How I ACTUALLY Afford to Travel on a Teacher’s Salary

It never fails.  My travel life is an issue. Every time I mention to someone that I travel regularly, their first response is always, “Wow!” “You must be rich!”  UMMM….NO.  I am a TEACHER.  Not only do I not make a lot of money, but I have to travel in peak season.  This means no off season deals for this gal.  So how do I do it?!?  Just like some people have a passion for shoes or collecting baseball cards, I have a passion to travel.  One could say it is my hobby.  Just like any hobby, I find ways to fund it. With a little skill, and a lot of trial and error, I think I found my perfect formula.  Now, these are not the only methods out there, but these are what works for me personally.  Check out my favorite 5 ways to fund my addiction…..

1. I Find Other Sources of “Travel” Income

As a single mom, I have every aspect of my money budgeted to an inch of it’s life.  This leaves little left over, so I got creative.  i foundother sources of income that fits my schedule with out losing time with my kids.  This extra income is NOT factored into the budget, it goes straight to a separate account.  This is what I currently have in the works:

a. Lunch Duty – The extra money to give up my lunch to supervise rowdy children affords me one overseas ticket and one domestic.  In my mind, the headache everyday is worth it.

b. After School Tutoring – This twice a week gig provides the spending money for about 2 trips a year (depending on where I am traveling to).  This includes hotel, food, and souvenirs.

c. Freelance Writing – I am new to this one.  So far what I make from writing goes into the travel fund for any surprises that may arise.

Looking for ways to make some extra cash?  Check out these creative ways to pad your wallet:

2. I Curbed My Shoe and Clothing Addiction

I LOVE shoes, especially heels.  I have quite the collection, that is slowly dying, but I am coming to terms with it.  I have started a shoe graveyard and each one gets a proper burial.  I now only shop if it is a necessity.  Trust me when I say this has been a lifestyle change!  When the urge to shop arises I ask myself, “Are those items worth not taking a trip this year?”  100% of the time the answer is, “NO.”

Buy shoes

3. I Stopped Caring What People Think of My Home

I stink at decorating my home.  I am fully aware of this.  For a long time, I spent a lot of time and money trying to make my house look like my Martha Stewart friends and I finally gave up.  Now, I just decorate my house with treasures from my travels, and you know what?  My house looks better (well in my opinion).  I have things in my home that can’t be bought in a local store….BOOM!

Travel soveniers

4. I Broke Up With Starbucks

This one is pretty self explanatory.  $5 a day for coffee adds up.  I am now in a committed relationship with the cheapest ground coffee available at the grocery store.  I think this is the relationship that will finally make it.

Starbucks cup

Photo courtesy of

5. I No Longer Keep Up With the Jones’s

I don’t get the new IPhone the day it comes out.  My flat screen TV is on the fritz and I don’t care.  My car is old but I keep her around because she is not saddled with a car payment.  I only keep around the necessities and I have to tell you, it feels GREAT!  As a result, I actually de-stressed my life.  I totally get why people move into those tiny houses…

Tiny House

Looking to downsize?  Check out this website to own one of those tiny houses:

The Moral of the Story?

Never, EVER, apologize for your passion and how you fund it.  I have tried so hard to explain to family members and friends that I do not have a hidden trust fund.  It’s all about sacrifices and choices. I have been criticized for traveling from so many people now that I think I am immune.  It cracks me up when people take vacations to Disney Land and then judge me on my “expensive” trips.  Well….I hate to break it to you there friend, but my 2 week vacation overseas costs less than your week long stay with Mickey Mouse.  You choose your destinations and I choose mine.  But….who is actually getting more bang for their buck? I guess now the next time someone claims that I am a trust fund baby I can send them this post. This definitely proves I won’t be moving into a mansion anytime soon!  I will, however, be booking my next trip as we speak.  Where should I head to next?!?

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