Why We Chose To Be Budget Travelers

It’s kind of interesting actually, because before we decided to travel like nomads I had this preconceived notion that you need dough to travel. Not knowing that even the most expensive place in the world can be explored with little to no money, depending on how well of a budget traveler you are.

Becoming budget travelers was the way to go for us because we have a certain way of doing things and spending a lot of money to do them, isn’t our cup of tea. Our normal way of life before traveling, our characteristics, and personality just so happen to fit within the “definition” of being a budget traveler.

We didn’t alter the shoe to fit our feet, the shoe was already our size.

Even before we were travelers, Ben and I weren’t the type to spend money lavishly, especially not if there is no need to. How can someone really and truly justify spending $800 on a phone, $200 on a pair of jeans, or $50 on a meal with a small piece of meat, a small side and a leaf for decorative purposes?  I know we can’t

Most people might think, “Oh $800, that’s nothing, as a matter of fact bring me two phones.” While my ass is like, “Umm does that shit come with a piece of gold?” No? “So why the fuck would I spend that much money on a phone that can pretty much do the same shit as another phone that is $700 dollars cheaper?”

Maybe our problem is that we think to critically about spending money and everything else for that matter but certain price tags just don’t make sense logically. For example, spending over $500 each on a 3 day all-inclusive resort, where you have have a pool, gym, all you can eat and drink buffets, entertainment, drunk assholes, etc., it’s just something we wouldn’t even consider.

And here is why:

1. We don’t get to experience the true culture of the place we are visiting.

2. Why would we buy a plane ticket to go somewhere, just to do something we could do back home?

3. For the price of two people, we can live in many countries for a whole month and do several adventurous activities, go sight-seeing, eat out every night at local restaurants, sip Mojitos on the beach and party like a rock-star. All while learning about the local culture and meeting local people.

And you know what, resorts are probably your thing and it works for you but for that price tag it doesn’t work for us.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not “hating” on the people that do decided to travel in luxury, it’s whatever works for you. If you got it like that, by all means.  It is your money after all, spend it how you like.

We spend frugally and wisely because we don’t want the temporary happiness we want the ultimate euphoria.

Just to clarify, being a budget traveler doesn’t mean:

– We are cheap and stingy with our money. It just means we are frugal spenders, who spend their money wisely, and on their happiness and freedom. We are budget travelers because we want traveling to be a lifestyle not just a two week vacation.

– We worship money, meaning we like to hold on to it because we fear we may never see it again. People might assume because we think so much about how we spend our money, we must worship it. Well that’s false. At least for us. I fucking hate money, with all the bones in my body, for how it corrupts people’s minds, kills people, creates wars and enslaves us. If I could wash my hands free of money I would (slowly working on this project). I personally am never afraid of giving away my last dollar or using it, because I know somehow money will find its way back into my hands.

It’s not about losing the money, it’s more so about making the best out of each dollar.

– We are broke. In the words of my sister, We are never broke because we have money in transaction. Though we don’t know where or from who it’s coming from, it’s still in transaction. Plus, we are rich in others ways :)

– We don’t experience or do the cool things a country has to offer. We are all about doing things we would never do at home. We agreed that whenever we are in a new place we must experience it fully. Which means, visiting and doing the things that makes a country unique, eating local food and so on. We do it all, while still being mindful of our budget.

Our budget is what we PLAN to spend somewhere, not what we HAVE to spend. We always over-budget and plan for adventures. After all, what is traveling if you don’t explore what countries truly have to offer. So yes, even as budget travelers we go on adventures, eat out the majority of our travels, and do things outside of our daily budget.

Okay, I am going on a rant here, back to the purpose of this post. We chose to be budget travelers because that’s who we are and have always been. We are who we are and so are others (lavish spenders) but understand that we chose this travel lifestyle it didn’t chose us. Again, we are budget travelers because we want traveling to be a lifestyle not just a two week vacation.

Are you a budget traveler? If not, what’s your travel style?

The Author

Jazzy is a professional travel writer and the editor-in-chief at Road Affair. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Ben, since 2012.

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  1. I travel a little more on the boutique side of things but I too am conscious of my budget. It’s all about deciding what you want with what you have.

  2. I’m on board with you when it comes to spending money wisely, prioritise what most important to us. I splurge occasionally on travel but always cautious when it comes to spending money.

    1. Exactly, it is about priorities because every dollar spend on something that is not worth it and only brings short term happiness, can be spend towards another day of traveling the world :D

  3. Very few people can afford to pay retail for luxury accommodations. I’ll admit, I do like my creature comforts now that I’m older. But we’ll always be concerned about what we spend as it doesn’t grow on trees. Accumulating loyalty points and press credentials has been a big help.

    1. Very true, some of the hotel prices are out of this world and it always makes me wonder who can afford to pay that kind of money. Collecting points and getting a few comps here and there, definitely helps keep the spending down.

  4. We are always on a budget, too, but plan on the occasional splurge. We overbudget so we don’t get caught short. If we get a comp in a nice place, great. Otherwise, we search for the best deal in places where the reviews aren’t awful.

    1. There is nothing wrong with an occasional splurge and if you over-budget anyway, it shouldn’t put a big unexpected dent into your budget.

  5. Guys, if you are ever travelling around Guelph in Southern Ontario, Toronto, or Wroclaw, in Poland, message me, and I’ll make my couches available to you! Keep on travelling!

  6. I love to travel on a budget! I am frugal and totally would not spend $200 on a pair of jeans when it gets me a ticket to paradise. I keep my phone for 3 to 4 years (even if the latest and greatest is out.)
    I travel to all inclusive resorts and spend less than $500. We get a pool, gym, entertainment, all you can eat buffet, and royalty treatment. I just ignore the drunk a-holes if there are any, which is usually not the case where we stay.

    1. Hey Amy,

      Thanks for sharing, there are definitely people that can manage to do an all inclusive stay at a resort for less than $200, as we have learned and if you do that as well that’s awesome. We have learned throughout our travels that some vacationers don’t spend much back home but spend more on vacation because they want to have a good time and not think about the cost or their worries and I completely understand that! Not everyone is the same nor do we spend the same way!

      Thanks again for stopping by Amy,

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