How to make the most of travel on a limited budget with limited time

fear of travel

A lot of people believe that you can’t travel to far away places and still have a steady job. I think this is a myth. The only thing stopping you from seeing the places you want to see is yourself. Not your job, not your lifestyle, not your family, not your dog. Yourself.

Looking out into the waters in Venice, Italy

We tend to make excuses for ourselves in order to justify not being able to do something that’s out of our comfort zone. I can’t run a marathon because I have bad knees, or I can’t loose weight because I have a health condition. I call bullsh**. While I understand that there may be hurdles you will have to get through in order to accomplish certain goals, I truly believe that the only limits in life are the ones you put on yourself. If you really want to run a race, but you think you can’t because you have bad knees, well do something about it. There are a tonne of health professionals out there that will help you overcome these injuries and limitations in order to accomplish your goals.

Exploring the sights of Rome, Italy

I think the same is to say for travel. I can’t go to Asia because I only get 2 weeks holidays a year, or I can’t go on an African Safari because I’m broke. Well the good thing about money is usually its completely within your control. My husband and I started a number of savings accounts last year. One account is used to save in order to pay off larger debts, the other account is used to save for travel. Each month we treat this like an automatic payment, and when it comes time to take that trip we’ve been dreaming of, the funds are already there waiting. It may take some time to save but its completely worth it when you can take that stress-free vacation knowing you’ve worked hard to save for it. That being said, you can really make your savings last while travelling by doing a bit of research. Stay in hostels rather than hotels, eat at food stalls rather than fancy restaurants and take local transportation rather than fancy shuttles. Just remember – every corner that you cut allows you to spend your hard earned savings on another day in your destination or another exciting adventure in the future.

Riding in a jeep in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

As for vacation time, I understand this is not always in your control. However, there are many ways to make the most of 2, 3 and 4 weeks holidays a year. Make sure you make the most of those 3 weeks (or however much time you have). If you want to take a big trip somewhere far away consider using at least 2 of those weeks and adding a weekend on either side. This gives you approximately 17 days for a vacation, which is enough time to get a taste for a couple new countries or really explore one. Devan and I will be exploring Thailand and the Philippines for 17 days this April and using 2 weeks of our vacation time. Make the most of weekends. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 48 hours, or if you have a long weekend, 72 hours. Take a drive to a city you’ve never seen before. Do a road trip along the coast. Go camping in an area that you have never explored. If you have a little bit of cash, consider hoping on a short flight to explore a new city. We are planning on making the most of our long weekends this fall to explore some cities throughout the U.S that we have always wanted to see. Use travel as an excuse to meet up with friends and family that live far away. For us this is a big one. Devan’s family is mostly out on the west coast, whereas my family is spread across the country and most of our friends are in Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatoon. I know it’s tempting to want to go visit family and friends every chance you get, but consider convincing them to meet you somewhere you both have never been. This fall we are hoping to meet up with good friends of ours from Calgary in Nashville or New Orleans for a long weekend. Take unpaid vacation time. Seriously. Do it. It could be a day, a week , a month or an extended leave of absence if your job allows. I know not everyone thinks they can do this because they have bills to pay, but think of it like this: when you’re saving for travel, save enough extra money to cover your bills and payments in absence of your salary, and you’ll be fine. It may take some extra time but it’s worth it. Opportunities present themselves at the strangest time, and making the most of each of those opportunities will allow you to explore places you never thought possible.

Fun on the waters of Dubrovnik, Croatia

What are your tips for making the most of travel on a limited budget with limited time?  

traveling on a limited budget with limited time

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  1. There are great hostels out there to save you on your travel dollars. $6 in Ecuador get you a safe – though def no frills – room sharing a shower room. $13 in the same city had a patio, bright big bathroom and lovely space. Laundry services tend to be more expensive in the hotels/ hostels – although still inexpensive. Eat where the locals eat. $4 can get you an amazing fresh delicious BIG meal. Learn the bus, colectivo routine. In Mexico from Playa del Carmen to Tulum cost about 65 pesos vs the “tourist” shuttle. My kids are paying $37usd one way from the airport to their hotel. First international trip alone anywhere shuttle is good but research how the locals travel.

    1. Great tips Marilyn!

      Budget travel definitely takes a bit of research but I find it really ends up paying off in the end! Not to mention it lets you see a different side of travel.

      Thanks for the input! ??

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