I’ve come to the sad realisation that I am growing up. Damnit.
I realised this when my housemate told me about a two month exchange to Paris (she’s still at uni). The exchange involved a paid return flight and all you have to do is bum around France for two months. She couldn’t do it because of her plans to go to France in a years time anyway, but she told me that they were looking for someone to do it.
Quickly the wheels started turning in my head, ‘maybe I could go on this exchange’ I thought. Why not? I had enough friends in France to hang out with, and parts of the country I hadn’t seen yet plus family connections in the UK if I ran out of money and needed to stay somewhere. Yes, this was a perfect idea! Until I started to realise…
I have signed a rental contract.
If I leave for two months, do I pay two months worth of rent to keep my room? (Which is not much more than a return flight to Paris)
If I decided to move out, where would I go when I came back?
Where would I put my stuff?
I have a job – and I haven’t accrued a lot of annual leave yet, so there’s a good chance even if I could get the time off work I wouldn’t be paid
Then I would still need money to travel around France and other parts of Europe, since I wouldn’t be earning money or getting paid from my regular job.
Damn – when did everything get so complicated?
Should you take those cheap as chips plane tickets? Ryanair in Europe, Jetstar across Australia and New Zealand? As someone who has tried to find the cheapest ways to get around the world in the last few years (I’ve flown Air Asia through South East Asia, Jetstar and Tiger Airways in Australia and Ryanair and EasyJet in Europe), I feel I’ve got something useful to say on the matter.
Essentially, if you’re going to fly with a budget airline the facts are:
Doesn’t mean they’re not a good deal or safe (well… when it comes to Tiger Airways that’s debatable) but they are arseholes, and the sooner you accept this fact the better your life will be. It means accepting that ridiculous 60 euro fee to print out your boarding pass at the airport if you forget to do it at home yourself. It means knowing that no matter how much you smile, bat your eyelashes or get angry they are still going to charge you more than 50 dollars for an extra kilo of luggage.
These outrageous restrictions and fees are the reason why your tickets so cheap in the first place – deal with it.
So the question remains, should you go with a budget airline while travelling?
This is the final part to my ‘getting money to travel’ series, yay! This part might be a bit too ‘new age’ for some of you, but it’s a philosophy that works for me 😀
I’ve been following the philosophy of The Law of Attraction for a few years, and I honestly believe that nothing is impossible if you believe it can happen. I also believe that if you believe that something is impossible or focus on the things you don’t want, than that is what you will attract into your life.
A very simple example is that we all know a person who says “I never get sick” and they never do. We all probably know another person who says “I always get sick” and that is exactly what happens to them. Even though they might not want to be sick, by constantly telling themselves that that it is true for them = what eventuates in their life.
Whilst I talked about the idea of working/studying overseas so you can generate an income whilst travelling, it’s always good to have some savings on you if not only for the initial ‘start up’ expenses, but you might still need some more money to travel even if you’re earning money abroad.
If you’re smart you’ll have already figured out a budget like I previously talked about and how much money you’ll need to save before you head overseas.
The best way is to allocate a set amount of your wage every week to a separate savings account, that you cannot touch or withdraw money from an ATM when you feel like it.
Some people are not good at savings, I like to think I am not one of those people 🙂 Ever since I started my first part-time job when I was 15, I allocated a small amount of money to my savings account every week. Even when I’m not working towards a savings goal I still allocate at least 10% of my wage to a separate account.
Making Savings a Weekly Bill
Sad but true about that Money Fairy… so, you have to be realistic about the money you’re going to spend. Spending a large amount of time overseas is always going to include the following up-front costs:
- Return Airfare
- Travel insurance (cant cost up to $1,000 dollars if you’ll be away for 12 months)
If you’re working/studying and need to get all your travel documents updated this might mean the cost of:
Then there’s the daily cost of travelling, you’ll need enough money to sleep, eat, travel domestically and internationally plus have some money to do things that are fun to you – if you don’t even have enough money to buy a cup of coffee, what’s the point of travelling there?
Or ‘How I travelled the world and still had money in the bank”
Note: This was originally meant to be one article… but I wrote so much that I’ll need to release it in parts 🙂
I recently got a comment on my Facebook page from an old high-school friend. It read “Sam, how do you get the money to do so much expensive stuff?” in response to my status about snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef.
It’s a good question. In the last four years I’ve managed to live overseas three times, travel to 23 countries and live in five (Australia, Malaysia, Finland, France and Norway) and I’ve always come back with money in the bank every time. The exact amount of how much I came back with I’m not going to reveal… but it was always a nice comfortable nest egg to help me settle back into life in Australia.
So how can you do it? This is what I would tell anyone to do, when trying to save money to go overseas
Paris is known to be an expensive city and there’s a lot of truth in that statement. But if you know where to go and for those doing the English assistant program, I have just discovered a way to get into most Parisien and outer-Paris attractions (e.g Versailles) for free (even for non-EU citizens)
You may know that a lot of Paris attractions are free for those aged 18-26 as long as you are a citizen of the European Union. But there is also a way to access these perks if you are not a member of the EU. As long as you have a long duration visa (meaning not a short term tourist visa) you can get into every national museum in Paris for free just by flashing your passport.