The question which often gets asked by our readers & followers is how we fund our travels. Travel is not cheap and the ever weakening Rupee ensures that our budgets are often exceeded. Add to it our love for the finer things in life and the expense charts go spiralling up. It is not that we were born billionaires nor do we make enough in our daily lives to maintain this kind of a lifestyle indefinitely. That said we’ve found a good balance which allows us to do just that. There is no secret mantra, nor a formula which would work for everyone but we’ve found somethings that work well for us and possibly by extension for most people in most conditions.
When, Where & What
While planning our next trip, the most essential thing we look at is when we want to travel. Accordingly we shortlist the places where we can travel and then decide what we can do there in the time we have. We don’t play it by the ear and leave our trips to chance. There is a lot of research that goes into it which makes the process feasible. Suppose we are looking at November for our next trip. It is the start of peak season for most destinations and also coincides with the festival of Diwali celebrated across India. Given that most people travel during that time, either to their family or with their family, flights are generally expensive and accommodation for popular destinations are at peak rates. However we try and select destinations where it might be off season, say for example Indonesia. Bali is generally a popular destination for Indian tourists, however given that early November marks the end of the monsoon season, the number of tourists are considerably lower. If we do away with the water activities due to the monsoons, we are still left with a lot of options to explore at what might be a much rate than what we might ordinarily spend at another destination during the same period. This makes the trip more affordable and allows us to stretch our budget longer.
This is the toughest part in our trips. How do you arrive at a budget for a new destination and how do you work towards it. The answer is simple, research. We research religiously on everything of importance to the destination, add up activities we think we would like to cover, include travel costs within the city and estimate food expenses including a couple of meals at a nice restaurant which might be termed as a splurge normally. Once we arrive at a budget we feel should cover the trip expenses, we increase it by 10% to include a buffer. We do not dip into our savings to fund our travels. Instead we try and look for alternatives which can help us either save or earn the required amount. It is definitely not overnight and includes us taking up freelance work, cutting down on our shopping expenses as well as considering financial products like ULIPS. For the uninitiated, ULIPS are like dual purpose mutual funds. It is an investment plan integrated in an insurance policy. Most of what we earn through our daily full time jobs goes into our savings or our day to day expenses. A small part of it contributes to the Gypsycouple fund which includes travel as well as the miscellaneous operational costs which add up to a significant amount each year. However that’s what makes it so much fun, when we finally go on the trip, it all feels worth it.
Being Part Time Travel Bloggers
Being a part time blogger allows us to live dual lives and technically have two sources of income per se. Our Clark Kent life has us living the boring life of daily drudgeries while the Superman life as a travel blogger supplements the income, scores some interesting collaborations, gets us some discounts and/or FAM’s and allows us to share our experience of doing with our 100,000+ followers. That said we believe travel to be an integral part of our lives. However we cannot see ourselves doing it full time. Firstly, we would lose the advantage of having two sources of income, talk about having the cake and eating it too. Secondly, when something which is such a big source of happiness becomes work, we think it would end up losing the charm it has for us. When the escape you planned for your daily life becomes your daily life, how do you escape it? For us, travel is fun but equally so is the entire journey of planning for it. We may end up pulling our hair in frustration trying to ready the funds to make the trip possible or get lost in the AP world of deciding the next destination, it is also one of the fond memories of the trip. We wouldn’t want to change it for anything – unless some billionaire decides that we are just the couple to bequeath his fortune.
You may also want to read about our guide for travelling abroad.
The above are a very brief summarization of how we live our lives as travel bloggers worrying about each trip as it comes. It is not easy, given that we take a lot more trips than most people around us, spend more on the trips to customize it as we like it and enjoy the finer things in life. However we’ve found the right balance which has kept the clockwork moving. If we find that something has changed, you’ll be the first ones to know, right here in this article.