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How to Travel Without Time or Money


If you want to travel more, you can make it happen, even if finances are tight and you have a full-time job. Here are a few tips on how to travel without time or money!
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Over the years, I’ve had many people ask me how to travel as much as I do. They are intrigued by the mystery, and also perhaps just a bit jealous.

It’s easy to be happy for other people’s perceived successes if you feel that you are also successful. But it’s different if you are stuck in a dead-end job, struggling to make ends meet, stressed out, fighting to keep your marriage alive or having a hard time controlling your wildly, unruly kids. It’s much harder to be happy for someone else’s successes if you feel like you are failing in some aspect of your life. The point is that no one is perfect. You may feel like a failure, and it may be true that there is room for improvement, but don’t be so hard on yourself.

Many people seem to think that if they don’t have a whole week to spare, they can’t go anywhere. That’s nonsense.

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That being said, if you want to travel more there are plenty of ways to make that happen, even if finances are tight and you have a full-time job.

Here are seven tips to help you take a trip you’ve always dreamed of:

1. Set your priorities and don't look back.

This is probably the most important advice I can give. Listen, I know that most people aren’t trust fund millionaires or successful businessmen, doctors or lawyers. Most of us don’t have huge amounts of expendable income. If we want to do something expensive, we are most likely going to have to cut something else out of our lives, at least temporarily.

2. Tracking your spending.

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If, however, you decide that those are sacrifices worth making, then you’re going to need to start tracking your spending.

Keep track of how much you are spending on everything. If you pay mostly with credit or debit cards, is a great way to do this. It can track all of your spending from every card, and allows you to categorize your purchases so that you can tell how much of your money is going toward each category. Once you know how much you’re spending, you know where you’ll be able to cut.

3. Make a budget and stick to it.

Making a budget should include slashing areas where you’re overspending so that you can put this extra money towards your trip.

Eating out and entertainment are probably taking way more of your disposable income than you realize. Most people could probably cut their food bill by at least half if they ate out less and cooked more at home. But there may be others culprits, as well. You’ll never really know until you start tracking your spending, so #2 is a critical part of making a budget.

4. Set price alerts for flights.

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Once you have set a budget and started saving for your big trip, it’s time to start looking for flights. If you have a job that allows you flexibility in when you leave and for how long, take full advantage of it.

The more flexible you can be with your flight plans, the better deal you’re going to get. I usually start with aggregate tools, such as Kayak does a great job of finding the best flight for you by looking over a variety of different airline prices.

5. Remember that you can travel over long weekends, too.

Many people seem to think that if they don’t have a whole week to spare, they can’t go anywhere. That’s nonsense; some of my best trips have been long weekends.

It’s true that you probably shouldn’t try to go to Asia if you’ve only got 3 or 4 days to spare… but there are plenty of other places to go that will fit the bill perfectly!

If you don’t care where you go, Kayak has a great exploring tool—you put in how much you want to spend, what time of year you want to leave and how long you want to be gone and Kayak will find something that suits your needs. It’s a fabulous tool if you simply want to see someplace new, but don’t care where, and is super helpful if you’re trying to plan a weekend getaway.

6. Look for cheap housing.

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Other than flights, lodging is usually the other big-ticket item that will make people hesitant to try to travel on a budget. But you don’t have to stay in a big fancy hotel to see the world. Try structuring your traveling around friends you have in other places, and staying with them. You’ll get free lodging, good company and a built-in tour guide!

7. Save enough money to splurge on something that’s important to you.

If you enjoy good food, eat at some fancy restaurants. If you like adventure sports, find something thrilling that the area you’re going to is known for. You’ve worked so hard to save up money for this trip, now spend it on something you’re going to enjoy and remember!

It’s okay to splurge on the things that matter to you—in fact, it’s important that you do. This is your life. Start living it and stop just watching your life pass you by on the sidelines.

What trip have you always wanted to go on? Start planning it today!