“You must be rich.”
If you travel regularly, you’ve probably heard this many times from those around you.
Or, maybe you’ve said this to others.
Either way, it’s probably not the case. Though I’m sure most people wish it was.
In reality, most families that travel frequently have different ways they fund their adventures. Some are simple and easy, like budgeting and putting away money. Others are a little trickier like using points and scouring the internet for “secret” deals.
I was able to talk with a few families about how they fund their travels to give you an idea of how real traveling families are doing it.
How these Traveling Families Fund Their Travels
When it comes to travel, time and money are probably the most important factors.
While I can’t really help you get more time to travel, I can help you with the money side.
Nancy is happily married mom to two boys. She travels at every opportunity and using miles and points to fund her travels around the world.
She says, “My family of four is able to afford travel through creative use of miles and points. My husband and I have numerous open credit cards that have different types of spending benefits and we make sure to charge all our expenses on the card that makes the most sense (and of course pay off the balance each month). We have cards that offer 5x return on travel, 3x return on dining and eating out, and even a card that offers 2x return on groceries! Thanks to creative use of miles and points, we have flown business class on round-the-world tickets, stayed at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo (for free), and we are spending spring break at the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica on points as well.”
Nancy wrote a post on her blog about how to use miles to travel
Travel Hacking sounds complicated and it definitely isn’t something to just jump into, but with some research and planning, can be a fantastic way to fund your travels. The most important thing to look at before heading in this direction though is to take a look at your finances.
Pay off all credit card debt before voyaging into this world. Holding a balance on your credit card isn’t a smart way to gain points and will hurt you in the long run.
You also need to do as much research as possible to find the best cards for your financial situation and how you plan on traveling.
But don’t take it from me (I’ve barely begun scratching the surface of this game), but from these experts:
Emma from Wanderlust and Wet Wipes is an expat living in the Middle East and travelling as much as she can with her travel mad husband and 2 kids.
She says, “We don’t scrimp and save an anything but I guess we are pretty frugal generally. Having 2 active kids who have to get up super early for school (classes start at 7.30am), we don’t go out that much. We don’t eat or drink loads at home and we don’t spend lots of money on luxuries or buy lots of new clothes. We are also lucky that the expat lifestyle affords us a higher disposable income than we would have had at home.
Travel doesn’t have to be expensive – there are always ways to save costs while you are away. Starting with flights, we always plan where we are going quite far in advance and then wait for the sales. Then when you are there, going to more affordable destinations is one of our favourite ways to save money. Staying in a villa instead of a hotel is another, especially if you’re in a big group. You save on both accommodation and food. AND you can save on activities if it happens to have a pool or other kid friendly activities. Going off the beaten path and staying in little out of the way villages rather than the main tourist destinations helps as does finding restaurants that are tucked away instead of going to places that are next door to a tourist attraction.
Our luxury is travel (although I would argue we see it as more of a necessity!) so its an expense that we make a point of prioritising.”
- Ways to make travel cheaper- long term airbnb
- Being Flexible with Dates
- Go to Less Expensive Places
Sites to save on travel:
- Airfare Watchdog
- Google Flights
- Which Budget
- Hotel Tonight
Using Stopover Fares to Explore More Destinations
The crew from Shades of Courage are a yogi, a mountain biker and an adventurous toddler exploring the world together. They have a family sabbatical coming up in 2018.
They say, “We like to make use of stopovers fares offered by airlines. A stopover means that airlines allow their passengers to enjoy their hub city for a few days at no extra airfare costs to them before flying on to their final vacation destination. Many of the big airlines offer it, IcelandAir for example offers a great stopover on the way to Europe. That way we break up the flight for our busy toddler, and arrive at our final destination having enjoyed a mini city trip on the way.
Remote Work and Living Nomadically
Thais and Angelo from World Trip Diaries have just finished their 18 months trip through the Americas and are moving on to Japan and the UK next year!
They say, “We wanted to travel, but we never had any spare money. So we came up with the craziest idea: sell the house and travel.
If we hadn’t sold the house, we’d never been able to afford the first batch of tickets, because living costs in NZ are pretty high.
To keep traveling, well, we just keep working! We work online, so if there is an internet connection, we can work. If we can work, we can make money – at least enough to survive and go to the next destination, not anything luxurious.
We’ve been nomadic for the last 20 months and we have 4 kids. We wouldn’t be able to save enough for a 20-months-trip for 6 people otherwise.
Plus, spending a month in a cheaper place (most places are cheaper than NZ anyway) saves us a bit of money too. Or we can splurge on expensive dining.”
Thais and Angelo have more tips to save money before heading out on your travels.
If you’re thinking of going remote here are some ideas for work you can do:
- Your own company
- Graphic Designer
- Web Developer
- Affiliate Marketer
- SEO Specialist
- Faculty for Online Classes
- Online Tutor
- Medical Coder
- Financial Planner
- Virtual Assistant
- Social Media Manager
- Data Entry
- App Developer
- Etsy Shop Owner
- Online Course Creator
- House Sitter
- Web Designer
- Digital Marketer
- Online Customer Survice
- Travel Agent
- Online Tech Support
Where to Find Remote Jobs
Make Travel a Priority and Setting a Budget
Lena from Four on a World Trip is from Paris. She and her family of four are heavily saving up for an upcoming world trip that is starting September 2018.
She says, “The key to our travel budget is organisation. We created a very old-fashioned budget- and saving plan to identify what we need each month and how much we can put aside for travel. After we had fixed amount that would go straight to our travel saving account, it became a sport to maximise this sum. We cut drastically on our spendings and made our travel plans the first priority when deciding if we buy something or not. We also put a lot of effort in selling things rather than just throwing them away.
While we would love to travel classy and comfy, we decided that traveling itself is more important to us than comfort. As a consequence we are traveling rather low budget. We would always chose an airbnb with kitchen over a hotel, or grabbing a sandwich instead of going to the restaurant. You just can’t have all, but have to pick your priorities.”
Check out Lena’s post for help budgeting for travel.
Here are a few more ways you can start budgeting in your home:
If you’re also budgeting on the road, I recommend Trail Wallet. It’s available in the App Store and will help you stay on budget in many different currencies so you can keep track of it on your adventures too.
Here are just a few ways you can travel more and save money to fund your adventures. Make sure to check out the other websites mentioned to get even more ideas for your upcoming adventures.
Do you have a way you afford or save for travel? Let me know in the comments!
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