money

How do I save to travel the world?

How do I save to travel the world?

It is not difficult to save to travel the world if you are willing to change a few small things. Most people have the capacity to do a lot more travel than they think if it is a priority for them. People often ask me to give them some suggestions on how to do it. Here are some of my tips.

Foxtel

Pull the plug on any cable TV. Cable TV is expensive and the time can be better spent elsewhere when your priority is to see the world. By cutting Foxtel, you are adding a minimum of $26 a month ($312 per year) to your travel kitty. Some people spend a great deal more than the minimum.

Gym Membership

Ditch the Gym membership. It is expensive and the exercise you will get when travelling (walking will help to make you fit). I was the fittest I had ever been after a year of travel. Average gym costs are $65 per month ($780). By quitting the gym this is put back into your travel kitty.

Car

Running a car is one of the most expensive items that most people have. For most people it can be avoided by taking the bus. Where you have two cars in a family, consider getting rid of one of the cars. Use a bus or train instead. Average running costs for a car are likely to be between and $5000 and $10000 per year. This includes registration, CTP, insurance, petrol, maintenance. The bus or train will always be cheaper. If it only costs $1500 to travel by bus or train for the year, this equates to a savings of between $3500 to $8500 per year.

The Daily Latte/Espresso

Many people buy their daily cappuccino/latte/espresso. This quickly costs a lot of money. At $4 per day and assuming 220 work days this is costing $880 per year.

Friday night drinks

Ditch the Friday night taxi and take the bus instead. Better still ditch the drinks altogether and have lunch together instead. Whilst this may risk your social status you will be saving a great deal of money. Many people spend $30 per Friday night on drinks and then take the taxi home. The taxi may be $20 even for a relatively local trip. If this is your case, this will save you $200+ per month and $2500 per year.

Cigarettes

If you are a smoker and smoke a packet of cigarettes a day at $22 then this equates to over $8000 per year.

Restaurants/Take Away

Eating at restaurants can eat into any budget. Say you eat at restaurants once a week at a cost of $60 for 2, normally you could cook at home and eat for $15 for two people,a saving of $45 per week or $2340 per year.

Toll Roads

Take the long road rather than the toll roads. Yes. It will take longer. Between Sydney city and Beecroft the return tolls are $20. Say you travel this route once a week. Cost is $1000 per year.

Share accommodation

If you have your own place then consider getting a flatmate in. This can bring in an extra $150 to $400 per week ($7800 to $20000 per year) If not, consider renting a place and getting a flatmate in or moving in as someone else’s flatmate. This can save a great deal of money.

Work an extra job

If you have spare time now that you don’t have Foxtel, a Gym Membership, etc you possibly have time to take up a second job. By doing so, you can turn that spare time into extra cash. Say you work on Saturdays at $25 per hr for 8 hours is $10000 per year

Whilst not everyone is able to give up these things it provides some insight as to what is possible.

Some Statistics

SUMMARY
Foxtel                                                 $313 per year
Gym Membership                           $780 per year
Car                                                     $3500 to $8500 per year.
Toll Roads                                        $1000 per year.
Daily Latte/Espresso                     $880 per year.
Friday night drinks                        $2500 per year.
Smoking                                           $8000 per year.
Restaurants                                     $2340 per year.
Share accommodation                  $7800 to $20000 per year.
Work an extra job                          $10,000 per year.

Say you manage to save $25000. This is enough for a family of 4 to live quite well in parts of South East Asia for a year.

With planning, it is enough for a solo traveller to travel extensively around the world for a year (with limited travel in more expensive countries such as USA, Canada and Europe).


antarctica

10 best Travel Experiences not found in a travel agency

10 best Travel Experiences you won’t find in a travel agency

People often ask me what are the best places you have been or what are the best travel experiences you have had?

You won’t find these experiences advertised in a tour brochure. Here are some of them.

1. Sahara

On a trip to the Sahara, I hired a car with two French Canadian girls. During the days we spent in remote Morocco, we had police investigate our border town hotel room in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. We had a stone puncture our petrol tank whilst driving in the Sahara. It was repaired by a hitch hiker we had picked up who also invited us to a very colourful Berber wedding paid for by Moroccan royalty.

2. Colombian Amazon

When in Leticia (Amazonas, Colombia) I hired a guide with a Danish and Norwegian guy. We took a small boat down a small tributary of the Amazon bordering Colombia and Brazil to visit a tribe of natives who still told the time by distance and distance by how long it took to get there. On the way we left a German guy who spoke to Spanish or Portuguese to hunt local tiger with the natives who spoke to English or German. For the people we stayed with modern things like aircraft and cameras were difficult concepts to explain. Whilst we were there, they caught a 6ft python that lived below the hut. We stayed in hammocks.

3. Zaire – locals in a small remote village / firing bow and arrow with pygmies

We stopped the overland vehicle in a small remote village. The kids had never seen a vehicle stop nor had they ever seen a person with facial hair. I had a beard at the time. The kids were fascinated by it and could not resist touching it. The local men could not grow facial hair. Fortunately, the natives who lived here all spoke French and we spoke until it was time for everyone to go to bed.

In another area of Zaire,  I was taken down river by marijuana smoking pygmies in their dugout canoes. The pygmies taught me to shoot bow and arrows that they had constructed from what the local forest offered.

4.  Camerounian witch doctor

Whilst exploring the small town of Rhumsiki, I met the town’s witch doctor and had dinner with him on the floor of his small mud hut. He showed me his collection of potions, explaining what they were used for. Many seemed to be similar to the western remedies of old.

5. Sitting with kids in El Djem Tunisia

ElDjem housed an old Roman amphitheatre that tourists visited during the day. However,I missed the train out of El Djem. I was sitting in the shade of a tree and on a fence near to avoid the strong sun. School finished and the area became the school bus stop. Before long I was speaking with the 20 or so students and their teacher. It was a wonderful interaction as we compared the differences between our respective countries and lifestyles.

6. Death Highway in the back of a truck and flight out on a military airline

I took a ride in the back of a truck down Death Highway in Bolivia. The views were amazing, stretching from sea level to 6000 metres. At many times during the descent there were walls on either side that seemed to be 1000ft high with little crosses lining the sides where countless people had fallen to their deaths. At times, police inspected the vehicle for drugs. When we arrived at the jungle the truck made the last 10 kms under moon light with no headlights as they were no longer working.

In order to get to a brother’s wedding, I had to take the military airline back to La Paz and another flight to Santiago in Chile to get a flight back to Sydney. The problem was that the plane kept getting delayed. When we eventually arrived at the airstrip it was a grass strip with a building that said aeropuerto. There were no other signs. Inside, a man opened a cupboard and pulled out a table and a chair. He opened a box and sold the departure tax stamps. Meanwhile the plane landed and as there were not enough seats for everyone, I helped the crew load the gear to try and help my chances.At the same time, someone else was on a ladder checking the fuel. Once on board, I found that the plane had crash landed the day before. I was lucky enough to get a seat. Some people sat on the floor.

7. Ankor Wat motorcycle and ute taxis

I arrived at Ankor Wat on the back of a motorcycle taxi whilst my pack was brought between the legs of the rider. After seeing some remarkable ruins, I exited the country in the back of a ute, driving more off the roads than on them. On the way to Cambodia, kids collected tolls as we drove through their village.

8. Swimming with sea lions in the Enchanted Islands

One of my most amazing wildlife related experiences was swimming with playful sea lions in the Galapagos Islands. They were like playing with small puppy dogs. They would interact with my movements, blowing bubbles to each other. Their underwater aquobatics were a sight to behold as they changed direction effortlessly performing loop the loops in response to my own swimming patterns.

9. Kayaking with a humpback whale swimming under in Antarctica

When in Antarctica, I was lucky enough to kayak through areas with immense icebergs. Whilst the scenery was otherworldly and the penguins populations were both noisy and smelly, the highlight was having a couple of humpback whales swim under my kayak, turning as they did to investigate me. These curious gentle giants of the sea were as interested in me as I was in it, their huge eyes watching me as they swam under.

10. Shaking hands with wild lemurs in Madagascar / Road to Morondova

Whilst backpacking around Madagascar I was able to hand feed some wild lemurs outside one of the jungle lodges where I stayed. These gentile lemurs have very soft human like hands and were a pleasure to interact with.

In another instance, in a remote area of Madagascar, I had taken a minibus from Fiantarasoa to a remote area on the way to Morondova. We had entered the jungle and stopped at a small village. We entered the only restaurant. There were two choices I was told – chicken or fish. I settled on chicken as the fish was quite a way away. After dinner, I exited the restaurant and re-boarded the minibus. Someone had placed there live chicken in the foot well where my feet had been prior to the restaurant stop. It squawked as I almost trod on it. At the same time the  Madagascan lady was trying to say something to me.  It was jungle hot and humid and the radio was playing French music about the snow falling. As we set off the rain streamed down and we navigated our way through a jungle of pot holes. Later we passed a village with sellers asleep at their kerosene lamp lit tables .