Do i have to have a lot of money to be able to travel?

When the question comes up how I can actually afford my travels, I often leave the conversation puzzled. Is actually a legitimate question, or? But when I answer that I simply save money, have low expenses and travel cheaply, people often shake their heads. Many seem not to believe me and suspect secret mountains of gold in my basement. But do I really need a lot of money to travel? An honest and critical answer:

1) My own situation: Do I have a lot of money?

So, let’s take a look at my mysterious finances. Do I really have a lot of money available that I can travel so often?

On the one hand: The income.

God knows I don’t earn the world with a three-quarter job in nursing. On the other hand, because of the shift work I can influence a little if I get 100€ more or less out at the end of the month.

My normal monthly salary is therefore always around 1.500 € .

On the other side: The expenses

Just calculated for you: My fixed monthly expenses amount to 601 € .

These are composed of the following components:

Do i have to have a lot of money to be able to travel?

Not included are easily variable costs every month:

  • purchases ca. 120 €
  • fuel costs ca. 50 €
  • Expenses for the blog ca. 15 €

In addition irregular fees, calculated on the month again 35 € / month make out:

  • GEZ every 3 months 52,50€
  • Travel insurance yearly 10€
  • Liability insurance yearly 59,62€
  • Delicious magazine biannual 17,50€
  • Car tax annually 60€
  • Amazon Prime yearly 49€

That’s how much money I have available every month:

So how much do I effectively have left over each month to invest in my personal life, leisure time and travel?

Exactly: 697 € .

I think that is not little. In everyday life I do not do without anything that is important to me. I have a car I do not hesitate to drive. I go out to eat with friends, celebrate, buy clothes, go to the cinema, concerts or festivals, in short: I spend my money and make a nice life for myself with it.

At the same time I travel every vacation, so at least three times a year. Plus short trips here and there.

Conclusion: My salary (extrapolated to a full-time job) is slightly below the average salary in Germany. How you get by with it depends on your individual expenses.

2) Do I have more money to travel than others?

Although I do not pay attention to every euro in everyday life, I save every month about 200 € for traveling! Sometimes a little more (Christmas bonus), sometimes a little less.

Others often sit there at the end of the month with 0 € reserve.

I’ll take nursing colleagues as an example: they work a full-time job, earn maybe 400€ a month more than I do, if they get good allowances. For that they pay for their apartment surely 200-300€ more as well as for a membership in the fitness studio.

Instead of paying a local transport ticket, which I use to get to work, they take the car and pay more for the fuel.

In the end, they have about as much money left as I do. The difference: you spend it differently.

I much prefer to cook myself than to order food all the time. I prefer to do sports at home than to pay for a gym (and not go back after three months). I buy, but not the most expensive of everything. And I do my tax return every year.

But above all, traveling is important enough to me to firmly into my financial planning.

I’m sure there are some people who earn less than I do. Maybe I could cancel the car (or the ticket), take the free version of Spotify, give Maxdome away, don’t make a donation, etc.

Even then, many people would probably end up with an amount similar to mine.

Another difference: I travel cheap. A vacation, which costs for 3 weeks 2000 €, I could afford also at most once as annual vacation. And that’s exactly what many people do, who then believe that I have much more money at my disposal, that I travel several times a year.

And, what many forget: In the month in which I travel, there is money left over that I would otherwise spend in everyday life. Because I am not at home. So for me, that would be about €500 for 3 weeks of travel, which I would instead of spending it at home, spend it directly on the trip can. All the less I have to save.

Conclusion: You don’t have to have a lot of money to be able to travel! It’s more a matter of what you use your money for and how you use it in your everyday life.

3) The advantage of reserves..

"Surely you have quite a lot of savings that you can travel so much".

Butter to the fishes: In fact I have reserves. However, I have neither earned these honestly nor do I squander them with imaginary pride. On the contrary, I do not touch them! I finance my travels on my own and independently.

Do I have nevertheless an advantage by my reserves?

Yes, because: I may feel safe. If I put aside my monthly 200 € for traveling and then spend it again, I know that this was not my last reserve.

At the same time, however, it is also like this: The reserves may have fallen into my lap, but saving them up is not an impossibility.

Instead of starting to travel right away, I could have set aside the 200€ per month for one or two years. I would have saved a small buffer for myself, which I could now invest, for example, in acute car repairs or a larger purchase.

Watch out: This has actually more or less happened. Because in the last 2 years, I have never spent all of what I set aside for traveling.

Conclusion: Financial reserves give you the security of being able to use more of your monthly money for travel.

4) …and why you still don’t need it for traveling

Today, one does not really know what to do with one’s money.

It is always said to take care of the pension fund if one does not want to become poor in old age. At the same time, accounts hardly yield any interest and there is a trend to live your life in the here and now. In addition, money that is frozen in accounts is not conducive to the economy, on which our prosperity depends.

Reason is opposed to the urge to enjoy, in the newspaper there are warnings of poverty, at the same time on TV the next commercial is running to stimulate consumption.

So: build up reserves or spend the money – for example for traveling?

My opinion: Do what you feel comfortable with. Best is probably for many a little bit of both.

Specifically related to travel:

I pay 25 € monthly into a life insurance and 20 € into a building society account. These are very small amounts. However, if I extrapolate this to 40 years, when I will probably retire, I reach a saved balance of 21.000 €.

Instead of setting aside 200 € per month for traveling, I could also put another 50 € of it into reserves. Then in 40 years I would already be at 45.600 €.

But I want to point out something else: The reserves give security, but you don’t need them for traveling.

Whether you invest €200 every month in your travels, in reserves instead, or whether you split the money is entirely up to you. Maybe you have to save a few months longer for your dream trip or travel to cheaper countries. Or you look for cheaper ways to travel. Or just you don’t care about security and just enjoy traveling as long as it feels good to you.

Conclusion: You don’t need reserves to travel. Without reserves, however, it may take more time or courage.

5) Do I need a lot of money to travel?

"You have to have a lot of money to travel, otherwise you can’t afford it".

A phrase that hasn’t been true for years now.

Where does the idea come from that you need a lot of money to travel??

In the past, when there were hardly any flights, almost only hotels, here and there maybe a youth hostel, this was certainly true. Traveling was something "special. Often travel mainly in their own country.

There were few ways to travel cheaply a few decades ago, and most importantly, it wasn’t contemporary. You went away with the family, often staying in one place, relaxing. Everything else was adventure, and that did not befit the general public.

But times have changed.

Do you still need a lot of money to travel today?

Traveling today can be very cheap. Almost free if you put your mind to it and are willing to sacrifice something.

There are numerous ways to save money when traveling these days, which I will discuss in a moment. By the way, all-inclusive hotels and package tours are not the best choice!

But not only the travel itself has become cheaper, but also the way of traveling has changed for many people. Backpacking is trendy, so is authentic travel, especially among young people. This travel style automatically means to travel cheaper.

Conclusion: to travel nowadays you don’t need much money anymore. You just have to know the options.

6)What cheap travel options are available?

Again, you don’t need a lot of money to be able to travel.

However, in order to be able to travel even with little money, it is important to know the different possibilities. You may need to rethink and adjust your travel style.

What you’ll do if you care about travel, and are willing to try new things for it.

Package tours and all-inclusive vacations may seem cheap in the advertising magazine, but still resort to hotels, already include any planning effort and sometimes hidden fees. All points that cost extra.

Here are a few little tips to help you travel cheaper:


  • Totally free: Use Couchsurfing or tents wild
  • Housesitting
  • Camping
  • Find your accommodations via AirBNB*
  • Sleep in HostelsEven single rooms are often cheaper than in a hotel
  • work&travelYour accommodation is provided for you
  • travel in Companionship
  • Home exchange


  • Eat like the locals, instead of choosing fancy restaurants
  • Mealsharing
  • Cook yourself
  • Buy on markets shopping instead of supermarkets
  • Foodsharing
  • Mouth robbery: Fresh fruits, nuts and herbs

Flights and transportation

  • Use on shorter routes cheap airlines
  • Fly only with Hand luggage
  • Use instead of a rental car on the spot Buses (and sometimes trains)
  • carpooling
  • Trampe
  • Interrail / Interflix
  • Stop by ErrorFares Look for

Other tips

  • Use free city tours
  • Travel in Low season
  • Adapt your destination to the cheapest prices, instead of looking for cheap prices in a specific country
  • In many cities are museums are free on certain days

7) Note: Why all this only applies to wealthy countries

I know that some Germans consistently do not want to admit it, but we are doing damn well in this country!

The same goes for many other countries in Europe, for England, North America, Australia, New Zealand…

Someone who earns little in Germany would be able to live on the same salary in some countries for MONTHS.

In many parts of the world the locals live on 1-2€ a day – they have no other choice.

If you give a cab driver in Southeast Asia a tip of 20€, he can cover his expenses and feed his family for a whole week from it.

For many people in the world, travel is not possible at all.

In many countries people survive from day to day. You need to work to feed your children or parents – and yourself. They do not leave their own country their whole life long. Often not even their own city. And if nevertheless, then they plunge for it frequently into debts, or must save for years.

So when I proclaim here in a big way that we don’t need a lot of money to travel in this day and age, this is true for Germany, Austria, England, Australia. But it does not apply to many countries in the world. And this is important to keep in mind.

Conclusion: Travel can be very favorable for us Germans. We don’t need a lot of money to see some of the world. But we should be aware that we are privileged with it.

8) Final words

Do I have to have a lot of money to be able to travel?? No. Nowadays travel for us possible even with a small salary and no reserves. Above all, it depends on one’s own priorities and mindset, but also on being aware of the possibilities.

Do you also sometimes wonder if and how you can travel with little money? What is your attitude to this issue?? I am happy about your comments, opinion and point of view – leave me a comment :-).

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