Part 3 in the series on our decision, our saving and our spending. Missed parts one and two?
So we made the decision to travel and saved the money, but how we’re going to make that money last is probably more important than how we saved it in the first place. It should be obvious by now that we will not be staying at 5-star resorts, but we do still plan to enjoy ourselves. I think when it comes to spending money while traveling there are three main categories: lodging, food, and transportation.
Let’s talk about food first, since that is probably the easiest to explain. Eating out three meals a day is simply not an option, both from a fiscal and a health perspective. We travel with two items to help us prepare our own food, a squishy bowl and a pair of sporks. Wherever we’re living we should generally be able to shop for food at a local market and prepared small meals ourselves. Outside of that, street food is totally in play as long as there is a long line of locals eating the same. By eating with the locals we’ll taste more authentic foods and have far more exciting adventures battling the revenge of Montezuma than we could ever have with a year’s supply of energy bars from the states.
When it comes to resting our heads there are a few different places we plan to use often. The most obvious, yet rare in the USA, is the hostel. Hostels are common across the entire globe, are nearly always affordable, and often have private rooms as well. One step up from hostels are small mom & pop hotels. Lastly, and probably our favorite option, is couchsurfing. You can see our earlier post on couchsurfing here. We participated as hosts for our final 8 months in DC and had nothing but great experiences with our CSers, many of whom we plan to see again on our travels and are likely reading this website right now.
The last major source of our trip spending comes with regard to transportation. Anyone who is thinking about meeting us somewhere has already realized how expensive international airfare can be…which is why we aren’t buying any. Instead we will be traveling overland as much as possible. For most of our trip this will mean using buses or rail travel where possible. Traveling slowly overland, besides being less expensive, also allows us to get a better feel for a place and see all of it, not just the touristy hot spots. It’s also another way for us to meet and interact with locals.
We may, upon reaching Europe, purchase a RTW airline ticket, allowing us one way passage through the rest of the globe at vastly reduced rates. We are not starting out with a ticket like this because they limit, amongst other things, our travel timeframe and the destinations we can travel to. Once we finish the Americas and Europe however we’ll likely be OK flying over large parts of war-torn Eurasia and so one of these tickets might work out better for us then.
So we’ve explained how we intend to save our money on the everyday activities but that is only so that we have the money to spend when it comes time to do the not so everyday activities. We hope to get SCUBA certified, hike Machu Picchu, tour the pyramids at Giza, go on an African Safari, and well, you get the picture.