How Do I Afford to Travel as a Working Girl?

Gladys, asked me to write an article about how I manage to travel, especially being a working girl. I was a little bewildered because I don’t think of myself as a frequent traveller, and I don’t think that my trips have been glamourous enough to qualify me for this article. I follow a lot of beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers, like Tamara Kalinic, Amber FillerUp, Rachel Parcell and Amelia Liana. Those girls travel a lot, and their trips are enviable. I feel like they qualify to impart their wisdom and knowledge on this topic, not me! 

But then, I remembered that in the past six months I’ve been to three different countries:
-    Mozambique, twice
-    Swaziland
-    Indonesia 

I suppose it seems like I travel frequently, but it was a after a while of not going anywhere. Anyway, she felt that my experience was sufficient, so I complied, and here’s some insight into how and why I afford to travel:

I Love Travelling
Not everyone is interested in travel—believe it. I know people with bank balances that are much healthier than mine, and who own their time. Instead of getting their passports inked, they prefer to use their time and money on other things like adding to their vintage and sports car collections. We’re all different, and different things make us happy. 

I love travelling. I can’t remember when and how my interest started, but my desire is to travel abroad, within Africa and within my own country at least once a year.

I Channel My Time and Money Toward Travel
I’ve bundled these together because I feel the same about them. There’s a misconception that people who travel frequently have a lot of money and own their time. This is not true.

I’m employed full-time in a corporate, and I have two small businesses which I work on during my spare time. I get a normal number of leave days and I earn a normal salary and a very small amount of money from my businesses. I don’t get additional leave days or an exorbitant salary, that’s not how I can afford to travel. 

I can only afford to travel because I want to, so I choose to channel my leave days and my spending money in the direction of exploring different countries and cities. I’ve been driving the same car which I bought cash for seven years, so I don’t have the burden of a car instalment. That’s the only thing I can think of that helps me with a little bit of extra cash every month to add in my travel fund, except when my car gives me problems. 

It goes back to interest. If you really want it, you’ll make a way for it.

I’m Single, No Kids and Healthy
I’m a single girl with no children and in good health. Although I don’t feel like it’s an excuse to not travel, I understand that it can be much more difficult to travel as a family. Worse if any family member has a mental or physical illness. It costs more and logistics are trickier, but it’s definitely possible. I know a number of families who travel frequently.
I’m also grateful that I don’t have any allergies or illness that can limit or hinder my travels.

I Select the Places I Travel Wisely
I haven’t travelled a lot, but one place that I’ve been to too many times is Ponta do Oura in Mozambique. And I plan on going to Mozambique again this year (this time I want to explore Tofu). Why do I keep going there?
-    It’s easily accessible from South Africa.
-     Accommodation is relatively cheap.
-    It’s a tropical holiday lover’s dream.

I wrote a short article about why I keep getting away to Ponta do Oura last year to shed more light.

I Plan To Travel
There’s that saying about not planning being a plan to fail, it applies to travel as well. I will be honest though, I have winged it and made a decision to travel in the spur of the moment, and it still works out. 

Some planning tips that help me:
1. Schedule your trips early on in the year:
- Get a calendar or note book and write down where you’d like to travel at which time of the year.
- Check how many leave days you have and need to accumulate.
- If you have children, check their holiday and exam dates.
2. Figure out what you’ll need for your trips early:
- Will you need more winter or more summer clothes? Will you need to hire a car?
- Determining some of your needs early will help you budget and save towards them.
3. Search for discounts online and contact travel agencies especially if you’re travelling abroad.
4. Put money aside:
- Budget and include travel savings in your budget.
- Open a savings or investment account which you can transfer your travel savings to every pay day or when you get extra cash.
- Save a little more than you’ll need for unforeseen costs.

I hope that I’ve shed some decent light and inspired you to chase your travel dreams. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, leave a comment below.

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place
you occupy in the world.”

Gustave Flaubert