I always seem to get asked how I afford to travel so much. This post should answer some of these questions. There are plenty of people who have this notion that you need to be rich or have lots of money to be able to travel. You don't! I am living prove of this, trust me. Contrary to what people may believe, I am sorry to disappoint you, I do not have a couple of Irish leprechauns churning up gold coins in my imaginary spare room - well not anymore anyway. I love it when people say to me "Bee, I can't afford to travel as much as you do". 'First things first, if you go to Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Costa, Boots(meal deals) or any other cafes that you grab food at, a couple of times a week, then you can definitely afford to travel!
I am sure you are asking yourself, Bee, how the hell do those things relate? Hold on, I will explain. Okay, so let's take Starbucks for example, a latte costs £2.95 a cup, and if you were to add a panini and/or one of their sweet cakes or snacks, you are well into about £7-8. If you go to Starbucks at least 2-3 times a week, that's about £96 a month! Guess how much a weekend in Copenhagen cost me?! I paid £20 a RETURN, for a return ticket! Which obviously meant Bee was supper excited that she thought of buying another £20 return ticket for the boyfriend to come along for the experience. So out of that £96, we have spent £40 on plane tickets with £56 left in change. I also booked a lovely little studio in for the weekend which only came down to £45, which still leaves you another £11. You can put that towards your food or any other tourist stuff you want to do - most of which are FREE! You can check out some of my posts on Copenhagen as well as my guide on things to do in Copenhagen. Now, I am not saying that visiting Copenhagen will only cost you £96, I am merely using it as an example to illustrate just how inexpensive travel can be with a little change in lifestyle. On the other hand, if you become a danger to society without your caffeine fix then, by all means, keep that Cafe Nero or Starbucks routine (I would hate to see you on the six o'clock news). Instead save £20 from your wages a month or whatever you can afford, or walk to work instead of buying that daily bus/train pass.
Anyway, this was not a post on travelling to Copenhagen for that you can check out my quick guide to Copenhagen. I also not a believer in totally maxing out the credit cards just so I can get a quick fix to my itchy feet and incurable wanderlust because that credit card statement will be waiting for you when you get back home. If you have one, make sure it comes with rewards(check out my link to the points guy below)! Travelling on the cheap doesn't mean you miss out on luxury. It's ok to be a cheapskate that loves luxurious things in life. Marriott hotels don't come cheap and yet I have stayed at many for FREE! I have stayed in lodges right on the banks of the Zambezi with the safari animals roaming right before me, and that didn't cost me half as much as people would think. If you want to travel more, or travel for close to nothing then I am sure the travel tips below will help you do just that. I have put together some of the travel tips I live by, that can see me travelling short and long haul a couple of times a year without messing up my credit score or selling my kidneys for a plane ticket.
1. Be Loyal, Because Loyalty Pays
I travel quite a bit for work. My longest project was in Peterborough for about a year and about 6 months of that, I basically lived at the Marriott Hotel. So I signed up for their rewards scheme. In a period of a few months, I had racked up 250,000 points! Guess what that got me. That got me 10 beautiful days in Hong Kong! My colleague who was on the project longer than me had racked up enough points to go to Maldives with his then girlfriend(now wife), that's flights and hotel for a week for two people. ALL FREE! Also getting to Peterborough was by train from London to Peterborough via East Coast Trains at Kings Cross, now run by Virgin trains. I signed up for their rewards as well. I earned enough points to go to travel to Edinburgh via first class too. Not mention I still had plenty more points to spare. You can read my post on Top 10 Things To Do In Edinburgh for more. Also when a train is late/delayed/cancelled I don't even get upset anymore, because if it's late/delayed for 30 minutes, you get half your money and 1-hour plus, you get your full price back in vouchers. To use whenever you please. So sign up for those loyalty schemes if you want to travel. These will allow you to either use for travel or other things like spa days, flights, hotel stays or voucher to use in retail stores.