The two main things stopping people from traveling is fear and money. When it comes to money, the world is way more affordable than most people think.
Most of your big monthly bills go away as soon as you hit the road. Rent, groceries, the cost of Ubers, public transportation, coffee, lunch, happy hour. Those expenses disappear. When they go it creates space for new spending habits to emerge.
How long you travel becomes a matter of a few factors, and budget is one of them. Resorts, luxury villas, and buying a new wardrobe for a five-day vacation isn’t affordable. But traveling the world, like a local, totally is.
It’s a matter of awareness, and how you choose to spend. Are you spending six dollars on a Western burrito in an Asian country where noodle soup is a dollar? Are you buying ten beers a night? Are you filling your bag with souvenirs? What you choose to consume in life—and especially on the road—determines how much you spend, and often how long you stay. The world is as affordable, but are your spending habits?
To me traveling is a lifestyle, and my lifestyle doesn’t change when I am on the road. I eat the same way regardless of where I am. This means going to the grocery store, the market, drinking tons of water and eating local. I’m always seeking out the local flavor versus eating things because they’re familiar.
To make the world affordable, stick to the same habits you have in your every day life. If your habits aren’t good, traveling is an excellent opportunity to change them. Everything in your life is already changing, causing a natural reset. Run with this and make an intention to get healthier, or being more aware of your intake.
how to make the world more affordable:
1. Lose the mentality of "vacation mode"
In America especially there’s this idea of “vacation mode” (thanks capitalism.) It’s like as soon as the long weekend or vacation begins it’s mindless eating and drinking. This mentality is a fast track to gaining weight and sending your hormones raging. When you’re traveling enough in your body and life is already changing. Fuel your body with food that will make you feel great and nourish you.
2. Spend more on your flight
Spend more on your flightI know with all the airline flash sales it’s tempting to buy the weekend trip to Vegas or Palm Springs. But alternatively, you can spend more on the plane ticket, and go further to where the cost of living is less. Once you arrive, the cost of living could be $20 a day, the price of one drink in one of those places. If you want to make the world affordable, book that long-haul flight and let your native dollar go far.
3. you don't have to live like a backpacker
Whoever you are, whatever your thing is, traveling is an opportunity to become more you. If you love luxury and bundling up in Egyptian threads, go wild. If you love bed and breakfasts, you will always have options. It’s not a one-way street, and making the world affordable doesn’t mean you’re staying at the hostel with an inclusive breakfast. There are options for whatever you want, so don’t pigeonhole yourself into thinking there is only one way.
4. find the in-between
The travel industry paints the world in segmented pictures. “Adventure travel” or “luxury travel” or “foodie tours.” What is doesn’t account for is this huge in-between of people just living their life, the way they enjoy it. Bypass the tours and package deals and start a conversation with a local, make new friends on the road. You’ll find the good spots and the real hidden gems without the overhead.
The reason travel has this price tag associated with it is because marketing paints this glossy picture of the experience. In reality the experience is whatever you make it. If you choose to stay local, build relationships, eat and drink the food of the region, and visit the markets, the world is affordable and kind. Create the mindset of traveling being a part of your lifestyle and you’ll be wandering those cobblestone streets, happy and healthy for a long time.
Book the long flight, and invest in yourself by having an enriching experience. Experiencing the world isn’t about a lavish week, but it’s taking care of yourself—anywhere—so you can live a lavish life.