How I Afford to Travel

"How do you afford to travel?"

It's a question I hear time and again from friends, family, family-friends, even other traveller's want to know how we're all affording to get around. They're not meaning to be rude, or to pry into my finances, but with trips booked throughout each year for the past couple of years it's a question that would inevitably arise. 

Me, buying my scooter back in 2010

For me, it's a question of priorities. 

  • Would I rather spend £40 on getting my hair cut, or would I rather save that and buy a flight with it? 
  • Would I rather have an annual magazine subscription, that I will more than likely run out of time to read, or would I rather use that money towards the cost of a bus across Spain?
  • Would I rather wear a ton of make up, or use that money to buy a delicious meal in Barcelona
  • Would I rather live alone, drowning in rent & bills each month, or use that money towards a trip somewhere adventurous?
  • Would I rather a nice, warm, dry car, or a nice trip across Central Europe?

So what are the figures?

National Minimum Wage sits in the UK at £6,31 per hour. An average full time employee like myself is therefore making little over £250 a week, which is little over £12,000 per year. And then you've got to take off tax and national insurance, which is around £1,000. 

So that brings me to £11,000 to live on per year. 

To keep my costs down, I live at my parents home and I don't run a car. However it's not possible in Deepest Dorset to rely on Public Transport so I currently ride a shitty little scooter. My other big expense is my mobile phone, though I don't have any latest model rubbish, I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace. 

Rent £80 per month / £960 per year
Scooter £54.41 per month/ £652.88 per year
Mobile Phone £26.60 per month/ £319.20 per year
Dog £24.56 per month/ £294.72 per year
Petty Cash (for LIFE, the occasional social life I have outside of work and this blog) £200 per month/ £2400 per year

That leaves me with a grand total of £6,373.20

That is a massive amount of money to spend on travel, if I so wish. As long as things like scooter exhausts don't get in the way.

I guess the biggest question is what you really feel you need in order to live.

Travel is my priority, above everything else. And, yes, there are invariably days when I get so frustrated at wearing a fluorescent onesie to keep dry on my scooter because it's pissing it down, yet again. There are days when I wish I lived alone, particularly on the nights when the house has more adults in that a pub. Sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in a limbo between being a child and adulthood because I'm living in my parents house, again.

Then I realise that when I'm in my 70's or 80's and look back, it won't be the living at home and scraping by that I'll remember. It'll be the nights spent dancing at an outdoor club in Split, or spending the day wandering around all the Gaudi sights I could fit into a day in Barcelona, or riding a tank in Slovakia, or visiting the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam. These aren't just things to do one summer, they are memories for the rest of my life.

If I can afford to travel on Minimum Wage, then so can you! 

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  1. I love this post! I wish I knew more people that could relate to travel being such a passion and priority. You're right, it really does come down to what you feel you need in order to live- my husband and I share one car and have prepaid phone minutes, we don't own a TV or have expensive gadgets, and we usually buy what's on sale at the grocery store to save money on food. Other than a camera, travel is all I want to spend money on. Great tips! :)

    1. Thanks Christy :)
      it is really rare, so few of my friends understand it, but then I guess from my blog they get it! I hope, at least.


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