One thing that will make you truly richer is travel. No amount of physical stuff you can add to your life will make it any better compared to the experience you have when travelling through other cities, towns and countries. Although one thing that won’t leave you richer is if you fund your travel through a credit card. In the last ten years I have spent a lot of my hard earned cash travelling around the world. From Aberdeen to Akrata, Budapest to Bali, Croatia to California I have travelled as a backpacker and at the opposite end of the spectrum in five star hotels. I always come home with a new perspective, new friends, ideas and just a sense of empathy, gratitude and new understanding on how other cultures live.
How to travel without breaking the budget and without a credit card? Something I did a few years ago was set up a bank account named ‘Holiday’. I set up a direct debit and had an automatic transfer set up for pay day. This became my travel fund and when I went to book my trips I would just dip into this fund. So I recommend if you have a dream holiday coming up or want to plan one set up a separate online saver and start saving each month enough to cover your trip and spending money. I would just divide how many months left until my next trip to work out how much I should save each month. Whether its an overseas trip or a road trip along the coast it will feel much more rewarding when you go away on your own terms funded by your holiday account.
Another money saving tip I have adopted when travelling overseas is to take a Citibank debit card with me. Its one of the only cards on the Australian market that doesn’t charge a foreign exchange translation fee when using ATMs to withdrawal funds or when making purchases overseas. It also usually has a pretty reasonable rate of exchange. I have used this card all over Europe and in some countries in Asia and its great as it means you are spending your own money when travelling instead of on a Credit Card. The card is linked to a savings account so your living within your means while travelling and will not return from your holiday with anything other than awesome memories from new places and experiences.
A few of my favourite places I have visited are:
Lucerne – Switzerland – Picturesque town by the side of an amazing lake as shown in the picture above. Snow capped mountains in the distance and an old cobblestone town to wander around and get lost in.
Island of Paros – Greece – Not as touristy as other islands so you get to feel like your visiting what the real Greece has to offer. Great local seafood restaurants and beautiful beaches to explore.
Milan – Italy – I have visited a few times in different seasons and I love exploring Milano. The restaurants are awesome and you can wonder around this city exploring for hours.
Rottnest Island – WA – I recommend picking up a bike once you catch the ferry over and spend the day exploring this beautiful island. Don’t forget to look out for the quokkas.
Byron Bay – NSW – Your inner hippy will love it here. Its such a chilled out beach town which has a lot to offer from delicious restaurants and rainforests to go exploring in. If you are driving visit Bangalow and check out the organic supermarket with all the local produce.
Dubrovnik – Croatia – Walking around this medieval city is quite surreal. The food is great and having a few drinks while watching the sunset at the Buza bar is a must.
NYC – USA – What can I say I just love this city. There are so many cool things to do and see from walking the High line to hanging out at a Gospel Church in Harlem. Experiencing a Yankees Game or spend the day just wandering around Central park. There is something for everyone in NY. My highlights were visiting MOMA and The Met and also dining in some cool bars listening to locals musicians perform.
Hope this inspires you to start saving for your next trip!