Our 2015 top asked question - how you afford to travel so much? 4 countries, 26 days with RM 4400

We have never managed to answer well our 2015 most asked question "how you afford to travel so much?". We have framed up a series of answers to respond but from today onwards, we reckon this official respond will be able to please the majority - "We work 2 jobs!" (buat 2 kerja).

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2015 marked our 3rd year joining the workforce and finally we are have the ability to flex our financial partially for travelling. We spent 26 days overseas for holiday at 4 different countries, namely Taiwan, Cambodia, Myanmar and Singapore with a total spending of RM4400 per pax.

The amount of money spent may not appear to be impressive as we have come across others spending RM3000 for 40 days backpack at Asian countries, or even a few thousands for a trip across European continents. However we are pleased as we ventured into 4 different places with 4 different cultures, and indeed it had been eye opening. 

Image taken from http://www.theguardian.com/
Okay, back to the topic. There is no need to use complex mathematics equation to make a travelling affordable; it is as simple as the will to change mindset.
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1) Pick the not so best date to travel

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Most people would pick the so called the best date - public holidays or weekend to begin their travelling journey. It all started with some sort of belief that it is nice to complete the work for the week before go off for a vacation.

In addition, annual leaves given by the company often just enough to cater your daily chores. Utilizing public holidays connecting to the weekend to start a vacation and keep the annual leaves for emergencies appear to be a right choice.

However, airlines companies and hotels are business entities after all. They are smart enough to figure that most people would travel within weekends and public holidays, and the air ticket price on a weekend tend to be expensive compared to weekdays instead.

Of course, having to rush the work on a weekday before departing to holidays is exhausting. If it could save you a few hundreds bucks, why not?

It is entirely up to individual to decide on this eventually.
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2) Comfort or money?

Everyone wants a comfort life. And yes, comfort comes at the expense of money.

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Business class ticket, easy transportation method, comfortable bed to sleep, exquisite dining experience, you name it. 

There is nothing wrong to enjoy these luxuries and pamper oneself during vacation, especially after you were totally wiped out in work and the financial allows. Nevertheless I have heard people saying cannot afford to go a vacation because the hotels would cost them hundreds per night, or the food is expensive.

It ended up they were looking to stay at 3 stars hotels at least, dining at the top restaurants and budget airlines were not their choices.

While there are some hostels that can be paid using pocket money, some have to be paid using a stack of cash. It is your pick.

You will be surprised the amount of money you spent for the luxuries could have funded you to another trip.
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3) Buy, or not to buy?

Often we are tempted to purchase something during travelling. Let it be souvenirs or clothes. The most annoying questions we faced after back from travelling is "did you get anything for me?". 

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It is the most irritating questions, and if you realised most of your not so close friends asked for it actually. Your good friends seldom ask for a souvenir.

How often will the souvenirs come in handy? Most of the time it ended up at a corner of the drawer or table, collecting dusk and get thrown away when moving house or office.

How many times you would wear the "I love XXX" clothes you bought during a vacation?

You may say shouldn't us buy some local biscuits or chocolates back to share. Will you feel annoyed that you are carrying the responsibilities to hunt for good and delicious biscuits back during your trip? The holiday is meant for you to relax and enjoy isn't it?

It is something to ponder.
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4) Plan and research the trip

Things do not come in free. If you want a budget savvy trip, be prepared to spend few nights after work for research and planning.

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Google is always the best answer and do not underestimate the power of A-S-K. Ask around your friends who has been to that place, bloggers or even in forums. You will get a few tips that will save some dollars off your wallet.

You will be surprised sometimes eating at restaurants are cheaper than eating hawker food in certain places, or approaching a tour agency for booking a hotel is cheaper than you book yourself.

Sometimes if you never plan, you are just planning to have a miserable vacation. Imagine the hassle if you arrive where the people speak native languages and almost none speak the language you understand. 

If you had a planning prior coming, you would have a translation apps or dictionary ready. At least you know how to ask go to a toilet right?
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5) Manage your finance

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We would rate this as the most fundamental to make your trip affordable. How would one able to travel if there is no finance management?

It is not asking you to stay at home after works, not going to Starbucks with your friends, or prohibiting yourself from buying a H&M shirt for a year. It is all about fund allocation.

Allocating a portion of your income to a fund to prepare you for travelling and set a time frame to achieve it. Saving money is not as hard as you think

I have heard people owning Chanel handbags, wearing Calvin Klein shirts and driving a luxury car but not able to travel. It is up to your fund management and the lifestyle you choose to live with.

If you want to travel and have no extra income, try to reduce some spending unnecessary expenditures. You never know what you can achieve when you never try it.
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