How do you finance all your trips ?
I am often asked this question. My rhythm of life is both totally natural for me and quite complex to explain.
This a short story of my life of traveler :
June 2003 :
Financial side : I’m 16 years old ans, I get my baccaulaureate and leave my parents’ home to go to the faculty of Poitiers. That’s where the struggle begins as well as the freedom. I give ice skating classes, I work illegally in a few night clubs (my disgust for alcohol probably started there, I saw people in alcoholic coma before even starting to drink), I do baby sitting, scholar support. I survive financially as I can.
Trips side : I make round trips to Paris first by frauding the train, then little by little I discover hitchhiking. There, my friends who accommodate me are older, they have a job so they feed and finance my rare outings.
June 2006 :
I’m 19 years old. I start working in a Kebab, and after a week, I apply to a Pole Emploi offer to be a saleswoman in an advertising agency. I send the CV that I’d have 1 year later : 21 years old with an ATC bachelor. Against all expectations, they call me for my first job interview. I go for curiosity. The interview lasts nearly 2 hours, I tell my whole life, I propose ideas to enlarge their business, kind of crazy ideas of a 20 year old kid with the head full of dreams and aiming to rule the world. When I’m about to go, the boss calls me and tells me that I’m hired with a long-term contract and that I can start on Monday. He gives me a contract to sign and I tell him that I lied in my CV, that I will be studying in the next academic year and that I don’t have my diploma yet. He hires me though for my 2 spared months. He’d try to convince me to stay, saying that diplomas are useless, and now I can say that I should have listened to him. I am hired with a good salary although I totally lied, I’m amazed.
I save absolutely all the money I earn and I leave with 3000€ in my pocket.
September 2006 :
Financial side : I’m 20 years old, I saved 3000€, I start my last year of study while working part time in a friend’s company. I’d stay for 6 years. I set up in Paris. My girl next door face allows me to find quickly a furnished apartment in the 1st arrondissement. My friend/boss is my warrantor for the rent. I use half of my savings to pay the security deposit. I buy absolutely nothing and save as much money as possible. I keep living as with my student budget, eating mainly pasta shells with butter. At this rhythm, I am able to save about 300€/month. I start travelling by plane but all the money spent is widely compensated with the sublease of my apartment to London modelling agencies who think its localization is very convenient.
Trips side : I find out about Ryanair and their under 10 euro airport fees free flight ticket. And fortunately, the only Bank Card on which Ryanair don’t apply any fee is the one I have : visa electron (it’s no longer the case since 2 or 3 years). I visit Europe thanks to Ryanair and Couchsurfing. I don’t bring anything from my trips at this time, I go with a backpack containing 3 tshirts, underwear, a toothbrush and some soap. I spend the minimum and I see many nice places and make wonderful meetings. When I hitchhike, people insist to give me a meal at home or in a restaurant in exchange for my adventure stories. At this time discovered how much my trips that I was doing initially for myself interest the others.
I keep spending as less money in my everyday life and travelling through Europe only with Ryanair. My revenues are increasing, so I force myself to save at least €500/month. I sometimes have difficult ends of months and I start spending more in journeys and bringing souvenirs to my friends. So instead of the €15000 I would have saved had I kept being strict with my expenses, I now have €8000 aside
That’s the year when I create my blog to start sharing my good deals with people, more than actually telling my adventures.
February 2011 :
I meet Antoine and we decide to go to the USA together. I’ve never been there and the destination doesn’t really attract me but I’m very comfortable with Antoine and we find a €350 Brussels-New York round-trip, so we seize the opportunity.
We decide to go for adventure and go through the USA hitchhiking. On this journey I spend a bit more than usual, but I’m still reasonable with an average budget for this trip. Including the flight tickets, this trip cost me about €1000, for 3 weeks.
The statistics of my blog are growing swiftly, the brands are all after, I receive a lot of gifts, I am invited to many nice trips. It’s getting harder to fit everything in my 5 week annual vacations and I am not focused at work. With a mutual agreement with my boss, I leave my job in July 2012. With the €10 000 I saved,eaving the company unlocks my €8000 PEL. So I have blog in good condition, a total freedom and €18 000 on my bank account.
I meet Laurie and we decide to go for adventure a few months later, watching carefully the prices of the flight tickets, I finally book a world tour in a totally unexpected way. The countries we visit allow (India, Thailand, Indonesia) allow us to travel with a small budget. his 4 month world tout cost me about €7000, my biggest budget was Australia.
So I have €11 000 in early 2013.
Once I get back in France, as I have spare time, I sort my stuff, sell the suitcases, the bread machine, the tent etc that the brands gave me and were sent directly to my storehouse.
I give roller classes, I do scholar support again, baby sitting. I also receive many (more than fifty in 2012) couchsurfers, another way to travel and prepare next trips ! Besides my rent, I am able to finance my Parisian life with my sales and small services. I create my auto entrepreneur status.
I go again for a world tout with €8000 in my pocket..
In this second world tour, I accept the offers of the brands to put sponsored links in my articles, I contact hotels, I start being interested by this business and everything follows, more and more brands exchange my contact.
I come back in June 2013 from this second world tour which cost me €6000 but gave me €2000 with the partnerships. I have €4000 remaining.
I just landed and I received a call from Vit’Halles offering me a job. A fine salary and a 5 day vacations each month instead of 2,5.
So I immediately start to work again and to save €500 every month, conscientiously.
I have nice travel invitations (London, Berlin, ski, Turin…) it makes me avoid to spend money to go to ski, or on a week-end with my friends. I just made a €2000 trip to Japan, instead of the expected €7000, so I have €5000€ aside. Where do we go ?
Dubai desert safaris
Good post.. good wrote… and helpful