No – we are not full-time bloggers or influencers (although that would be ideal!). We have very real, corporate jobs that keep us afloat and offer us enough cushion to save our money for some travels throughout the year. But how can we afford to travel so often and how do we get the time off?
It’s hard to travel without money – actually, it’s hard to do anything without money. We aren’t millionaires and we are not earning six figures per year, but we are diligent with our spending and saving and are able to comfortably live and travel all at the same time. They key is to not spend on un-important items or habits and to always set a budget and stick with it!
Small Trips are Trips Too!
We may not be able to go abroad any day we want to, but we always make an effort to go on a little getaway not too far from home every once in a while. So far this year we have been to Kingston, Gananoque, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Winchester and Toronto. These are usually little weekend or day trips to get us out of the city and exploring a new area! A trip is a trip!
I personally am allotted two weeks of paid vacation every calendar year with my current job. Some employers offer more, some less. Know what you are eligible for and plan from there. You want to make sure your time off coordinates with your friends, partners or family’s schedules as well. I typically take my holidays one week at a time and usually spread out (one at the beginning of the year and one towards the end). If you take all your holidays at once you won’t have time to take off later on and could risk getting burnt out.
PRO TIP: If you can, try to plan your holidays over a weekend to take advantage of the days you won’t need to claim as vacation days! (ex. if you holiday Monday – Friday you will need to take 5 vacation days. If you holiday Wednesday – Sunday you only need to take 3 vacation days).
Budget, Budget, Budget
Create a budget that works for you. We have a whiteboard at home that we create of a thermometer for our savings goals for a particular trip we want to go on. It’s helpful to have a constant visual of your goals and to see your progress as well. Working within timelines and setting a budget goal also helps to make the total cost of a trip less intimidating or overwhelming.
Do you work full-time and travel often? Are you a digital nomad and travel for work? Drop us a comment below – we would love to hear from you!
Like most people, we cannot afford to live from our laptops and travel the world every week of every year. We love to travel, but it does come at a pretty penny. We aim to do two bigger trips per year, and by bigger trips we mean a new destination we have never been to before that is outside of our country and ideally outside our time zone. So how do we fit in smaller trips on a budget?
Set A Limit
Most of my extra cash from my pay or any bonuses I get will go towards saving for a big trip for Marco and myself. I don’t like to cut into these savings too much as I want to make sure we are able to afford our much-needed getaways. When planning smaller trips I do set a limit for the amount I want to spend and try really hard not to go over this limit (sometimes you just have to). For example, I will set $300.00 as my limit for a weekend away and this forces me to stay at cheaper hotels and really look for deals.
Look For Sales/Sell-Offs
You can usually find cheap last-minute deals on hotels or look for sales or coupons for events, attractions or restaurants you want to visit. Again, never be ashamed of saving money! Use all of the coupons you can get your hands on. Pro Tip: If you are going as a couple you can sometimes find two-for-one deals or “couple dinner and show” type packages to save some big bucks!
You can have an amazing week or weekend away from home without going too far from home! The further the destination the more expensive your travel is going to be. We drive nearly anywhere but gas can still get costly. From Ottawa, it is a two-hour drive to Montreal and a five-hour drive to Toronto. Both of these cities have plenty to offer and they are far enough away from home that we feel we are getting a true break away from routine. The hotels are not overly expensive (depending on where you stay of course) and then cost in gas is reasonable.
Sightseeing is FREE! Unless you choose to get a guided tour, walking around and taking photos is absolutely free once you have arrived. You can easily check out the internet for hot places to see or directions and you can walk about at your own pace. I personally love just walking around, checking out the sights and snapping some great photos to add to my Insta collection.
P.S. Like the shirt in the photo? Get yours here!
Do you do anyone of these? Will you do any of these? Drop us a comment below, we would love to hear from you!
When travelling to new and exciting places you will often find that prices are hiked up nearly anywhere you go, or so you think. Business will hike up prices around tourist destinations because they know that people will purchase these items at whichever price they choose and they’ll make a pretty penny off doing so too.
Go To Grocery Stores
Depending on your length of stay you may not want to eat restaurant food every night. You may also want some things to snack on throughout the day or even have some drinks handy while hanging out at your room or on the beach. If you trek a little bit out into the town and visit their local grocery store you can find items that are not over priced and are most likely cheaper than similar products you may find back home (depending on exchange rate and economy, of course).
Visit The Liquor Stores
Same thing goes with booze. You will pay way too much for a watered down and sugary drink at the resort or hotel you are staying at and restaurants in the area will over charge for this as well. Venture away from the tourism and hit up the local liquor store for some cheap drinks. When we were in Mexico we could buy one bottle of Corona for $1.00 USD (~18 pesos) but they were charging 60 – 70 pesos at the restaurants! That’s more than three times the price!
Visit Smaller Restaurants
If you go even just a few blocks away from the busy tourist centre you can often find restaurants that serve delicious dishes for a fraction of the price of one closer to your hotel. The food is equally as good, they are not as busy and the prices are lower! Sometimes you can even find traditional dishes that they may not serve in the “tourist” restaurants.
Shop at Local Businesses
When we were in Playa Del Carmen we were (literally) steps away from a shopping mall complete with Forever 21, Victorias Secret and Starbucks. These are large, chain stores and usually the prices here will not be significantly different from the price you would pay to buy the product back home. Instead, check out the local shops for souvenirs, clothing, shoes, or whatever you may need. These locals rely on these sales for their income and occasionally you can find items at a cheaper price than bigger box item stores.
These are just a few pointers on how we saved some precious cash while travelling. It won’t always be possible to do this depending on your destination but where you see an opportunity to save some money, do it! No sense in throwing money down the drain because you never know when you are going to need it. Hope this was helpful and you’ve learned a little something. Have you done any of these before? What were your experiences? Drop us a comment below!