Travel Finance: Pay Off Debt or Travel
Many people come to AfterGlobe asking if they should pay off debt or travel. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to travel while having debt looming over your head. It keeps you from traveling where you really want to go and for longer amounts of time. Once debt is a part of your life, it becomes a constant until you’ve finally paid it off.
We tell ourselves every day that we don’t have money to pay off debt or travel or whatever it is that we’d like more money for. But, the truth is, we find the money for what we really want. You just have to make the conscious choice to put your money towards those things instead of eating out all the time, going out to drink, buying another pair of shoes, or getting that latte every day.
Don’t Accrue More Debt Just to Travel
If you really want to pay off your debt and travel, you will find the money to do it. You will notice that I say pay off your debt AND travel. It’s not one or the other. You will need to do both. If you are in debt, you need to take care of that first before you travel. Traveling while in debt will only create more debt, stress, and that money you owe, will always be in the back of your mind. Not to mention that debt will only grow bigger the longer you take to pay it off. To make sure you can enjoy your time traveling without stressing about debt you must pay off your debt first. You should never rack up more debt, simply to travel.
We, too, have debt we need to pay off before we can travel long term. Debt is usually the main issue many people have that stops them from traveling. We believe it needs to be conquered with a plan in place before you can travel.
Make a Plan
You will pay off your debt by making different choices on how you spend your money for the next year or two. If you think about it, a year or two of hard work and sacrifice is such a small price to pay for a life free of debt and the opportunity to travel long term.
Paying off debt is hard work and so is affording long term travel. Your debt didn’t build up overnight, so don’t expect to pay it off overnight either. It’s going to take time to make a plan to get out of debt and travel with reasonable expectations.
It really won’t be any huge sacrifice on your part. Although, sometimes it will feel like it is. You’ll still have all your basic needs met and you won’t be at home all of the time with no electricity eating uncooked ramen. If you really want to pay off your debt and travel, you will.
Having a dream is a great step in the right direction, but the preparation to get to the dream is where the real work is. Steps can’t be skipped and it can be a long difficult process at times. With determination and will power, the dream to pay off your debt and travel can be achieved by anyone.
Constantly remember your dream to get out of debt and travel when you’re working too hard or feeling down. Don’t let yourself get sucked into more debt. It’s easy to lose your momentum and motivation if you spend all of your time thinking about what you are giving up instead of focusing on what you will gain in the end. We’ve heard from many people how they want to get out of debt and travel, only to give up within a month and stay trapped in their day-to-day job for years.
You can travel and achieve your debt-related goals, but you’ll need to stay motivated and stick to the plan you developed. I have beautiful photographs of some of our happiest days traveling and a travel manifesto on the wall of my office to help remind me what we are constantly working towards. If your circumstances change, it makes sense to revisit your plan and realign your goals. Remember, life is constant change.
Now go pay off your debt and get out there to see the world! Good luck and safe travels!
Do you think you can pay off debt or travel or do you agree that you need to pay off debt before you travel?
All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.