Addressing Our Monthly Financial Obligations – Financing Travels

What usually stops many individuals from pursuing long-term travel is their inability to part from their monthly financial obligations at home. As human beings we require to sustain our physiological needs (i.e. food, shelter, clothing, etc.) for survival. The problem for some individuals is that they may be living well beyond their means. Regardless if we are traveling or not, we have set expenses we need to pay monthly in order to survive.

Monthly Financial Obligations

I have always believed that traveling is the universal reset button for those who need to clear their minds, getaway from home to unwind, and/or start all over. The challenge for many would be to adjust their livelihood from everyday life at home to full-time backpacker.

The following monthly living expenses can be transferred from home to traveling abroad:

1) Sublet your Apartment/Home or Swap Homes

If it is possible to sublet your rental, you may find yourself with extra cash to enjoy your traveling adventure. Many people renting may not be able to sublet their place; however, there are sites that allow travelers to swap homes ( Depending how much time you are willing to prepare, you could find yourself traveling from place to place without having to pay for accommodations.

Worst case scenario, you could always have a friend stay at your place at a reduced rate and claim they are just visiting (avoids any unnecessary conflicts with your landlord – just be careful). Make sure you understand the rules of your renter’s lease, you don’t want to return from vacation evicted with your stuff on the curb (or whatever is left of it). For some it might be more economical to move out before departing, while keeping your furniture in storage (perhaps you have friends/family who have space in their basement).

2) Transportation Costs

Transport Costs HostelsDepending the length of time you plan on traveling, you may want to consider your local transportation costs. There is nothing worse than to pay for something you aren’t using. If you have prepaid for your public transportation vouchers/tickets, you could try to get a refund or sell your tickets at a reduced rate.

For those of you who are financing an auto-mobile, you may want to seriously consider selling your vehicle instead of paying for insurance, car payments, and potentially parking monthly. If you are traveling over six months to a year, financing an auto-mobile could cripple your spending budget; therefore, selling your vehicle could provide additional cash upfront and/or give you extra cash flow throughout your trip.

3) Stop the Bleeding – Review Your Various Other Contractual Obligations

Keeping with the theme of avoiding paying for things you will not be able to use while traveling abroad, you may want to review contract cancellation clauses/ holding fees on the following services:

  1. Cell phone contracts
    Does it make sense to take your phone with you? Could your cell phone provider give you an affordable international package? Or is it cheaper to get a cheap phone when you arrive at your destination? Perhaps you can just login to Skype and purchase minutes.
  2. Gym memberships
    Find out if you can put your contract on hold, while traveling abroad. Depending on the gym this could eat away at your finances.
  3. Netflix and any other monthly subscriptions
    Obviously, those who use Netflix can watch their movies online; however, do you really see yourself watching a lot of movies? It isn’t a bad way to make new friends at the hostel who don’t feel like going out. Some people may have a monthly subscription to a magazine, it might be wise to consider switching to their online subscription model.
  4. Home Internet and TV Cable
    The sooner you deal with this before departure, the less running around you will have to do. Avoid any inconvenient errands so close to your departure date.
  5. Utilities
    Speak with your local utilities company to discuss reactivation processes – fees, amount of time, etc. You wouldn’t want to return home after a 12+ hour flight only to have no power available. Schedule in advance to ensure your return home is a pleasant one.

The more your prepare, the better off your will be. Most travelers, one way or another, will have to pay for the above costs while traveling. Why would you want to pay for these twice every month. As mentioned earlier, for those living beyond their means, the opportunity to travel and clear their monthly financial clutter could put them in a better financial position.

See you on the road!

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Information about the Author

About Rafael Reis, StudentdestinationsRafael Reis from has been creating lifestyle and financial literature since 2009. As a Partner of Student Destinations, Rafael hopes to empower millennials to achieve their bucket list as early as possible. Through informative content and apps, Rafael believes he can help people reach their goals. Travel is Rafael’s passion and he plans to travel the world before 40.

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