Afford to Travel: Make it a Priority

“I don’t have the ____________ to travel.”

What’s your excuse for not traveling? The common ones I hear all the time are “I don’t have the money to travel,” and “I don’t have the time to travel.” This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Chances are, you do. It just seems like you don’t have the time or money because you haven’t made travel a priority.

Afford to Travel Make Travel a Priority


What’s Your Excuse for Not Traveling?

Believe me, I get that there are some people who can’t travel for very legitimate reasons. There are people who struggle to make ends meet. There are people who work two or three or more jobs just to be able to pay the bills each month. Family, bills, schooling, all that stuff comes first. However, there are also people who insist that they can’t travel for various reasons, when the actual reason is that they simply chose to put something else first.

My friend is the perfect example. He often states that he would love to go to Japan, but doesn’t have the money. At the same time, he has hundreds of dollars worth of video games sitting on his shelf. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I, too, am a big video game lover and can understand why he would want to put so much money into video games. However, it means that his statement of “not having the money to travel” wasn’t entirely true. He simply chose to put his interest in video games before his interest in travel.


Afford to Travel

There are lot of tips and tricks to save money on traveling, but at the end of the day I think the best tip to afford travel is to just be aware of what you are spending your money on.

One of my favorite travel bloggers, Sylvia Lawrence from Heart My Backpack, wrote in her post “How I Saved $44,000 to Travel the World“:

This might not be totally rational, but because I had such a rough time living and working in Japan, I now only want to spend that money on things worth that pain. Is the pretty dress from H&M worth all those uncomfortable hours spent at my desk at school? No.

While my reasons for not spending money are not quite the same as Sylvia’s, I’ve found that questioning a majority of my purchases has really helped me save money for traveling. Do I want to spend the $100 at the hair salon to dye my hair, or do I want to spend $100 for a night or two in a hotel somewhere cool?


The Choice is Yours

At the end of the day, if there is something that legitimately makes you happy or is something you enjoy doing, then I don’t see the problem with spending money on it. The question is, will it really make you happy? Or is there something else that your money would be better spent on?

I found that changing my mentality of “I can’t afford that” to “I chose to prioritize something else” has overall made my life feel a little less stressful because I am content with what I have instead of being upset by what I don’t.

I challenge you to sit down and figure out the things you want most, whether it be the new video game coming out next month or going to a new exciting place. Then, brainstorm the ways you could start saving money to attain those goals, whether it be from getting deals on every day expenses, or learning to cut back on expenditures that aren’t necessary or aren’t as important to you. Before you know it, you’ll find that attaining the things you had dreamed of really isn’t that hard to do.


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Afford to Travel Make Travel a Priority

19 Responses

  1. Joyce Hall says:

    This is so true!! We sometimes spend money on things that will make us happy in the moment instead of spending money on things that will create memories of a lifetime.

  2. So true that you need to save a little at a time and it will add up quickly. I saved for a few years and took off for 6 months. The trip changed the course of my life.

  3. Meagan says:

    The idea of being intentional (I choose not to, as opposed to I can’t) is SO POWERFUL. I can see why it’s changed so much in the way you save for and afford travel. It’s a wonderful reminder – thank you!

    • Kiyoko says:

      No problem! I’m not crazy into the “think positive thoughts and life will be better” mentality, but I believe it in this case. I don’t feel as upset when I don’t have the money for something, because I know that whatever I spent the money on was well worth it. Suddenly, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on things anymore.

  4. Nicola says:

    It’s so true, writing it down over a period of time very quickly makes you realise how much money you fritter away on pointless purchases. Why buy things when you can experience things I say 😊

    • Kiyoko says:

      Yes! I am all for detailed budgeting! I started simply being keeping a list of expenditures and then reviewing it at the end of the month. It made me realize how much I bought on impulse, and I had considered myself to be quite conservative with money! Sometimes the first step to affording something is seeing where our money is really going.

  5. carla says:

    I love to travel! Who doesn’t? Unfortunately its not for everyone. Its not for someone who needs to keep their dayjobs to support their family. I still manage to go on quick getaways and roam Asia on long holidays. But I still dream on long term travel to roam Africa and South America when I reach 80!

  6. You bring up very good points in your article – a broader perspective for sure – It’s excuses but in the end, it is really about making choices. Of course, as travelers, we do know the many benefits and massive growth opportunity, but it isn’t for everyone either. Nice job.

    • Kiyoko says:

      You’re right. At the end of the day, travel isn’t for everyone, but I think that some people don’t make that conscious choice and instead make excuses. I think seeing it as a a choice instead of a financial situation can be eye opening to possibilities not considered before.

  7. Shweta says:

    Also, I feel that one can explore one’s own city. We sometimes miss our backyard, with our focus on faraway exotic destinations.

    • Kiyoko says:

      I definitely agree! I try to do this between some of my bigger trips. I get the itch to travel way more often than I can actually afford to travel, so then I turn to my own backyard to see what new and interesting things I can uncover!

  8. Kate says:

    You’re preaching to the choir. This is so true! Ultimately, the choice is all ours on how we spend our disposable income. So if we spend it on something other than travel, then we simply weren’t prioritizing travel.

    • Kiyoko says:

      I definitely think it’s a mental attitude more people should take. Even if people choose to prioritize something other than travel, I still think it helps keep things in a more positive light. Even if I can’t afford a new, nice car or something, I’m not stressed or disappointed, but I’m happy knowing I prioritized the cash on something I enjoyed – travel!

  9. Paige says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes! It doesn’t cost THAT much to travel. I have friends back home that say, “Oh, it must be nice to have the money to travel.” But the truth is even though I’ve had some amazing opportunities, I work really hard at making travel my priority. I don’t have the newest iPhone or designer clothes or a new car, but I have a life full of experiences that mean more to me than anything else in the world!

    • Kiyoko says:

      It’s probably not the nicest thing to do, but if I’m annoyed enough and people make the “Oh, it must be nice to have the money to travel” comment, I tend to point out the numbers – how much my recent trips cost me, and things that they have/own that would overall amount to the same amount of money. Usually about the time I point out that their fancy new car would have allowed me to go to the summer olympics four times over, they usually stop making that comment, haha.

  10. Alli says:

    Amen to making travel a priority. It really can be just that simple. I remember there was a time when I just booked my flights, and then did everything possible to save as much money as possible, including working 3 jobs!

    • Kiyoko says:

      Working 3 jobs! That must have been so tough! Yet, when we set our minds on something, it’s amazing what we can accomplish, and I’m sure your trip was every bit worth all the hard work you put in!

  11. Always interested in saving more for travel and finding new strategies. There has to be a balance and we need to make priorities.

    • Kiyoko says:

      Definitely! Whenever I’m making my budgets, I almost always immediately set aside money for travel before everything else. Then at the end of my budget, I see if there is any wiggle room to see if I can put more money away for travel and other savings. Sometimes we just have to get creative!

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