We often get the question: are you millionaires since you travel so much? But you do not have to be rich to travel, just be good at finding cheap holiday deals. It is a matter of time, patience and not having too expensive habits.

The answer is: we live so much cheaper than most of the people asking that question. When we travel, we do not spend as much money as many others do, we do it budget style. We rather do a lot of budget travel than only a few luxury trips.

We can afford our travel because we live cheap at home:

  • No luxury meals or going out
  • We cook our meals ourselves from the ground
  • Grocery shop at cheap stores (thousands to save!)
  • Compact living in 50 m² low rent apartment
  • We have no loans what so ever
  • No bills except electricity & mobile broadband
  • We only have cell phones & use them very sparingly
  • We sold lots of our things earlier – empty basement
  • Driving as seldom as possible to save on petrol cost
  • No smoking & only occasional drinking
  • Thinking twice before buying ANYTHING

There are many ways of savings, both when you are at home and away. If you start to think about how to save, you probably will come up with a lot of things you could change. Why not try it just for fun…?

If you halve your use of some things, you also halve your costs for it – simple math right?

It could be anything. Make it a sport to be as sparingly as you can and live so frugal that is acceptable for you. Sacrifying is worth it, if you want to reach the goal.

When it comes to finding cheap prices, there are a lot of sites that offer great deals that we will come back to in another post. It varies which ones we use, we simply go with the ones that suits us best at the time being.

It can take us a very long time to plan a trip, many, many hours searching for the cheapest flights, hotels or hostels and so on. Very often we can not go to the place we would want to go to because it is too expensive, so we have to choose the ones we can find cheap rates at right now.

In Europe we often fly with Ryanair, since we are based in Stockholm and can fly with Ryanair from Skavsta. Several of our flights has cost us zero (!) for the tickets, just the tax cost. Search for a date to a destination and then change the date back or forward to get different prices on the flights.

We have stayed at hostels too, since they are cheap and often as good as many hotels. The past years the standard at the hostels has increased tremendously. Besides that: it is only for sleeping, so who needs luxury when sleeping? We are out all day exploring.

We are members in a Swedish hostel chain and it even got us 10% discount at some international hostels, like the hostel in Bratislava when we were there.

Bed & Breakfasts, guesthouses and motels are often cheap. There is homeswapping, petsitting and other free ways to accommodations like if you like to meet locals and get local tips of the destination. Be creative!

The first questions to ask yourself is what travel balance you are willing to be satisfied with? You must set your goals at a realistic level. Do not aim for luxury trips if not being rich, lower your demands to match your wallet.

I also think that it is a question of how interested you are to travel: we are burning passionately for it, so for us, the choices are simple. We have no problem to live simple lives to be able to travel and we make it happen just because of it.

I believe that if I want something, it is only I myself that can make it happen. I have to work on it to make it happen, no one is going to serve me a trip on a silver plate. If I am interested enough, I can make it, sooner or later.

Behind every trip, lays hours, days, weeks, months and sometimes years of planning efforts. Sometimes I have to have very much patience though – like that Australia trip I have always wanted and probably not will get until I am retired…

If everything else fails, there is always last minute trip offers, we have booked that a couple of times too. We seldom book trips when it is high season, more off season since it is much cheaper then.

Another thing you should consider is to get cheap phone cards in the different destinations you get to. To call by phone cards is generally a much better solution than using your own phone or cell phone, since the phone calls rates abroad can be very expensive.

When we were going on that 4620 km roadtrip to Spain, it was because my friend moved back there again and we could stay with her in her rented house for about a month, so we have been lucky sometimes. (She always used a phone card when calling from there).

We have also been to US one time, kinda paid work trip for hubby combined with visiting relatives, but that turned out being not what we expected. We learned our lesson: always plan ourselves! Such is life, you will never know what you are going to experience, but everything you learn from.

The only trips that has been expensive was our honeymoon to Crete 2004 and the trip to South America 2005, special trips made for money we got from selling our apartments when we split up from earlier relationships. We rent our current apartment.

You might have a much more difficult situation, but we do have a lot of ailments and sickness to drag around and that is also why we can not travel as much as we would like to. We have a lot of recovery to do all the time, every day is a struggle, but we are determent to do the best we can of it.

If you really, really, want to travel, it can be done in some way, even if not in so big way as you would wish. Maybe just a road trip? Make it step by step!

There is no easy one way of finding the deals you are searching for, you have to make an effort yourself. Searching and comparing is the key to success.

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal -

Start planning, it is half of the fun – to dream away when searching and planning. One day you might be able to go ahead with the plans…

We love to travel, despite some travel curses we have had earlier – and always remember: you are never too old to travel!


11 Comments on “How to travel a lot without being a millionaire”

    Vagabonde said:

    Your pictures of Niagara Falls are outstanding. About your earlier post on all inclusive trips – I took one years ago, it was with a French company called Club Mediterranée. My father paid for it. I had brought my 1 year old daughter with me to France and my parents wanted to have her all to themselves so they asked me where I’d like to go and I said Djerba Island in south Tunisia bordering Libya, so they got the trip for me, and I left my daughter with them.
    As for traveling, I have been, let me think, in 49 different countries – some countries several times but I don’t count that, and on a budget. It is true that I spend a huge amount of time preparing the trips, but I enjoy it also. Sometimes we go somewhere just because it is on sale, even though we had not planned to go. Last December I received an offer from Cunard, a one-day only offer, to take a 14-day cruise from Los Angeles to Hawaii – 4 islands – two for the price of one, and as cheap as Carnival. Of course I had to jump on the offer as by 6 pm they were full. It was for a certain date, 30 January, so being retired we could do it. Then in 2009 I got an offer from MSC to take a cruise from Marseille, Spain, Malta, Tunisia, Sicily, Rome, Genoa and back to Marseille – the price was so good because it was a brand new ship – $500 each for the whole thing, everything included. We were already going to France so we just had to buy a train ticket on the TGV. I am planning to write posts on all my trips, some day, that will take me a long time… I think a lot of people don’t travel overseas because they think it is so expensive – I can go abroad cheaper than taking a vacation in Florida, and that is the state next to us in Georgia.

    Gattina said:

    I always pay attention when it comes to spending money. I always compare several sources and then quality/price. I always buy most of the food in Aldi or Lidl, that’s as good as the more expensive Carrefour we have here !
    For travelling too, but an absolutely must is a private shower and toilet now at my “age” ! lol !

    al said:

    I thought I was saving a lot…. well, I can make do of not having so much except for food. I love to eat. Thank you for the tips!!!! mwah!

    al said:

    Happy Swedish National Day!!!! :)


    Thanks Vagabonde. Yet I didn’t like the Niagara pictures when looking at them at first and I think that’s why it took me six years to sort them…. Somehow they look better to me now! *giggles*
    Wow, you have been around a lot, I’m getting quite envious :-) Please continue to write about them, because we like your writing style too, it’s like travel with you when reading about it!
    Yes, somehow people do think it has to be more expensive to travel than it is and they don’t have the patience to look for deals either. Maybe that’s because they really aren’t that interested after all?


    Oh, I so know what you mean with private shower and toilet Gattina, we think so too. Only in an emergency or something we will accept anything else. Actually we had to change a booking (within Sweden) this past week because of that!


    Food has been one of my weaknesses too Al! Still is, but I try to shape up a bit and really stop and think about the prices :-P

    Ginnie said:

    We are so much on the same page with you, LC, about how to live frugally so that we can have/do the things we want. It definitely can be done. I can hardly wait till Astrid, too, is retured and we can be more flexible with our time when we find good deals. I would love to meet you one day and compare notes. :)


    Yes, Ginnie, it’s just a matter of how much you want to travel :-) Oh, yes, we too long to be retired both of us! We must meet some day for sure. If not earlier, so may it be when we’re OLD and we will sit down to have a real gaga kinda travel chat… *giggles*

    Daniel said:

    the “think twice before buying anything” is a really good point. I usually make a mental note if i want something, and reconsider after about 1 month if i still need it.
    I also started using an app for my phone that reminds me how much i already spent on various things like food, groceries, transport etc., and i end up saving about $500 more each month.
    Living in walking distance to work is also a big bonus to save on transportation.


    Only DREAM :)

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