People always ask me how I can afford to travel so much. As an Editorial Assistant based in Wales I have a good graduate job, but I still live in a grotty house-share and I need to be careful when it comes to the end of the month. How then have I been to Spain, Canada, and India in the past year, and am heading to the US twice this spring? Let me share some words from the wise.
Cut your costs
As someone who’s only outgoings are rent, bills, food, and a train pass each month-I am able to play around with my disposable income. When I first graduated I went a little crazy with spending money on clothes and make-up after living in a polo neck and jeans for what felt like the entirety of my degree. However, once I calmed down a bit, I started to let my money accumulate in my bank account. Without a car or a long commute this can be surprisingly easy to do. If you shop at places like Lidl or Aldi, and stop going for coffee and brunch then it can make saving feel effortless, too.
Stay in an apartment
Fancy hotels are all well and good, but my sister and I travelled to Toronto at the end of the summer and stayed in a one bed self-catered apartment off Yonge Street. The location was ideal (provided you don’t mind walking) and by buying groceries every day we only had to spend dollars on lunch while we were there. With the jet lag and busy schedule this worked out perfectly as by 9pm we were often too tired to go out anyway.
Stay with people you know
They say ‘friends in high places’ come in handy, but friends in cool locations are better. My family spend part of the year on the Costa Blanca, so I always visit when I can-for no accommodation cost. A childhood friend moved to France, and I went to stay in Bordeaux with her on multiple occasions, as well as in her family farmhouse home. While I understand this requires a certain level of privilege, I am by no means advocating anything more than a cheap EasyJet flight and buying a couple of meals for your acquaintances as a thank you. Closer to home, maximize your friends who live in different cities-get together and make a fun weekend out of catching up with people you’d like to spend time with anyway.
Get a job that requires travel
Unless you’re a bikini model, travelling for work is unlikely to be a consistently glamorous affair. I did travel to India in November-but I only spent one day having a look around the city. The rest of the time was spent cooped up and working in a hotel. These ‘travels’ are easy to afford as you are being paid to be there, but offer more of an ‘experience’ than a relaxing break. If you are interested in seeing how day-to–day life runs abroad, consider looking for work that will increase your air miles.
Words by India Alicia