The hard fact is that traveling costs money. How much money you spend on the road depends a lot on your travel style. 5-star hotels probably cost more than a night or two on a communal camping ground, and defintely cost more than couchsurfing. No matter your travel style, you'll need two important things: time and money.
The key to planning both big and small trips alike is creating a reasonable timeline and then budgeting accordingly. It may seem glamorous to hop on a flight to Bali with just 72-hour's notice, but how practical is that really?
Here are 7 ways to cut spending and put your new savings towards your next adventure. Whether you're off to Boston or Barcelona, you'll want to have enough wiggle room in your budget and here's how to get started!
Cook at Home
Don't know how to cook? Make friends with people who do, and host potluck dinners or Saturday Brunch (on a budget). You don't have to sacrifice your social life to save money. Get your friends together, skip the lines and the tips, and turn your home into the new "it" restaurant! Think about how much you spend on dinner with friends per week, and then multiply that by twelve, and then think about how far that same money could take you while on holiday in Krakow or Lisboa!
No Netflix and Chill
Of course, Netflix is a creature comfort that we simply couldn't possibly live without. But we did. We have. And we could in fact live without subscriptions Netflix, Hulu and Hbo. Think about it this way: instead of watching Anthony Bordain try frood in Thailand, you could go there yourself!
Fashion: we live and die by it, but do we have to? The short answer is no. Somewhere along the way, we've lost our love for creativity and originality! Thrifting has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. There's nothing like stumbling upon a gem in a pile of meh! Not only that, but there are also sites where you can sell your gently worn clothing and earn money too! Check out Wallapop and this list here!
Explore Your Home
If you've got the travel bug, but your bank account disagrees, in the meantime you can play tourist in your own city! Confession: I've lived in Madrid for almost 7 years, and I've yet to visit the Prado Museum! Shh! I know it's bad! You may have lived in a place all your life and still don't know all there is to know. Those free walking tours the tourists flock to-- join them! Is there a free exhibit at a lesser-known museum, why not check it out?
Does your friend have a dope crib in a city that you've always wanted to visit? Why not coordinate a weekend and house swap. Athough it's a safer bet to swap amongst friends, there are plenty of secure sites where you can find options! My best friend just happens to have an amazing flat on the beach, so maybe I'll just pitch this idea to her while I'm at it! The coolest part about house swapping with friends is that not only can you trust that your home is in good hands, you get to travel and explore all while saving tons on accommodation!
If You Can Make It, Don't Buy It
Coffee addicts? Tea fiends? Avo toast afficionados? Listen, yes it's fun to sit in a quaint café and sip matcha with some intricate abstract design on top, but the money and time you spend on that "hobby" alone could go towards traveling! Not only can you learn a new skill, your pockets will have a praise break in your honor! (Recipe Ideas here!)
This is probably the hardest request of all. Self-reflection isn´t always something that comes naturally, but it's absolutely imperative. Do you need to spend $15 on a cocktail, or would it be just as fun to make drinks at home with friends? Are those black jeans a necessity at the moment, or can you rock the ones you already own for a couple more months? These are the hard questions you'll need to ask yourself if you want to really and truly cut inessential spending.
Traveling is important. We gain perspective. We see and experience sights, sounds and smells so far from our comfort zones that it tests what we considered as 'normal'. Travel is worth the investment because you're worth the investment. Netflix and Starbucks will be there when you get back. Life is meant to be lived and felt. Truly felt. Take the steps you need to in order to make sure that you don't waste your life scrolling through everyone else's adventures when you could be having your own!
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.