How I Afford The Travel Lifestyle

"Magkano budget?" ("How much is the budget?") is usually my answer to a climb or an out-of-town trip invitation. Let's face it, travelling comes with a price tag. No matter how frugal you want to be, you'd still have to pay for your bus fare and carinderia dinner.

Jotting down the expenses before I forget them!
It's a thrift thing

My dad once referred to my spending habit as something comparable to using a tweezer - money is plucked out one at a time. Indeed, I always over-rethink any purchase over P300 (is this too frugal?), I only buy second-hand clothes and haggle whenever I can. The words 'impulse' and 'shop' doesn't come together in my dictionary.

When travelling, I try to keep within the budget by abiding to my "gastos studyante" (spend like a student) philosophy. It's as simple as spending like you're only receiving a meager allowance. Climbing Mt. Pulag back in college, our group passed on renting a jeep and instead walked from the DENR office in Kabayan, Benguet all the way to the Ranger Station in Babadak to afford the climb.

Babadak Ranger Station in Mt. Pulag
Saving Secrets

Back in my corporate slavery days, the expenses of travelling were admittedly easy on the pocket. Even so, I would bring with me canned goods to cover some of my meals on a weekend in Puerto Galera. When out and about, I turn to sari-sari stores and carinderias (where the locals buy their food) to avoid overspending on tourist trap restaurants. Saving on little things can go a long way. Do you really need to buy souvenir keychains whenever you visit Baguio?

Delicious meal from a hole-in-the-wall eatery in China
Carpooling on the road has also saved me a few bucks. Once, I was running late for an early flight out of Cebu. When I learned that the other lady waiting at the jeepney stop was also headed to the airport, I immediately asked if she wanted to share a cab with me.

A similar thing happened just a few days ago. Upon landing in Siargao, I learned that a tricycle to Cloud 9 charges P500 (!). To cut the cost, we shared our tricycle with another traveler from the same flight - he happened to be Marcos of Ambot-ah travel blog!

Spotted Marcos on this Paparazzi (-esque) shot

On being a WAHM

Since I quit my job almost 6 years ago, my income stream been divided. I said goodbye to my hefty (?) paycheck to travel the US. When I came back, I did not feel like re-joining the grind. So, with my leftover savings, I made do with what I can. But one can only stretch savings for a few months.

Having a kid reinforced my decision not to go back to the corporate world. So to keep me afloat, I exploited the power of the internet. Here's the part where I reveal my online activities. Some call it freelancing, but in general, I am a work-at-home mom (WAHM).

  • eBay - An online garage sale. It's easy money if you know where to source your items.
  • manilababy - Crafting is my thing and this is one of the things that I do with pride :)
  • online work - I work part time as an... uhmm... I don't really know how to call it. Let's just say I'm a virtual assistant in the broad sense of the word.
Split-screen technique: a win-win solution for me and my kid!
  • blogging - We read about earning through blogging all the time. There are s number of ways to monetize a blog but right now I'm only doing the ads. I keep a couple of blogs, but honestly, I have yet to reap the fruits of my blogging efforts.

There are a lot of other ways to fund your wanderlust. It all boils down to creativity (in saving money) and resourcefulness. Money should not be a drawback in travelling, but a challenge. So how much is the budget to _____? Whatever the answer is, if it's worth going to, I'd say pencil me in. I'd definitely find a way to fund it!

This is my contribution to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival for June 2012 on the topic "How To Fund Your Wanderlust" hosted by Journeyingjames.

Here are the past blog carnival topics: PTB Blog Carnival


  1. Hi, I am interested on becoming a part-time VA also. How to start about it?

  2. i admire how you control how much you spend. wish i can be like that too. lols :)

  3. I admire you! that made me regret quitting my online job. boohoo >:(

  4. @bundoKaholics

    I just responded to an ad in Craigslist. I knew there were a lot of scam offers out there but I took my chance, sent some sample works and crossed my fingers. I got lucky because I found a nice boss who allowed me to do part time work :)

    Thanks! I have no idea how I developed such frugality, because I never knew how to save when I was a kid! I guess you just have to have something you really want to motivate you.

    @Wander Shugah
    Thanks! What kind of online job did you have? I kind of think about going corporate once in a while, too, because I miss the people and the airconditioning haha!


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