How can you afford it?
Make it happen!
When I am first planning a big trip I think of all of these questions in a range of order. Sometimes I ask them Where? When? Why?
Sometimes… Why? And then where?
When planning my most recent trip I thought about:
Because I want to do photography, I want to help people, and I want to travel. I am in the process of becoming a digital nomad, which is basically working remotely while traveling and not having to be tied to any one location.
Well I definitely want to return to India and help them where I can, but I also want to see other places while I am in that region of the world.
What time of the year is best to go? I hate winters and I am from the North Eastern United States (where winter hits especially hard). I decided on a departure date after the holidays so I could spend them with my family but before the worst part of winter hits. Your date may also be influenced by your job, savings, what you will be doing for income while away, which will determine when you need to be there, etc.
I originally was debating on a trip between 6 and 10 months – I know that is a really wide range. Originally the thought of leaving for so long was scary. It still is kind of scary but not in the same sense. I know I need to give my all to this challenge and, as such, I must give myself the maximum amount of time I can to this project. In the end I decided to plan a 10 month journey because it will be enough time to give myself to helping the organizations I am going to be involved with and truly try to become a digital nomad, but not so long that I can’t return for the holidays with my family.
How can I afford it?
The duration of your stay, your destination(s), and what you will be doing there will impact the amount of money you will need to save in order to have a successful trip. I am the type of person that likes to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Even though I am planning on working remotely while I am there, I have also saved the minimum amount of money I will need to live off for the whole trip just in case the income doesn’t work out like I hope. I am staying in Asia most of my time and know I can live off of about $15-20 a day.
That being said, I am going for 10 months which is about 294 days multiplied by $15-20 = $4410-5880 in savings.
Now you will also need flights which, depending where you are traveling, can run around $1000 for a round trip. If you are planning on going somewhere closer to your home then flights can obviously be much cheaper. No matter what, make sure you purchase your flight at least 6 months in advance; if you wait until the last minute, your flight can easily double in price. Outside of the flights, also make sure you figure out your other forms of transportation you will need while away before you leave. Transportation is one of the most expensive parts of traveling. Try and decide where you will go and what modes of transportation you will need so you can calculate cost ahead of time. I also had to budget in new camera equipment, possible tours, and leisure activities like going out for a drink or getting a massage.
Now how will you get this money?
Take a moment and think… What do you spend money on that you can cut out?
Can you move home and save money on rent (the largest expense in any monthly budget)?
Can you work 2 jobs and save a lot of that income to put towards your trip?