How can you afford to travel for an extended period of time?
Most complaints about travel is that you don’t have the time, or the money. When you finally make the time, you gotta have the money. Travel can be much cheaper if you plan accordingly so you don’t get jammed up by expensive hotels, flights, and tourist traps. I’m here to tell you that there are other ways. Through a 35 day journey across the east coast of the USA & gulf coast of Mexico – from South Philly, Pennsylvania to Chan Chemuyil, Mexico, followed by 2 months in paradise – see how I spent my cash along the way.
|Food & Living Goods||$285.77|
|Hostel and Camping||$98.75||Massages $130|
|Insurances||Moto 1 yr. $164.62||Health 2 mo. $72.38|
|Border Paperwork||6 mo. Visa $24.48||Moto Import $263.31|
Motor Oil $31.19
|Petcock Repair Kit $42.79||Tank Removal, drain, repair $100||New Tire + Mounted $200|
|Entertainment||Heat Game $115.40||Beach/Cenote $35||Snorkel Tour $65|
|Gas||$251.01||Cash $250||Tolls $9.75|
The grand total, just $2,139.45! Not bad for 3 months, but in reality I just couldn’t track everything. I estimate that my grand total for 3 full months traveling through 12 states in the United States of America and 6 states in Estados Unidos Mexicanos is $4,064.62. I was fortunate enough to sell my pickup truck (gonna miss you Blue), and use the cash from that to eat well, get a gym membership, buy a couple t shirts, and drink many margaritas, mojitos, and cervezas.
How do you make it work?
So yes, you gotta have some money, but let’s take a look at how I stretched about $1,300 a month to live a lifestyle of travel and leisure. To start, I took my motorcycle instead of flying to Mexico. This allowed me to research and visit close to 50 different sites along the way. This occupied 35 days, had me stay with friends and family, and find quite a few cheap campsites on remote beaches, state parks, and remote locations along the water. The costs associated with bringing my own motorcycle (gas, paperwork, repairs) ran me nearly $1,000. Not bad considering I now have my own set of wheels in paradise now. Add the fact that I put down a deposit of $200 that will be returned to me when I export the bike out of Mexico.
Notice my costs for accommodations. How was I able to sleep safely for under $100 total?! Magic, my friends! By magic, I mean meticulous planning of my route and places to stay. I used my favorite camping website along with accepting offers from friends and family to crash at their place to find warm beds and beaches along 5,000 miles. Pair that with a couple cheap hostels (max $12/night) and cashing in on all my credit card rewards to get 7 nights of free hotel rooms and you get one happy man and non-stolen motorcycle (I told you so).
Class, what have you learned?
Travel is possible on a budget. It is best to do your homework first and take opportunities when they arise. It’s as much about the journey as it is the destination. Plan, save, and when shit hits the fan then you have an opportunity to improvise and grow. Expand your comfort zone. Say YES! There are certainly many more places that I could have cut corners, but I feel good about what I was able to accomplish. I took a 3 month, solo, motorcycle adventure and made it back with about 5 pesos in my pocket and $100 in the bank. Now I have a month in Philadelphia to work, save, and get back to my motorcycle in Mexico.