To fulfill a dream, it is not necessary to spend a fortune.
The dream of an annual trip was with me and my husband in common. When we finally decided to consider it seriously, in the asset we had good careers and comfortable living conditions in Cyprus. But the dream attracted and did not allow to forget about the question “What if? ..”. It was this that ultimately led us to a long Asian journey.
We traveled for more than a year, visited 12 countries, staying here for a long time, and some places only visited for a few days or even hours. In this article – tips how to prepare for such a large-scale journey and how to save on the road.
How to prepare
1. Start saving for a dream
Our training began 15 months before departure precisely with savings. We created a family budget, reviewed income and expenses, analyzed what expenses can be reduced, what can be sacrificed for the sake of a dream. Having counted the final potential amount of savings, we were pleased with it.
Tip: create your budget, track where the money goes. Cut spending and start to postpay a certain amount of money regularly.
2. Decide what to do in the journey
Travel alone is great, but we did not consider idle days for ourselves. Therefore, beforehand began to create online projects with which we could work remotely. By the time of departure, we had a job search site in Cyprus and my project “Change to Be!”, Aimed at helping people achieve their dreams.
Council: come up with ideas on what you could work on the trip. Believe me, it’s impossible to spend 24 hours 7 days a week just traveling. You will have free time. You can spend it on watching TV shows, but why not devote some time to something more useful to you?
3. Stock up with patience
After deciding to go on a trip, I was ready to do it tomorrow. However, common sense urged me to order. I had to tighten the belt more tightly and continue the gradual preparation for the trip.
Tip: think over what time you really can go on a trip. Add some money and / or run your online project. Do not try to do everything faster, it will not lead to a good result.
4. Sell things
Closer to the trip, we started selling things. How much I have had all the unused! Some things were new at all. We sold everything: home appliances, electronics, furniture, board games, rollers, car. The clothes were taken to the reception point of things for the needy. These sales have replenished our budget by more than 3 thousand euros.
Tip: disassemble your items, evaluate critically what you do not use, and boldly set it up for sale through forums or specialized sites.
5. Secure Your Savings
One of the most unpleasant things that can happen on the road is the loss of money. Agree, it’s terrible to wake up in the morning and find out that someone has taken a decent amount of money from your card.
To avoid this, we created a triple money storage system consisting of two banks and one mobile bank. All our savings are kept in Bank A, from which we transfer the amount for a month to Bank B. On the card to which the mobile bank is attached (we have Revolut), we transfer through the application the necessary amount for withdrawal through the ATM. Thus, we only use Revolut, on which money never lays.
An additional bonus is that this card does not convert the account currency according to the standard banking scheme (your currency is in dollars and then from dollars in dollars currency of the country of location), but directly, bypassing the dollars. Thus, the course is the most advantageous.
Tip: select a reliable system for storing money. At a minimum, get a second bank card, which you will only use to withdraw cash.
6. Choose the appropriate health insurance
The secret to choosing a health insurance for a long trip is to choose the plan that really covers the entire duration of your trip, and not as in most insurance companies – a maximum of 45 days throughout the year.
The second , what you should pay attention to is the deductible, the amount of payments, after which the costs are covered by the insurance company. If you are going to Asia, it is better to choose insurance without a franchise, otherwise you will always pay out of your pocket (as medicine in Asia is inexpensive).
Tip: take time to study insurance, ask all kinds of questions support service. Medical insurance is an important part of a safe journey.
7. Download online and offline maps
If before the trip we did not install such cards on all of our devices, I think we could still wander somewhere in India or Myanmar. Sometimes, the local simply sent us somewhere, not knowing the right direction. After we began to believe only the map, life was simplified.
33 useful applications and services for travelers →
Tip: before the trip, install the applications on your phone, download the maps of the countries you need. Maps.me is perfect for us, it works fine offline.
8. Make copies of documents
Sometimes we started to demand copies of documents suddenly and in places where you do not expect at all. For example, in Myanmar, when we moved from one city to another by night bus, we were woken up at some arbitrary border, which it was impossible to pass without a photocopy of the passport. Luckily, we had copies. Sometimes, to find a copier, we had to run around a decent number of places. With photos, things were even worse.
Tip: make at least five copies of your passport and several 4 × 5 photographs in advance (you can turn them into 3 × 4 if necessary, but vice versa – just in any way ). Scan the insurance policy and passport, store scans on the phone, and also send it to your mail. This will help you in case of loss of documents.
9. Rent an apartment
We met guys who travel for years simply renting out their homes. So they do not earn, but they do not spend their money.
Tip: If you have your own home, think about renting it out. This will help you increase your budget.
10. Do not forget to collect a first aid kit and take things you can not do without.
There are not a lot of medicines in our medicine cabinet: most of the necessary drugs can still be found in local pharmacies. We took only medicine for emergency situations.
And on the list of must-have-things, I include earplugs and a mask for sleeping: sometimes there are surprises in the hotels in the form of very loud snoring neighbors or light from the street.
Take only the most necessary, do not take tons of medicine and personal things. If necessary, you can purchase them on site.
11. Be open to the world!
We all have ideas about how the world works. They originated with us within the framework of the reality that we observe daily in our habitat. Other people’s rules and rules may seem strange to us. What would you think when you see people in pajamas in a supermarket? This is what we observed closer to midnight on the island of Penang in Malaysia. It turned out that at 12 noon the supermarket makes big discounts, so many families call in for hot offers, and then immediately go to bed.
Tip: respect other people’s culture and norms of behavior. In the end, we, too, seem strange to someone. And it’s normal!
How to save on the road
I used to think that a long trip is something insanely expensive and unreal. All these thoughts, most likely, were born from short-term holidays, when you spend money left and right. In practice, it turned out that travel is available on any budget and, if desired, you can significantly save even in such expensive cities as Hong Kong and Singapore. I’ll tell you how.
1. Of course, air travel is the easiest and fastest way to move, but if you do not have time limits, why not try other ways? Buses, trains, water transport – movement by alternative means saves up to 60% of the cost of the air ticket.
2. Use Workaway
Workaway.info is a find of our journey, a kind of volunteering in exchange for housing and food. This is a great way to save money and get to know the local culture, working and communicating with local people. The usual conditions are as follows: work for 4-5 hours a day five days a week (but it needs to be specified in each case).
We used Workaway five times, having worked in a cafe, restaurant, hostel, on a strawberry farm. The work was very different: from helping in the kitchen to language practice and marketing. You need to know English at least on an intermediate level.
3. Do not forget about kauchsurfing
There is already much known way of traveling with free overnight stay at the local ones. A great way to find new friends and get acquainted with the culture and customs of another country. But do not forget that you stay at a party, not at a hotel. Be polite and clean up after yourself.
4. Buy tickets for night flights
Choose night transfers – so you can save on spending the night at the hotel, and comfortable sleeping buses will help you not feel broken the next morning.
5. Put things in hand luggage
We did not manage to do this, and we constantly with envy observe those who travel only with hand luggage. With each flight, this saves from 20 to 40 dollars on the luggage tariff.
6. Pay attention to hostels
Hostels are a great place to meet other travelers, share their stories and have a good time in the company of like-minded people. And it’s cheaper than renting a room in a hotel, especially if you travel alone. Carefully read reviews and check rating, this will save you from unpleasant surprises.
7. Use the discount programs of the services of Booking, Airbnb and Agoda
Each of them has discount programs: if someone buys a home with your link, you get a percentage from it. You can also earn by becoming a partner. To do this, you need to have your own blog (you can get up to 25% of the cost of renting your home through your website).
8. Work remotely
If you, like us, do not want to travel idly, then try to earn extra money on the trip. You can create your own projects or find a remote job, if your specialization and experience allows it.
9. Rent accommodation with kitchen
This will save on food in cafes and restaurants in countries with expensive food, for example in South Korea. Of course, on a trip without getting to know the local cuisine, you can lose most of the fun, so I’m not saying that it’s worth completely eliminating food in the cafe. But you can still reduce the number of visits if the budget is important to you.
10. Use Grab and Uber
Install these applications on your phone and protect yourself from the situation when you pay with a taxi driver and you suddenly report that the rate was sounded on the person, and you two … In applications, you can set up a payment immediately from the card, completely eliminating calculations with the driver directly.
11. Determine the daily and monthly budget
Decide how much you can and want to spend every day. Keep track of spending, try to stay within the budget. We use an Excel spreadsheet, to which we add all the expenses. This helps to see where we went beyond and signals that it would be nice to save on something (for example, at a cafe or massage session).
Travels make our life brighter, opens up a world and new opportunities for us . Give yourself this joy! I hope that my advice will be useful to you.