Expelling Myths! So not true 🙂
Friends and acquaintances continually ask me, “Aren’t you scared to travel alone? Isn’t it dangerous?” And, “How do you afford to travel? I can’t afford to do what you do.” Or, “doesn’t travel hacking credit cards effect your credit score. That’s so bad for my credit, I’d never do thaaaaaat…..” Well, I think this is all a bunch of malarky. This week I share a funny story about being robbed, my thoughts on credit card hacking and how I save for travel.
Please spread the word
Myth: Travel is dangerous - Robbed in Pamplona, Spain
In all my years of traveling, I’ve only been robbed twice. I’ve lost a couple of things, but theft has really never been an issue. Yes, I am very aware of my surroundings, but the world is generally a safe place, and I’ve had more issues in the US than in the 55 countries that I’ve visited. So here’s a funny story about being robbed. I was 22, at The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. I was invincible and broke, and since there were no hotel rooms available, I decided to sleep in the park with the thousands of other tourists. I was traveling light, and I only had my camera and undies with me (I’d left most of my luggage in Barcelona). As I slept, someone stole my chacos sandals off my feet, and left me a pair of ratty sneakers. Can you imagine waking up without your shoes, having no idea what or when the robbery happened? I was freaked out, but at least the robber was thoughtful enough to offer me a “trade in”. Today, this is a great travel story and all part of the adventure. PS. No, I don’t sleep in parks anymore!
Myth: Credit Cards hacking ruins my credit
Does credit card hacking hurt your credit? Did you know, The Points Guy has a credit score over 800? I’m a huge credit card travel hacker, and I love this game! I currently have more than 15 credit cards, and a credit score of 790. Why do I love credit card hacking?
In August, I’m flying to Nice, France, Biz class, for free. Staying 3 nights in Nice for free, 2 nights in Cannes for free, 2 nights in Monte Carlo for free and 3 nights in Cap d’Antibes for free. My trip to Spain in May also had 3 hotel nights for free. Personally, this hacking hasn’t effected my credit, but I pay off every credit card, every single month, without fail. I also keep records of when I received these credit cards, and make sure that I keep track of due dates, and renewal dates. My personal belief is that my revolving credit limit is growing over time with more credit cards. This means I have access to more revolving credit, but since I pay off my cards every month, my DTI (debt to income) percentages gets smaller and smaller. Here’s a recent article.
Myth: I cannot afford to travel
Do you think it costs too much to travel? Do you believe that you’ll never be able to afford that once in a lifetime trip? In my 20s, I traveled 4 months a year with a $1500/month budget. Yes, that’s an average of $50/day. Today, I’m not as frugal, but my belief system still says I can afford any trip I want to take. Here are 4 tips to help shift “I can’t” to “I can”.
- Make travel a priority. If you put travel at the forefront of your mind, you will make it happen.
- Sign up for flight alerts. Remember FareDrop and Scott’s Cheap Flights from a couple weeks ago? It’s worth spending $35/year to save thousands.
- Have a Piggy Bank. I have a travel piggy bank on my kitchen counter where I deposit at least $1 a day. It reminds me to prioritize travel, and helps me know I’m working towards my goal every single day.
- Sign up for hotel deals. I love agoda, and they have great daily deals to inspire your travel bug.
All in all, being able to afford to travel is just a mind shift. It’s a big world out there, and yes, you can afford to go on that incredible adventure.
This week’s YouTube video: Lobster Catching in Maine
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