While many choose to travel in pairs or small groups, others opt for the unbridled sense of freedom that only solo travel can offer, travelling at their own pace and doing everything and anything their heart desires.
There are many advantages to solo travel, but price isn’t necessarily one of them. Travelling alone without a travel buddy to split accommodation costs with can be expensive, especially if you’re planning to make it a lengthy trip of several months or more.
But don’t be put off – with a bit of planning and hard work, you can definitely make it happen.
If you’re considering a solo travel project and wondering how to make it work financially, these money saving tips well help you travel better and for longer periods of time.
1. Start Saving for Your Trip as Early as Possible
You might be surprised – perhaps even shocked – by what you can save by jotting down everything you spend and working out where you are wasting money. By scrimping on daily expenses, from a coffee here to a cocktail there, you’ll be able to save hundreds if not thousands over the space of a year or so
2. Ask for Donations Instead of Gifts
Instead of asking for clothes or gadgets for your birthday or Christmas, why not ask your friends and family for money that you can put towards the cost of your trip. If the thought of just handing out cash doesn’t go down well from family and friends, they could all club together and pay for return flights instead.
3. Take Out a Loan
If you need to lay your hands on some funds at reasonably short notice, whether it be before or during your trip, then a loan could be a great option. It’s important to make sure you know how and when you will pay the money back – a lender like Sunny, for example, offers a same-day option for urgent situations which means if you need a replacement passport or a last minute flight home, you can get your hands on the money quick. You’ll need to pay that money back, of course, but a loan buys you some time and can help you spread the cost if you need funds quickly.
4. Work While Abroad
Unless you’re really fortunate in a financial sense, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to spend months or even a year on one long holiday. You’ll probably have to work at some stage or get a part-time job in a bar or restaurant. This has two benefits: you’ll earn money to help fund meals and accommodation during your adventure, and you’ll also meet new people to enjoy your travels with.
Note: Remember that if you plan to work, this will affect the type of visa you need to apply for – you can’t work with just a tourist visa. Countries such as the States, Australia and China all require working visas, so be sure to look into it all before booking your flights.
5. Get an Interest Free Credit Card
A credit card is another way of funding your solo travel. Yes, like a loan, you’ll ultimately have to pay all of the money back, as well as interest, but if you find the right kind of credit card, you can work out a way to manage your repayments. There are some credit cards that offer a long period with no interest charges, allowing you to only pay back what you’ve spent and nothing on top of that (provided you make regular payments each month and clear the balance before the end of the interest-free period). Get a credit card especially for your trip and use it only for purchases you otherwise can’t afford at the time.
6. Get a Job That Takes You Travelling
Why not mix business with pleasure and get a job that takes you travelling? There are a wide range of jobs and careers that require travel. Have a look through this list on the Independent and see if any appeal. They include becoming a tour guide, working on a cruise liner, or even teaching abroad.