Did you know that you don't need months of spare time and huge amounts of money to see the world?
I've been to 27 countries and 4 continents (and counting!), and TRUST ME, I am definitely NOT made of money or time.
There are lots of different ways to travel long term, and short term, on a budget and still have unforgettable experiences. You don't need a trust fund to go to Europe and you don't need three months to enjoy an adventure in Cambodia — really!
But what about the costs, isn't an all-inclusive to Mexico just a better deal?
Yes, food, tours, souvenirs, etc. can all cost money, but I find that the largest expense (especially for us travelling from North America) is the flight. Once you've got that sorted out, like at home, you could pay hundreds of dollars for food, fun, and a bed OR you can choose the more budget friendly options. That choice is up to you.
Let me put it this way — if you are willing to spend $2000-$2500 for seven nights at an all-inclusive, why not spend $1000 on a flight to Spain, $40 a night at a B&B, and the rest on having the adventure of a lifetime?
But how do I solve the time thing?
I say this over and over — you don't need to have two months at your disposal to go to Europe, Asia, or anywhere else on the planet for that matter (though, admittedly, it would be great to have that much time).
A week or two will more than suffice! Yes, the flight might be a few hours longer then if you were to head somewhere closer to home, but the reward will be spending a week somewhere totally new that will give you a new perspective. I find that the more I am shoved out of my comfort zone, the longer it feels like I'm away.
What about jet lag?
Yes, jet lag can interfere a bit in long-distance adventures, but there are ways to avoid and minimize symptoms. Also remember that when you are travelling the only demand on you is to have an amazing time, relax, and soak in new cultures. Feeling a little tired or dehydrated is completely manageable under those circumstances!
Ok, so what are some ways to travel if I don't want to do book a tour or do an all-inclusive vacation?
- Volunteer — The first trip I took outside of my country was to build houses in Honduras. I got there through fundraised dollars and spent a week (that felt more like a month because it took me so far out of my comfort zone) being exposed to a whole new world.
- Take A Class — I did a semester of University in Italy and the tuition was the same as it would have been at home! The cost of room and board was actually cheaper than it would have been at home, making the only real additional large expense the flight there. After the semester ended, I took advantage of already being in Europe and stayed for an additional three months staying in cheap hostels and guesthouses.
- Work — Take all the extra expenses away and get a job overseas! I taught English in South Korea for just over a year and my return flight was paid for, my apartment was paid for, and I received a generous salary. I travelled on weekends, holidays, and, when I was done my contract, was able to travel cheaply throughout South East Asia and China for a few months.
- Just Wing It!