Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How have we made it this far?

Many people wonder how we've been able to sustain ourselves on this journey. If you know us then you're certain to know we've stashed away a good savings. And if you've ever traveled with us, you know we're always prepared.

Our accommodations are only what we need. A reasonably comfortable bed, pillow, and blanket will do, along with access to a hot shower. Hostels, budget / backpacker hotels, and inexpensive AirBnBs do the trick anywhere we find ourselves.

Grocery shopping has also been of the utmost importance in saving as we go. However, we have found ourselves indulging here and there because of the bounty of fresh food and interesting palette openers we've come across. We choose our meals wisely in general. Save where we can, and splurge when it's reasonable. Our meals have been more than satisfying in the long haul.

Transportation is usually where the most coin is spent but with the highest potential to save. Planning in advance is the best way. Research on airfare is done well in advance of flight days for potential routes we may take. Then alerts are setup on the various search engines to monitor the fluctuations of the cost. We have also valued the alternatives (i.e. bus, train, rental car) and compared it to the time spent or experience gained along the way. And we choose wisely amongst all the options. Sometimes a long car drive with numerous sites along the way is more valuable than a short flight, especially when you have to spend just as much time at the airport than on the road.

Selecting the experience / tourist site you are interested in rather than trying to see everything is also essential. Why pay for a packaged tour if you are only interested in some of the sites? Self-guided tours are also beneficial. It also allows you to travel at your own pace, spend your money gradually instead of all in one shot, and not overdo it in any particular attraction or packaged tour. Lastly, just our opinion, it's more exciting to get off the beaten path. In some instances you will find more free or inexpensive unique things to do.

There are plenty of other little things you can do to budget and spend fairly over the course of time. And we've been happy with all our decisions so far. It's an adventure, experience, and learning process all on its own. But don't forget to treat yourself sometimes.

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