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Round-the-world travel: more affordable than you might think!

Posted on Friday January 12, 2018

Round-the-world travel: more affordable than you might think!

Who hasn't dreamt of setting off to discover our beautiful planet, with no set return date? Is this just something open to the chosen few?those blessed by luck, fortune, or still young enough to be free of financial or professional obligations? Not necessarily! A little careful planning, and you too can embark on the trip of a lifetime.


Budgeting for your trip

Planning a trip around the world means setting your cap for any number of the amazing destinations in some 200 countries distributed over five continents. Of course, none of this is free. Whether you choose to get from A to B by air, rail, sea, land or some combination thereof, transport is only part of the equation. Just as crucial to consider is how much you'll need for food and accommodation. The best way to figure this out is to simply sit down and plan. Find out about the cost of living in the places you intend to visit. A realistic, well-put-together budget that takes into account your needs, desires and the economic situation of where you intend to go is an excellent way of clarifying your goals.

Still, as you browse different travel-related websites and blogs, you'll quickly conclude that this kind of globetrotting doesn't come cheap. Generally speaking, one year will set you back about $25,000 per person, which works out to $100,000 for a family of four. Not to mention any obligations you'll need to fulfil while you're away, like mortgage payments . . . All in all, you're looking at a hefty sum?but nothing that should break the bank.


Putting money aside

You've already guessed it: the most common and fail-safe way of affording your adventure is to start saving for it. Here, your financial institution is your friend. UNI, for example, has a range of smart, simple and effective products that can help you grow your savings fast:

  • Hop ?n S@ve: available through the AccèsD mobile services app, this "instant savings" tool lets you make contributions in just a few clicks.
  • My savings plan is a particular favourite among the 12-to-30 age group. Simply set a savings goal and arrange for periodic transfers, and you're on your way!
  • TFSA: besides helping you save, a TSFA ensures you pay no tax on the interest you make.  

You might also want to consider where you might start reining in your spending. Outings, new clothes, alcohol, treats: all of these and more can be pared down. Basically, take the cash you would've otherwise spent on little luxuries and put it into your project. Easy! You don't have to sacrifice anything by way of comfort and you'll have the gratification of seeing your savings grow. You can also opt to put anything you no longer use on the market. This will give you a pocketful of extra cash as well as giving unused items a new life.

Other ways of building your bank balance:

  • Sell off all those unused items cluttering up your basement at a garage sale, flea market or through the classified ads.
  • Deposit your tax refund into your travel savings account.
  • Get a credit card that gives you cash back on your purchases.
  • See whether any of your loyalty programs offer additional rewards and/or discounts on purchases made specifically for your trip or during your stays in different spots.
  • For occasions like Christmas and birthdays, ask your family and friends for gifts in the form of cash that can go toward helping you achieve your goal. 

Help with your financing

To help you get your dreams underway even faster, what about a personal loan or line of credit? These solutions can be used to finance a part of your trip, putting you on the road to adventure that much sooner. They can also serve as a safety net should you suddenly need extra cash while away.

Keep in mind that some credit cards offer services and privileges tailor-made for travellers, like:

  • Cash back
  • Travel insurance
  • Mobile and other device insurance
  • Merchant discounts
  • Fraud protection
  • And more

Keep an eye out for bargains

The closer you get to your departure date, the more you should keep your eye out for bargains, particularly in terms of airfare. Subscribe to their newsletters or visit Flytrippers, a discount travel website that rounds up incredible deals to destinations worldwide.

Once at destination, don't be shy about asking the locals to share information and ideas on cheap and tasty eats. You can also check out VizEAT, a ?social dining platform? that pairs visitors seeking an authentic local dining experience with hosts who are willing to invite strangers into their homes for a meal.

Travelling round the world is a profound and priceless experience that will affect the rest of your days. Meeting new people, seeing new sights, experiencing new flavours, debating customs and cultures with others from different backgrounds . . . Can you see yourself there already? Don't wait any longer! Life's too short not to get going on the adventure of a lifetime.

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