I’m gonna be brutally honest: it’s like some bloggers who publish guides on how to save money for travel aren’t even trying.
They tell you to cancel your landline as if that’s even a thing these days. They say, “stop ordering $5 coffees every day!” as if that’s something everyone does on the regular and that’s the only thing holding you back from travel. “5 x 365 is almost $2,000, enough to travel for four months in Vietnam!”
They parrot some ridiculously blown-up figure at you, assuming it’s a necessary expense that every “real person” faces, when in reality, only a small percentage of people spend that amount on coffee to begin with. And, let’s be real — those people aren’t the kind of people who really need to scrimp and save money to travel to begin with.
Well, guess what? I saved up enough money to quit my job to travel the world for the next four years or so, and I didn’t give up coffee or my social life to do it. I wasn’t an investment banker. No rich relative died and left me a fortune (though I’m candid that I’ve been afforded plenty of opportunity and privilege).
Nope. I was just a public school teacher. What did I do? I tracked my income and spendings, prioritized my spendings, identified non-negotiables and things I could do without, developed alternate income streams, and was a little bit creative when it came to planning things with my friends.
And the fact I’m most proud of? I did this all while living, traveling as much as I could, and working full-time as a teacher living in one of the most expensive cities in the world: NYC.
Not including my untapped retirement fund, I was able to save money for travel — approximately $50,000 over the course of five somewhat frugal years — while still affording to travel to 17 countries in that time alone! Here’s how:
Allison Green is a former educator turned travel blogger. She holds a Masters in Teaching and a B.A. in English and Creative Writing. Her blog posts merge her educational background and her experience traveling to 60+ countries to encourage thoughtful travel experiences that both educate and entertain. She has been a speaker at the World Travel Writers Conference and her writing, photography, and podcasting work has appeared in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, CBC Canada, and Forbes, amongst others. Now based in San Francisco Bay Area where she grew up, she has also lived in Prague, Sofia, and New York City.