Friday, September 19, 2014
Travel or Cable TV?
Too many times you hear people say "I love to travel." And granted, a lot of us do love to travel, but then all the more often you hear, "But I just don't have the money." As the person puts their head down to tweet out they wish they could travel more on their brand new iPhone. I am frequently asked how do I travel so much, and how do I come up with the money for travel? To do one international trip per year my answer is fairly simple, get rid of cable or your smart phone.
I should have a disclaimer, as of this year I finally do have a smart phone, BUT the only reasons I got it were as follows:
-My plan is discounted by a huge portion by my job (about the same I was paying for my flip phone)
-I make money off my phone blogging, writing to clients, etc
-My phone itself was free from a friend, and new phones are only $100 every year (assuming I don't go for the new models)
Just getting rid of a smart phone would be enough money for the international flight you can't afford, an even better idea? Get rid of cable too! I haven't had TV for 12 years!!! I don't miss it at all, I will still go to the cinema, and occasionally I will watch some netflix on a tablet or something, but generally speaking I have no idea what shows are on, what celebrity gossip is going on, what reality shows are on, etc. And it doesn't make my life worse, it makes it better! I can still get news and sports from the internet, and would much rather go to a sports game than watch it on TV, of course sports bars are good too.
But those two major expenses cost more than any one of my short (up to one week) international trips in a year. Because when it comes down to it, I don't love TV, and I don't love having the newest phone, I do love to travel. And I'd give up those two things in a second for it! Would you rather talk with your friends about a new show where the lead hero is in Thailand for a week, or would you rather be in Thailand for a week? How about watch some movie on your brand new smart phone about Russian dog sledding, or would you rather get an old smart phone, or even flip phone off eBay and go to dog sled in Russia? There are little things you have to look at in everyday life as budget travelers to decide what's more important, and what can you give up so you can travel more. A short list of other things I do:
-I drive a crappy car, and really barely use that as I walk, or bicycle most places
-I own a smaller house than I can afford easier than a big one, and have roommates
-I price shop anything that's over $20, from a backpack to car insurance
-When a trip is closing in I don't go to bars or out to eat as to save money for the trip
-I do seasonal work with 2nd or 3rd jobs so that the money is consistent seasonally, but does not interfere with travel
-I work tons of extra hours at my full time job so I can get longer vacations when it is time to travel.
Think about the small things in life that you don't need, because if you really "love" travel, you won't talk about doing it one day when you have the time or the money, you will find a way to make it happen. And speaking of money... I regret a lot of purchases in my life as I'm sure most people do, but in all my travels, even my worst trips... I has never been one of my regrets.
at 10:46 AM