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Southeast Asia forum

So Someone Asks 'How Can You Afford That?

Posted by Magpie72 on 22/8/2013 at 21:41

Hello all. I live in Australia and with that great distance to other lands, flights to many destinations are high. As such, I thought for years that world travel was beyond me, Ít's too expensive', Ít must be difficult to organise', and all those things that are not reasons, just very poor excuses.

But 3 years ago, I started planning, thinking of how to save money by cutting back on buying things I didn't need and which things I owned that I could sell? I have a job I love but I don't make anywhere near as much as some of my friends who don't travel.

I stopped going to concerts, cut back on going to football matches (only go to 2-3 a year now), don't go to cricket matches anymore, the place I live in very basic, I only buy food at the super market when it's on sale, I only try to have one light on in the house at any time, if there is nothing in particular on tv that I want to watch, I turn it off and read, or plan my next holiday. All those things add up to more dollars in the bank account for travel.

I sold a bunch of dvds, games, just general things that were sitting around the house.

In those 3 years, I've done the following;

March 2011, I went to Atlanta, USA for Wrestle Mania 27 (I've been a lifelong WWE fan, so this was a dream come true)
March 2012, I flew to Auckland, NZ. Was a beautiful city, and the Waitomo Glow worm Caves a few hours south of Auckland were amazing.
December 2012, 2 weeks in Thailand and Cambodia. Blew my mind, I knew I had to get back to Asia.
April 2013, in New York for Wrestle Mania 29. The buzz of the city was huge.
November 2013, I will be spending 2 weeks in Cambodia, exploring Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.

That'll be 5 trips in just under 3 years, I'm proud of that, considering I sooked it for years that I couldn't afford to travel.

And end of next year, I'm aiming for Peru, so I can see Machu Picchu.

So how did you initially focus on travel? Through travels as a child, having a gap year, or like me, did you just get sick of hearing other's travel stories and decided you wanted to be the one telling the stories, not just listening to them?

Which holidays have you taken? What was/is your plan for saving money?

#1 Magpie72 has been a member since 20/8/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by caseyprich on 23/8/2013 at 01:50

I have a job that pays well and I'm a teacher so I get long holidays. Yeah, nectar.

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 23/8/2013 at 04:28

I "got out" by taking a well-paid job with a multinational on the other side of the world. 2-3 weeks a year wasn't enough, so created a working holiday and stayed for years instead. Then 20 years later after quitting the rat race I've lived off investments and small businesses. Lived in NZ 6 years (nice glow worms!) in the van on/off for years in outback Australia, in UK a year, Germany 3 years, Thailand now 10 years with a cafe/guesthouse/agency that pays the bills. Don't have to be fabulously rich to see the world, as many non-travellers seem to think. It also helps not to get sucked into the whole debt/credit nonsense. Live simply and don't buy what you cannot afford, save it for the stuff that matters.

#3 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,950

Posted by daawgon on 23/8/2013 at 11:44

Magpie - I scrimp and save just as you do to be able to afford travel, and I live on a fixed, retired income, but I've managed several overseas trips in the past 5 years. Instead of expensive restaurant meals (very expensive in the States) I cook my own soup at home, and I haven't been inside of a movie theater (or any other kind of theater) in at least 30 years. I don't own a home or car or jewels or even a suit - who needs all that junk when travel is more important to me.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 23/8/2013 at 11:49 admin

"Live simply and don't buy what you cannot afford, save it for the stuff that matters."


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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 24/8/2013 at 05:38

Movie threatres can be cheap. I pay $7-8 a movie. Alcohol, smokes and restaurants are the expensive things .

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Posted by SBE on 24/8/2013 at 16:22

I smile mysteriously and say nowt and I don't fritter away $7-8 on movies because that's the price I pay for a room on full board near some of the best snorkeling in the world.

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Posted by Geer1 on 24/8/2013 at 17:18

I had a really good paying job with next to no expenses(housing, food etc provided). Saved up a bunch of money and took time off(just over a year so far lol). Another trick I did was put a good chunk of money towards my retirement because here in Canada we can use that contribution to lower our income tax for the year(becomes taxed when you take the money out of account instead). That alone saved me ~8k which more then paid for my 4 month trip in SEA.

If a person is willing it is easy enough to get by on much less then what the average person spends. It is possible to go too far though so when saving money make sure you are still living an enjoyable life when you aren't travelling etc.

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Posted by Magpie72 on 24/8/2013 at 18:12

I agree with alot of what has been said, everyone who does travel, has obviously come up with their own plans, we all make our own choices on what is acceptable spending.

Like some of you above, I don't own a house or a car, I don't eat at restaurants or have the latest technology phone, tv, etc.

I put all my coins in a jar and at times, that's given me over $500 to bump up my travel funds.

Those who complain that they can't travel, just aren't thinking enough.

#9 Magpie72 has been a member since 20/8/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by karibou on 24/8/2013 at 19:24

I got an airline credit card and figured out how to put most of my living expenses on it, paying it off each month to avoid interest. The award miles that have built up over the years allow me to visit inexpensive countries on the other side of the world without ever paying for flights.

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