local restaurants.
  • Get to know locals and other travelers. Enjoy experiences with them and the fun places they suggest instead of expensive tourist attractions.
  • Use public transportation.
  • Take home great photos and memories instead of souvenirs. [Love this tip!]
  • Read our popular-selling comprehensive how-to world travel book: Plan Your Escape, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home.”
Beautiful beach in Whitehaven Australia

Thanks to Anil Mohabirchrisparkeruk and Rally Pix for the excellent images from Flickr. Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting. 

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