The Hidden Costs of Budget Travel

Everyone knows that travelling in Southeast Asia is cheap. But, budget backpacking in the region is such a cliché that it has become far too easy for bloggers to oversell the point.

Saving for Long-Term Travel, Part Five

Continued from Part Four

A Flashpacker’s Travel Expenses

I could have spent less money than I did. But I don’t budget, and it’s hard to be frugal when you’ve got $30K sitting in an account. I don’t believe I wasted money, but I did make a few mistakes that cost me, such as pre-booking expensive accommodation in Goa and chasing Lady Luck in a Singapore casino. But, I still think I’m a budget traveller because I stay in hostels and self-cater when possible, I couchsurf, I take public transit when possible, I make use of discounts and free activities, and I choose budget accommodation when hostels aren’t available. Here’s a sample of what my adventures have cost me, in average daily costs.*

Saving for Long-Term Travel, Part Four

Continued from Part Three

A Look at the Numbers

Now that you know how I did it (passive savings, frugal habits, cutting expenses), here is a summary of how my savings built up over the five years before my departure.

Saving for Long-Term Travel, Part Three

Continued from Part Two

Developing My Saving Habit

Since beginning my career as a freelance editor in late 2007, I have religiously directed about 50% of every cheque into my savings account. Now, before you freak out, you must understand that a freelancer’s gross is not her net:

Saving for Long-Term Travel, Part Two

Continued from Part One

Goals Schmoals!

I’ve never been a goal-focused person—whenever a teacher or seminar leader or manager inflicts SMART goals on me, a part of my soul dies. Consequently, I did not institute an aggressive or disciplined savings plan. People don’t believe me when I tell them this, but the proof is that in 2011, I took four vacations and had elective eye surgery! Not really things you do when you’re trying to save as much money as you can.