Money Was Never an Issue for Our Travel Dreams

Debbie Centeno

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Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy- photo by the author

Change Your Travel Mind Set

I love traveling! Therefore, we travel abroad at least once a year. Every time I say this, the most common response I get is, “It’s too expensive,” or “I can’t afford it.” Huh! That is exactly what I thought. I would not settle for that, though. “Money can never be an issue for my travels,” I said to myself, and it wasn’t! No, I am not wealthy. I just believe anything is possible.

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Amsterdam, Capital of the Netherlands- photo by the author

Doubts We Face

I understand why sometimes we are skeptical and doubt the ease of being rewarded with such a wonderful opportunity. First, you need to book a stay and hotels can be expensive. Money for meals and activities needs to be included. You should be financially secure in case of an emergency. And the biggest expense of all? You have to book a flight! Well, there goes our measly budget.

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Eiffel Tower rikshaw ride in Paris- photo by the author

Seek and You Will Find It

The more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became. I researched possible ways to travel without breaking the bank. And what did I learn through my research? First, I discovered it was less expensive to travel abroad than in my own home country. What a bummer. But, with no specific destination, I opted to travel internationally. After all, it seemed economically workable. I discovered you don't have to pay for the entire trip at the moment of booking.There are a few agencies and/or airlines that offer vacation packages within our budget.

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Stonehenge in Salisbury, UK- photo by the author

Also, you can book your trip with little money down - anywhere from $200 to $400 - depending on the destination. They have payment plans too. As long as you pay the balance due within 35-60 days before the departure date, you’re good. Kind of like a travel layaway plan. It’s even better than booking with a credit card because there are no finance charges for the layaway. Therefore, when I decided on the destination and hotel, it was time to book my trip.

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Andorra La Vella- photo by the author

Managing Your Budget

Here’s the problem. Where would I get the money to pay for this trip? I could add on a part-time job to my already hectic schedule! Nope, not happening. I will not bust myself working just to get a week’s vacation. I work to live, not live to work. Maybe I’ll dig into my savings, I thought. Hmmm, that’s not a good idea. To figure out where I could cut costs, I analyzed my spending habits. For instance, I used to spend an average of $5 per day on a cup of coffee from a famous coffee-house. Not that I needed it, I just liked the coffee. I challenged myself to create a travel fund by forgoing the daily coffee and added the extra $5 to my fund. This change alone was about $100 per month. I looked further into my spending habits and found a couple more.

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The Atomium in Belgium- photo by the author

Nothing Was Going to Stop Me

During that time in my life, I enjoyed mystery shopping. I was getting paid to review shops in my area. These included restaurants, banks, gasoline stations, department stores, movie theaters, parks, etc. The pay was not enough to sustain me, but it was a little side hustle that kept me entertained. It also reimbursed me up to a certain amount of money, so my entertainment, many times, was free. That pay too, went into my travel fund. These strategies allowed me to readjust my budget, which helped fund my travels. I struck gold!

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Casino Monte Carlo in Monaco- photo by the author

Believing In the Possibility

I do not attribute it all to my financial outcome. I am a big believer in manifesting - what you put out into the universe you get back. Therefore, I made sure that I had chosen a destination for my travels. I used all the right words, positive affirmations, gratitude, and reprogrammed my subconscious mind to think positively. Most important of all, I never doubted myself. I had all the tools necessary to dream about where I wanted to travel to. No one would stop me now. So tell me, where do you want to go?

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Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain- photo by the author

Originally published in Traveler Wows on May 4, 2020.

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My writing journey began as a way to cope with grief. I realized I enjoyed writing and began a blog, Debbie’s Reflection (https://debbiesreflection.com). I also enjoy traveling. Therefore, as a traveler, I began another blog, Traveler Wows (https://travelerwows.com), in which I share tips on places, landmarks, and reviews on airlines, hotels, and restaurants. Thank you for joining me on my writing journey.

Orlando, FL
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