The two biggest excuses you hear when you ask someone if they have any travel plans coming up are: 1) I don’t have time, and 2) I can’t afford to go away. Most people travel at least a little bit, if only an occasional camping trip just outside of town. But when we start talking plane tickets, overseas accommodations, and Passports, most people can’t seem to find the time or money.
The thing is, travel isn’t inherently expensive. It’s only expensive insofar as you have to pay people to do things for you. The problem is, sometimes services are unavoidable (plane flights, taxis). But imagine if you could find a way to cover some of these costs for free, and DIY your way through the rest of them. Here are three ways I make it work when I get the itch to travel overseas.
- Take Care of My Own Transportation. Europe is large and diverse. It is so much so that fifty miles in any direction could bring you into a place with a totally different language and way of life. By travelling to these on my motorcycle, using my knowledge of the UK’s best motorcycle routes, I can get where I need to go while only paying for a small tank of petrol every few hours. Obviously, this saves me hundreds of thousands of pounds on plane fare. But it also makes the journey itself a big part of the experience of travel. “Getting there” is also important. But physical handling the “travel” aspect of travel can be its own reward.
- Find Cheap Accommodations. I frequently use the Couchsurfers’ Network to find places to stay for free. I have met people all around the world using this program. I have also been known to throw up a camping tent wherever I’m able to make a campsite. Finally, hostels and cheap hotels have served me well in places where I don’t know people or can’t sleep under the stars.
- Discover New Destinations. Never, never, never go to tourist-frequented areas, unless you want to cut your trip short due to expensive living. My preferred mode of travel, traveling by motorcycle (like I said earlier), can take me to savings that the average tourist shuttle will pass over. One thing I forgot to mention, however, is about the motorbike or superbike insurance. If you too opt to travel by your own bike, don’t forget to insure it first, so that you don’t end up with huge bills in case the bike breaks down or you meet an accident (just in case!)
That being said, tourist area services are about providing instant gratification and convenience. But they do so at a price. If you travel to the place where real people make their home, you’ll find expenses that are set to levels that are congruent with real living. If you are able to bring in income while you’re on the road, you’ll definitely be able to live in areas like these for a long time.
I like long holidays. Sometimes I go and just see how long I can last before I have to return home. Because I work on the internet, I’m always able to work and bring in money. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I can spend a lot of money. Using these conservation methods, I find I’m able to travel almost indefinitely. I don’t want to be a permanent drifter by any means. But it’s good to know that I have the skills requisite for travel on this level. So no matter where I am, I’m able to turn it into home.