6 Funny but Effective Tips for Traveling on a Budget originally appeared on Up, Up, and a Bear and was written by IBA member Hung Thai. When I first read Hung’s post, I never expected these funny tips for saving travel money but hey… If it works, why fix it?! – Tina
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Are you ready for my amazing secret sauce for traveling on a budget every month? Can you handle the truth? You CAN’T handle the truth!
There is a myriad of ways to make a living while on the road; you just need to accept that you’re probably not going to get rich in the process. But, a life rich with experiences, I would argue, is much better than one rich in material things.
I’ve been asked by many, “Hung, how do you afford to travel all the time?” And up until no, I’ve held onto this secret like a belt on a fat man’s belly – but no more! It’s time to release it and let it fly downward like his pants after the belt is liberated from his Bulbasaurus waist. Yes, it’s true: I’m a professional GOLD DIGGER.
But here’s the rub, I only dig from my soon-to-be wife’s fertile yard. And it’s so subtle, I doubt she noticed. It’s okay you guys, she probably won’t even read this. And if she does, I can blame it all on April Fool’s Day. “Honey, you thought I was serious? C’mon now, April Fools!” It’s the perfect plan… except that I just told her, potentially, about the plan. Well, it’s too late. I can’t press DELETE now. I’m too lazy.
The following tips for traveling on a budget are made for guys, but ladies, you can adapt as necessary.
Tip #1: Get a phone case that doubles as a wallet
Typically, these phone cases can only fit a few cards. Mine fits 4 cards. 3 of which are my medical card, AAA, and driver license. That leaves only 1 spot for a credit card, limiting your exposure to money spending when you’re out and about. This leads perfectly to my second tip.
Tip #2: Carry the most unaccepted card everywhere
Mastercard and Visa are universally accepted so don’t carry these with you at any cost. My card of choice is the Discover or American Express, preferably with a maximum credit less than $500. Keep the balance as high as you can to minimize buying power. If it gets rejected at the counter, just look over to your partner with fear and anxiety. She surely will step in, pat you on the back, and pay for it. Vow to call the credit card company and find out what’s up. Then follow it up by getting an equivalent card with similar credit.
Tip #3: Go grocery shopping at stores that don’t accept credit cards
Yes, these do exist. The perfect example is WinCo. It’s actually an amazing grocery chain with a great selection and incredible prices because they have abolished credit card fees. You know what they also abolished? The need for you to pay for your groceries. Obviously, you should claim that you forgot to bring your debit card. You only have room for 4 cards for goodness’ sake. And how are you supposed to remember to switch out a credit card for a debit card? “How dare WinCo not accept credit cards?!” should be your primary argument when confronted.
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Tip #4: Only carry enough cash for 2 McChicken sandwiches
This is about $2. Here’s the trick, though: Carry $22 but tuck the $20 away for extreme emergencies only like when you’re super hungry, and you need 3 McChicken sandwiches.
Tip #5: Claim ownership of bills you don’t have
This is critical. My tips for traveling on a budget work primarily because of this strategy. And this strategy works extremely well in conjunction with a mortgage, as you can basically claim half your salary to this one behemoth. Now start adding bills from all sources. Ask your friends what kind of bills they normally receive in the mail and claim the same.
Tip #6: Buy cheap wallets and lose them often
This great tip is brought to you by Frank from BBQ Boy whose article made me laugh until I cried. His tip is awesome and works very well. Not only will your friends chip in to help you out, but they’ll also feel sympathetic towards your bad luck. To make this work, you’ll need to purchase a LOT of wallets. It’s a big investment, but soon you will never have to pay for anything again!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not put real cards into this wallet as that would entirely destroy everything you’ve worked for. You could also “lose” your wallet and not have to buy the 2000 bulk wallets, but I think if you’re going to do this, you need to really sell it and commit to it.
Well, I could provide more tips, but these six tips for traveling on a budget have worked incredibly well for me thus far. If you’re a gold digger like me, what are some strategies you’ve used? Don’t be an information digger and share.
Travel on my friends!
Hung is the founder of Up Up and a Bear. His main focus is building relationships with fellow travelers and travel bloggers. Hung strongly believes in giving back and that’s why he started Project Alpha – the first book project of its kind, bringing travelers and travel writers together from all over the world to contribute a story about a “trip that changed their life.”