How I travelled to 6 different countries on 5 different trips in 2017 (without going flat broke)
Rinpoche, a Tibetan monk I met at the Pema Ts'al Sakya Tibetan Monastery, Nepal
This year, I travelled to Trinidad, Nepal, India, Iceland, and France. I kind of went ham haha, and a lot of people asked me how I was able to afford it. Well full disclosure, I work a full-time salaried job, but there are also some other tips that may be helpful to you. This is how I pulled it off, with some not-so-surprising and maybe surprising tips.
1. Travel spontaneously
In our airbnb in Paris, France
I book a lot all of my trips with yyzdeals.com (no, this isn't sponsored haha, I'm just really excited about it). It's essentially one guy who just tracks down deals flying out of Pearson Airport, and posts the best stuff he finds. Sometimes it's an error made by an airline, sometimes it's discounts, sometimes it's just a fluke. A lot of the time the flights don't allow for much time to plan. I can't stand to plan long drawn out trips - as soon as every detail is nailed down I feel obligated to do all this shit. What if I want to sleep in after getting accidentally plastered with some new pals? Booking last minute trips works for me, but they tend to be a lot cheaper too. I flew to Iceland for $200 roundtrip, Paris for $300 roundtrip, and I've got a flight I'm eyeing up for Dublin for $250 roundtrip after hearing about it on yyzdeals.
Completely soaked at Selfandfoss, Iceland
The other resource I use is cheapflights.com and I truly don't understand why some flights are dirt cheap there and not other places, but let's roll with it.
Outside of the Pema Ts'al Sakya Tibetan Monastery, Nepal.
2. Don't get the add ons
When you're booking online, don't ever select your seats. Some people don't know you can skip this section, and it usually costs you $80 a seat if you don't. When you get to the airline they almost never honour your seat selection anyway, so always skip. Always skip the checked luggage portion too, especially if you can pack light.
Riding inside of an autorickshaw in Agra, India
People get their shit lost all the time abroad. I mean it could be in the airport, on a bus, left at a train, stolen out of your hostel, really anywhere. My rule of thumb is, if you don't want to lose it, don't bring it. Being comfortable is for vacationing, not traveling. So always pack as light as possible. The things of value I bring that aren't money (my Canon 5d mark iii, phone, passport) are either on me at all times, or stored in a safe at the hotel.
The other thing is travel insurance. You can always check with your credit card company if you're covered, which many people are to a certain amount. I added mine on a long time ago and it's significantly cheaper than booking with your flight.
3. Buy your travel accessories online first
Airports are cash grabs - this shouldn't be a surprise. Don't wait till you're at the airport to buy a universal plug adapter, a neck cushion, or emergency supplies.
This is the stuff that I have:
Universal Plug Adapter for $16: (Probably one of my best buys)
Pen-sized screwdriver for $6.55 (Multipurpose, kind of serves as a covert self-defence weapon haha, mine is also gold 💁🏾)
4. Open a TFSA
So I created a Tax Free Savings Account just for traveling, and I contribute to it bi weekly. Whenever I get a bit of extra cash, I put it aside here. This way I can travel without feeling guilty, and while knowing exactly how much I can spend on a trip at a time. I'm putting aside $300/month, with whatever extra money I have left over after I deposit to my savings, bills & RRSP. If I'm good (which I really am sometimes) I can make $600 work on a short trip.
I hope this helps! I'll be posting some more blogs about particulars from each of these trips, keep an eye out & let me know what you think.