How I Afford My Bucket List Trips

BY ONEIKA RAYMOND

Dune-bashing in Dubai.  Hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru. Marveling at the Taj Mahal in India. Going on a safari in South Africa.

While it sounds like an excerpt from a brochure, these are just a handful of the experiences I’ve been able to check off my personal bucket list for travel.

Hi, my name is Oneika and in a typical year, I eat, sleep, and breathe travel.  There’s something about being somewhere new, seeing something different, and learning about different customs, cultures, and traditions that just… gets me.

But if you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you’ll also know that I’ve shifted my focus to bucket list trips and experiences.  I mean, in my mind, if I’m getting on a plane, train, or automobile I might as well go big before I go home, amirite?!

Practically, this means that I didn’t just visit Victoria Falls, I low-key swam in it (and bungee jumped off the Victoria Falls Bridge, but that’s a story for another day). I’ve also slept in a yurt in the Mongolian steppe, ziplined through Costa Rican rainforest, and done high tea too many times to count in London.

However, while these bucket list adventures are epic, thrilling, and fulfilling, the harsh reality is this: they can be quite expensive.

One of the number one reasons people don’t travel is because they think they can’t afford it.  But as someone who has dedicated my platform to making exploration and discovery more accessible, I’ve realized that there are a few easy things you can do to come closer to making your travel dreams a reality. 

That’s why I’m excited to partner with You Need A Budget to share three major tips and tricks for how to budget for your trips, whether they are big or small!

___

3 big ways I’ve afforded travel to 118+ countries

Making travel a priority

One of the questions I’m asked the most frequently by friends, family, and strangers is how I can afford to travel so much.  Here’s my big “secret”: while I’m not rich, I tend to allocate the money I do have to trips and experiences.  This means that instead of spending money on the latest smartphone or a designer purse, I save it for bucket list adventures abroad… like going to Egypt to see the pyramids of Giza.

I’m also able to save more money because of certain lifestyle choices I’ve made, like not having a car (gas and insurance are expensive). Because my passion for discovery is of the utmost importance, I’m willing to make little “sacrifices” like not getting cable (I mostly stream on Netflix anyway) or skipping appetizers and dessert when I go out to eat so that I have more money to put towards my dream trips. This is a simple, yet effective strategy!

Careful planning

I can’t stress the importance of meticulous planning when it comes to booking my bucket list travels!  Whenever possible, I try to travel to a destination during its off-peak season so I can not only avoid the crowds but also take advantage of discounted air fares, attractions, and accommodations.  Speaking of accommodations, I often compare the cost of staying in an Airbnb/ vacation rental vs. a hotel room and go with the cheaper option.  Depending on my destination and how much time and money I have to burn, staying in one instead of the other might just make more sense (and help me save more dollars and cents, haha).


Another strategy that has allowed me to travel more frequently and at a cheaper rate has been to chase the deal and not the destination. I tend to plan my travels these days based on the cheapest airfares and travel discounts at a given time, and not just based on where I want to go/what I want to experience. 

Making a proper budget and sticking to it

While prioritizing and planning play a fundamental role in my ability to tick items off my travel bucket list, the third, and in my opinion most important, element in this equation is budgeting.  

I’ll be honest, I’ve always been pretty good with managing my money on my own.  But since I started using You Need a Budget to consciously plan for the future, I have a more accurate picture of my finances and better control over when, how, and why I spend my money.

But just what is this magical You Need a Budget, you ask? Well, You Need a Budget (YNAB for short)  is an award-winning personal finance software that will teach you how to get out of debt, stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, and save more money so that you can spend it on the things that matter most to you (traveling, in my case).

Personally, You Need a Budget has helped me to create a spending plan so I can prioritize and plan for future travel or major life events. Signing up is extremely easy! Because the interface is so straightforward and clear, within 10 minutes I was able to input all my account details and expenses in order to start a savings plan.  

Not too sure you’re ready to commit?  YNAB not only has a free 34-day trial that doesn’t require you to give your credit card details, it also offers educational content, vidoes, and live workshops every single day that are completely FREE.

You can try YNAB for 34-days free (no credit card required) if you click here!

The thing I like most about YNAB is that it takes the stress and mystery out of budgeting. YNAB’s Four Rules set you up for success by treating the budget as a daily lifestyle tool, rather than some crazy aspirational plan that you can’t maintain.  Their Four Rules are:

Give Every Dollar a Job. Know exactly how you want to spend the money you have available – and only the money you have right now – before you spend a dime. This helps ensure that you have money for the things that matter most to you!

Embrace Your True Expenses. Figure out what you really spend and treat those infrequent expenses (like the holidays, twice-a-year car insurance or replacing your laptop every two years) like monthly expenses in your monthly budget. Breaking big or uncommon expenses down means you won’t be surprised by them. 

Roll With the Punches. Accept that things change and your budget needs to be flexible (especially in a year like this one, whew!) You won’t spend the same amount on all categories every month, so be prepared to move money around. Moving money around doesn’t mean you are budgeting wrong, it means you are actually budgeting! 

Age Your Money. Break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle by working towards using the money you earned last month to pay this month’s expenses. This margin will create more peace of mind than you can even imagine. 

Source: YNAB

Making a proper budget doesn’t have to be a big deal or a scary prospect when you have the right tools.  Using YNAB has allowed me to take complete control of my finances so I can have enough money to spend on the things I truly value, like bucket list travel! This is a big step on the road to financial freedom. 

___

So there you have it, my three tips for how I afford to travel so extensively and budget for my bucket list adventures!  In essence it boils down to this: serious prioritizing, diligent planning, and EXCELLENT budgeting.  What tips do you have for how you afford to travel?  Drop ‘em in the comments below!

This post was written in partnership with You Need a Budget but all opinions are my own.

SHARING IS CARING

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

76 Comments

  • i’m agree with your article. “Making travel a priority” cause i like you do! 😉

    Thanks for sharing this great article, make a new inspiration for me

    Reply
  • To be honest, I always think of travel bloggers as kind of a successful entrepreneur. People like you have worked so hard to find decent ways of earning money and nurturing your passion without ever giving up. I wish that someday I could be like you, traveling and sharing experience. That’d be the best life I can think of.

    Reply
  • You are incredible! This is crazy inspirational. Thanks for the advice, this was so eye opening! I’m on a mission to travel more this year. I can’t wait to start my journey soon.

    Reply
  • Thank you for sharing these tips! I will definitely include this in my bucket list for the future! Love your content!

    Reply
  • Thank you so much for this informative blog. I liked it very much and learned a lot from it. Your blog inspires so many adventurers like me. Further, you can book cheap flights with Lowest Flight Fare if you’re looking for a fantastic vacationing experience.

    Reply
  • I don’t need to tell you how important it is to optimize every step in your SEO pipeline. But unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to cut out time or money when it comes to getting good content. At least that’s what I thought until I came across Article Forge… Built by a team of AI researchers from MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Article Forge is an artificial intelligence (AI) powered content writer that uses deep learning models to write entire articles about any topic in less than 60 seconds. Their team trained AI models on millions of articles to teach Article Forge how to draw connections between topics so that each article it writes is relevant, interesting and useful. All their hard work means you just enter a few keywords and Article Forge will write a complete article from scratch making sure every thought flows naturally into the next, resulting in readable, high quality, and unique content. Put simply, this is a secret weapon for anyone who needs content. I get how impossible that sounds so you need to see how Article Forge writes a complete article in less than 60 seconds! https://stanford.io/3qFFVSU

    Reply
  • Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched
    her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is
    completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    Reply
  • I am really enjoying the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?

    A number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not operating
    correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.

    Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

    Reply
  • Wonderful article! That is the type of info that are supposed to be
    shared across the web. Disgrace on Google for not positioning
    this submit higher! Come on over and talk over
    with my site . Thank you =)

    Reply
  • Great blog right here! Additionally your website lots up very fast!
    What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your associate link to your host?

    I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Reply
  • Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or
    vice-versa? My blog covers a lot of the same subjects as
    yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an e-mail.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by
    the way!

    Reply
  • Whats up are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do
    you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    Reply
  • Your mode of telling all in this article is truly pleasant, all can without
    difficulty be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  • What i don’t realize is in truth how you’re no longer actually a lot
    more smartly-favored than you may be now.
    You’re very intelligent. You understand therefore considerably with regards
    to this topic, produced me in my opinion imagine it
    from so many various angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated unless it is
    something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs nice.
    At all times care for it up!

    Reply
  • Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that
    would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    Reply
  • I think this is one of the most significant information for
    me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things,
    The site style is wonderful, the articles is really great : D.
    Good job, cheers

    Reply
  • I always used to read post in news papers but now as I am a user of web thus from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.|

    Reply
  • Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it
    has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, great blog!

    Reply
  • I was extremely pleased to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new information on your web site.

    Reply
  • Hello, I’ve been reading articles on this website and they have been very informative. I have been trying to improve my website as well. Please visit my website and help me with your valuable feedback.

    Reply
  • Great web site you have here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours these days.
    I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    Reply
  • Excellent way of describing, and fastidious paragraph to obtain facts on the
    topic of my presentation subject matter, which i am going to convey in college.

    Reply
  • I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    Reply
  • I visited several web sites but the audio feature for audio
    songs existing at this web page is actually marvelous.

    Reply
  • We absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be just
    what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to
    write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write in relation to here.
    Again, awesome web site!

    Reply
  • Wow, amazing blog structure! How long have
    you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.
    The full look of your web site is fantastic, as neatly
    as the content material!

    Reply
  • Paragraph writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with after
    that you can write if not it is complex to write.

    Reply
  • I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented
    in your post. They are really convincing and can definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too short for beginners. May just you please extend them
    a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

    Reply
  • Every weekend i used to visit this web page, for the
    reason that i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this site conations truly good funny information too.

    Reply
  • Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your
    content. Please let me know. Thanks

    Reply
  • I was recommended this blog by means of my cousin. I’m now not positive whether or not this publish is written through him as nobody else understand such distinct approximately
    my trouble. You are wonderful! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you
    download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with
    a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Thank you

    Reply
  • It’s in point of fact a great and helpful piece of info.
    I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am
    experiencing difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why
    I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems?

    Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    Reply
  • I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought
    this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉
    Cheers!

    Reply
  • I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days.

    Reply
  • Ahaa, its good dialogue regarding this post at this place at
    this webpage, I have read all that, so now me also commenting at this
    place.

    Reply
  • For latest news you have to go to see web
    and on web I found this site as a most excellent web page for
    hottest updates.

    Reply
  • Your way of describing the whole thing in this post is in fact pleasant, all be capable of effortlessly be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  • And it’s so entertaining fooling around and producinga personality. Over-all it’s the very best activityever built.Free Fire Account Free 2021 Garena Accounts AndPasswordFree Fire Account Free

    Reply
  • Hello.This post was really motivating, especially because I was searching for thoughts on this issue last couple of days.

    Reply
  • Im no expert, but I think you just made a very good point point. You certainly comprehend what youre talking about, and I can actually get behind that. Thanks for being so upfront and so genuine.

    Reply
  • Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.Iwill make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back in the future.I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have anice weekend!

    Reply
  • I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but good topic.I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.Thanks for great information I was looking for this information for my mission.

    Reply
  • Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!It’s the little changes which will make the most important changes.Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.