What would you do if you had a million bucks? You would probably go travelling! But how long would that cash last you? If you’ve ever been lucky enough to indulge in your wanderlust for a few months at a time, you know that money runs out really quickly. It’s not always possible to find paying work while you’re away, and your boss isn’t going to pay you if you’re not actually in the office! This can lead to two problems. You might put yourself at risk by hitchhiking, skipping meals, and couch hopping. Or you start to borrow money on your credit cards.
It’s always a good idea to save up for months to cover your costs if you want to travel. You pick the cheapest flights out there and plan your itinerary on a shoestring budget. But no matter how carefully you plan, life will get in the way. You might be tempted to set off early because there is an incredible last minute offer. Or maybe you meet some other people and deviate from your plan adding extra expense.
By the time you come home again, your bank account might be empty. You might have been charged borrowing fees, and all of your credit cards are maxed out. To top it all off, you’ve got a door mat covered in bills you forgot to take care of before you left. Basically, you’re in dire financial straits. What can you do?
Asking for a pay rise or promotion when you’ve been away from the office for so long is probably a stretch too far. Taking on overtime might generate a little extra income. Perhaps you can take a second job in the evenings and weekends? Why not prepare some talks about your travels and charge people for coming to hear them? You might even start a travel blog!
You can’t ignore those bills, so waiting to find more work might not be an option. There are ways to find a secured loan direct lender that could help you. It’s important you can be sure that your current salary covers your repayments. Some people choose to consolidate everything they owe into one payment. Check this is financially beneficial for you.
If you haven’t already done so, contact all the companies you owe money too. This can include your bank. Explain you have been out of the country and that the payments have been difficult. Negotiate terms to stop interest repayments or reduce the monthly repayments for a while to help you get back on your feet. Not all companies will oblige, but it is still important to let them know that you’re struggling. They might be able to offer you a short term payment break to give you the chance to find some more work.
It’s so easy to get carried away when you have the travel bug. After all, while you’re there, you want to soak everything up and make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Always try to stick to your budget to avoid financial nightmares when you get home.
Planning an extensive break away to travel takes a long time. If you don’t invest in that time, you can easily get it wrong. It also takes quite a long time to save up for it! And it might take you even longer to convince your boss to leave your job open for you. After all, we each only have so many leave days per year. Not all jobs allow you to roll them over.
You might be able to agree to some remote working with your boss. However, if you want to travel, do you really want to be connected to work all day every day too? Also, your boss might feel that working while on holiday will negatively impact your productivity and quality of work. It all depends on the role, and if you don’t ask, you won’t know.
When you’re budgeting for your travel, start with the most expensive place to fly home from. That’s your get-me-home money so put that in the bank and don’t touch! Write out your travel bucket list in full and then strip your itinerary bare. You’ll see just how much you are willing to sacrifice to enjoy those few places you absolutely HAVE to visit. Don’t forget, you can always go out again another time.
Finally, add 20% to the total cost and then calculate the weeks of work it will take to fund it. That’s how long you need to save up before you can go. With the 20% buffer, you should be able to come home without trailing thousands in debt. Happy travels.