When I told people with a big smile on my face that I was planning on going on a new trip, they were wondering ‘How can you afford this?’. I have some different ways of earning money and I try to make my travels not that expensive.
Last week, here in The Netherlands, we celebrated the birthday of the king Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, but as most of us call him ‘Wim Lex’. This day is often about drinking beer, eating vanilla slice, being dressed in orange and there are lots of parties in the whole Netherlands. But at most places they have markets as well where people sell their (second hand) stuff. That’s what I did! With some signs explaining the money was for my art project, people came to even just donate some money. It is all about small money. But yeah: little coins, big dreams. And the lots of little coins that I earned this day make me able to buy a new ticket! To where? I don’t know yet, there are a few places on my list 😉
REAL CARMEN GROENEFELT ILLUSTRATIONS
As I like to believe, I am an artist and illustrator. Even though people know I am illustrating, not everyone knows I do commissions. So I had a special sale: a custom-made illustration for just €15! And there are so many commissions that, after my trip to London, I still have to make a lot of these. But that’s fun, I love making them! And also after this sale I still sell my (commissioned) illustrations and phone cases. Hit me up if you are interested in some!
BIG SPENDER, HELL NO
A way of making traveling affordable next to making sure you have money, is… not spending too much! Woah… Yes I know, quite smart, right?! So I don’t spend much money in my daily life on stuff I don’t need. I buy things second handed, don’t spend much on drinks and I often do groceries and make my lunchbox instead of grabbing snacks and food on the way or in restaurants.
CHEAP TRAVEL HACKS
Well, these are probably not that new for you to read about. But I will give you my travel hacks, which make my travels affordable.
- Housing: In Thailand I made a great deal with the owner of the hostel: I could stay for free if I made a mural painting for exchange. So my 5 nights were for free ánd I can say my work is in Thailand on a wall! Next to staying in hostels (for cheap or for free) I use Couchsurfing. It is a great way to stay for free at locals. But don’t use this only for free stays, Couchsurfing is all about contact with the others and giving something back for the hosts. They give their hospitality in return for some good conversations, a good meal or just a listening ear.
- Transport: For flights I try to be fairly flexible, so I can choose the cheapest dates to fly. When I am in the country itself I walk a lot. I also use public transport in the cities, although this can still be a bit pricey. Hitchhiking is something I did in New-Zeeland for the longer distances and I can tell you, it was a great adventure!
- Touristy stuff: When I was in Queenstown a lot of people went clubbing and doing extreme sports, spending big money. We went for a hike, visited markets on sunny days and explored the town. Sometimes good entertainment can be for free! Be a bit creative and find out what sort of cool things there are to do for free. If you are Couchsurfing, the hosts often have some recommendations for you too.
These were some things I do, but check out this video of a guy that travels around the world with almost no money: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7vmHGAshi8
Featured image: Merel Pics photography