Social media is full of pictures of perfect vacations, luxurious accommodations and dreamy adventures that make you say: “I wish I’d have the money to travel.” Thinking like this can be quite harmful because you start to compare yourself and believe that your life sucks.
First of all it’s important to understand that the majority of those pictures are fake. They are staged to match the profile, which is treated as a magazine to attract an audience or sponsors. Having an “Instagram-worthy” vacation is never a good goal. Neither for your mental health nor for your wallet. It’s important to realize that because you don’t want to chase after a fake image of travelling.
To put everything into perspective I want you to realize how blessed you already are. Think about all the possibilities you have. It has never been easier, safer and cheaper to travel. We live in an amazing era that allows us to travel all around the world within hours, whereas back in the day they needed months for the same distance.
So, is travelling really as expensive as everyone thinks?
It can be but it does not have to.
There are many reasons why people travel. It’s crucial to determine your goal before setting up a budget. Ask yourself: What is it that I want to experience? How do I want to feel while travelling? How long will I stay? Some simply want to relax and escape reality for a while. Others want to experience the culture of the region, do sports, see a specific sight, learn a new language or are there for the nature. Write down your goal and don’t forget that it is your trip, so don’t think about what would look good on social media. After all it is your life and you don’t need to please anybody except for yourself.
It may be a hard pill to swallow but if you are serious about travelling you have to lower your standards. Maybe you should stop looking for a five star hotel with a balcony and view of the famous sights and start focusing on what’s really important. There is no point in working and saving for a year or even longer and then spending all your money in a week on a luxury vacation. It’s way smarter to try to get the most out of your money and maybe even being able to stay for a longer period of time.
There is nothing wrong with preferring a weekend on a luxurious trip full of relaxation, shopping or eating out over two weeks full of adventure, new experiences and meeting locals. It’s up to your goals and what is a priority for you. For those of us that are on a budget I have selected some of the cheapest methods and tricks that I have used successfully in the past that helped me save some coin.
Backpacking is a great way to be in midst of the culture and nature of a country. It has its negative and positive sites that I will discuss in the next post.
Have you ever heard of couchsurfing? It’s a platform on which you can find places to stay for free. You’ll have the full experience of living like a local and most of the time your flatmate will show you around town and tell you about the best things to see.
Another form of cheap travelling is making a road trip within your own country. It’s a great way to save the cost of accommodation and to see your own nation from a different perspective. If your goal is to learn a new language, this option may not be the best one for you but you might consider doing this on a free weekend.
If you are looking for something long term I’d recommend you get a job. There are plenty of easy things to do that make your CV look better and pay off all of your travel costs. You can go on a hunt for yourself and look for a job or headhunter online or you can use a organisation like travelworks.de
The last thing I want to mention is that you should look for special offers, plan your trip 3-6 months beforehand or use last minute offers in order to get the best deal. For cheap flights I always use skyscanner.com which I have the best experience with.
All in all it can be said that you do not need to be a millionaire in order to be able to travel. Opportunities are everywhere, you just have to take advantage of what you already have.
I hope this post inspired you to go on a trip yourself.
Don’t forget, life is an adventure.