I took to Twitter to ask what you Travel topics you wanted to read about most, and overwhelmingly you all wanted to read about travel and finance.
So today I will be using my own personal experience on how I’m raising money for my future travels to Australia, and what extras you need to consider saving for when planning long term travel.
HOW MUCH WILL I NEED?
The biggest question in regards to long term travel is ultimately the expense of the trip. Of course everyone has different incomes, and different lifestyles, so there is no one answer on how much you need to save or for how long. However everyone should include the following expenditures on their list when thinking about if long term travel is affordable for them:
- Visas – Can be very expensive, my one year Working Holiday visa to Australia cost me £254, with actual sponsored working visas around the world coming in at 4 figure amounts.
- Flights – There is no real answer to how much flights are going to be. Booking in advance can get you some better deals, whereas leaving it late can add crippling costs to your budget. My one way flights to Australia cost me £440, which I found on SkyScanner over three months before my departure. It really depends on when you go, and which airline you travel with, but be prepared to spend on long hauls.
- Travel Insurance – initially I had failed to take account for insurance when I drew up a plan for how much money I would need to save, however shopping around on price comparison websites I’m finding insurance quotes, for two, for around £200 for one year in Australia.
- Vaccines – If you’re British then the idea of spending money on your health may be a bit of a foreign concept, however the NHS does not cover many vaccines, and therefore you will need to consider this in your budget. Yellow Fever vaccines start at £50, however numerous vaccines needed to travel to places such as Central America and Africa can set you back a couple of hundred pounds.
- Settling Debts – You may have a squeaky clean bank account, but have you thought about your phone contract? Your monthly car payments? They will need to be settled should you decide that keeping them on is not worth you while if you’re travelling for many months.
So from the above we have already, potentially, racked up initially costs of thousands of pounds. Don’t let this put you off though, we’re going to go through some things to lower these costs!
LOWERING YOUR COSTS
If you have not seen my post on DIY Travel then I urge you to open this link in a new tab, for future reference.
One thing that I want to add, which has helped me out so much with my long term travel to Australia, is by looking at AirBnB Sublets. I came across this by accident and now I completely swear by it.
Sublets is a section of AirBnB which shows you the best prices for longer accommodation, be that a couple of weeks or months, and it saves you having to trawl though accommodation only to find that you can only book for a few days.
Many of them offer discount if you stay for a month– so when Alex and I were looking for our first months accommodation in Melbourne, we found a beautiful bungalow to share for a cheaper price than renting two beds in a shared room of 12 in a hostel! I couldn’t believe it. The monthly discount on it was 50% off the price per night, bargain!
In my other post you will find the links for discounted flights websites and the best ways to use them; since writing that post Kayak has introduced a price forecast, which will forecast whether the prices for the flights that you are looking for will increase or decrease in the future, allowing you to take less risks on when to book your flights.
Unfortunately there is no way to get around visas and vaccines, the price that you see is the price that you pay, but by doing plenty of research yourself you can find ways to lower the major costs such as accommodation and flights.
MONEY FOR SURVIVAL
Ultimately, the bulk of what you will be saving for will be money for survival. Some countries, Australia included, will require you to have so much money in your bank account when you arrive to fund your travels.
If you’re looking into Working Holiday Visas for Australia, you’re recommended to have around $5000aud in savings, which equates to £2800ish. To save this amount of money, Alex and I have been saving like crazy the past half a year, completely changing our lifestyle. We don’t eat out, prepare all of our own food, don’t go out for drinks etc. As a couple it has been hard, but definitely prepares you for the road ahead.
There will be better guidelines online, have a look through the rest of the travel blog world, with recommendations for how much you should save for the country/countries you are visiting and the length of time, but be prepared for the absolute worst.
To fund our travels, Alex and I plan on working in Australia, and spending a year seeing all that there is to see there, before maybe backpacking through Asia. Money does not grow on trees, and the same can be said for jobs – they don’t just get handed to you, so prepare for a couple of months of unemployment too.
Here’s an idea of other costs that you may have to be prepared for when it comes to full time travel, especially if it is your first time:
- A GOOD Backpack – Investing in a good quality backpack is essential, you do not want one that will break along the way or you could risk losing valuable items. Shopping around for a well fitting, well designed backpack will not only save your back but also time and stress. Be prepared to spend around £200 on one, and the best shop that I’ve found for these is Go Outdoors.
- An International Sim Card – Companies such as WorldSim provide international working sim cards to keep you connected on the go, and have free incoming calls in 95 countries, great if you’re just going to use calls as a way for people to propose you job offers or for emergencies. Monthly costs outside of EU countries can be a lot more than what you are used to paying in your home country, so keep that in mind for your budget too. This also comes with the costs of getting your phones unlocked.
It may be worthwhile seeing if you can claim any tax back after you’ve left your job. I’m working casual to fund our travels, and my tax code for this job is emergency tax. If you’re also working casual, chances are there will be some tax for you to get back, and this could go a long way to helping out with these optional extras.
Funding long term travel is hard. Unless you’re blessed, and even if you are, it can take months of saving and lifestyle changes. Hard work pays off though, and using some handy websites and tricks can help minimize the big scary numbers.
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