There is more to financially savvy travel than spending less. Being a financially savvy traveler means being mindful and intentional with our finances while enjoying travel experiences. It goes beyond the money-saving strategies and travel hacks we use daily, like mastering cheap flights and reward programs.
Financially savvy travelers focus on optimizing their spending to align with their priorities and travel preferences. They are willing to spend more on comfort and convenience as long as it fits within their budget. They also consider the opportunity costs of their spending decisions and are conscious of their overall finances, not just travel. Overall, it’s about finding a balance between enjoying travel and being financially responsible.
If you’re looking to transform your wanderlust into a lifetime of travel adventures while making smart savings and spending decisions, you’re in the right place. Exploring the common misconceptions about this blended approach to travel and money, discover what it means to be a financially savvy traveler by either reading this blog post or listening to this insightful podcast episode.
Listen to this podcast episode here.
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Danielle Desir Corbett: Hey, financially savvy travelers, welcome back to another episode. I'm Danielle Desir Corbett, a financially savvy traveler. Personally, I would say financially savvy travel was born out of lack. I was a broke, and broke is the correct term, I was a broke young adult with this huge passion for and huge want for wanting to travel, but I didn't have the income to make it possible. But I also knew that there's ways that I can be scrappy and I can be savvy, But I had this curiosity to be more efficient with my finances so I can go on vacation. And initially, I just wanted to travel once a year. I share this all the time, but my first trip to Paris in 2015, I just only had the goal of that one trip. make my dream trip to Paris come true. But as I progressed, and honestly, like I was bitten by the travel bug, eventually it became, how can I travel as often as possible, sometimes multiple times in a season? And then fast forward to today, Travel is a big part of my career. It's what I do as a professional, as a travel creator, travel writer, podcaster, author, all the things. But if I go back to the very beginning, it was out of this financial shortfall. I was missing the money and I just wanted to figure it out. But up until recently, when you would ask me about financial savvy travel, I would start by just rambling off a lot of tips and strategies to save money. on travel so that people can afford to go on those trips. And while finding these great deals and using these creative strategies and ways to spend less is an important guiding principle that we follow, I have since changed my tune and I've expanded my view on what it means to be financially savvy, what it means to be a financially savvy traveler, and all of that. So in episode 69, feel free to go back to listen to that episode, I detail my own personal journey to becoming a financially savvy traveler. I share how I started traveling at a young age, going to Haiti where my family's from to visit every summer, I shared about the time in my life when I and where I did not value travel and how I made this lifelong promise to myself about always making travel a financial priority. But in this episode, we're going to be chatting about what people get wrong about financially savvy travel. It's going to be a really good episode. Now, before we get started, I wanted to take a minute to shout out our sponsor. Thank you, Aura, for teaming up with me on this episode. So as financial savvy travelers, it's really important to safeguard our digital assets and protect our identities, especially when we're on the road. Picture this, you're at the airport and the temptation to jump onto that free Wi-Fi network or plug your devices into outlets is real. But without the proper protection, you're exposing yourself to potential hacks and cyber threats. To keep hackers at bay, your personal information safe, and your online activities private, I've teamed up with Aura, an easy-to-use, all-in-one digital safety solution that helps protect you from identity theft, fraud, and online threats. Specifically, Aura VPN protects your online activity with military-grade encryption to keep your data safe while using public Wi-Fi. Plus, it connects you to a U.S. virtual location to access your favorite websites and apps safely from anywhere. Before every trip, I secure my Wi-Fi with just one tap on the Aura mobile app. But wait, there's more. Aura includes credit monitoring, a password manager, spam call protection, and antivirus. Aura is offering my listeners a 14-day free trial. Click the link in the show notes or visit Aura.com slash Savvy to start today. Again, you can click the link in the show notes or visit Aura.com slash Savvy to get started today. Welcome to The Thought Card, a podcast about travel and money, where planning, saving, and creativity leads to affording travel, building wealth, and paying off debt. We are the Financially Savvy Travelers. Okay, so what are the things that people get wrong about financially savvy travel? And I'm gonna be the first person to raise my hand here because this was me for the last eight years up until I reflected, I took time to really understand this concept that I've been talking about for the last eight years. Isn't it so funny? Anyway, but yeah, I'm be the first person to share that for a long time, Financially savvy travel was synonymous with travel hacks and money saving strategies. A lot of people fall into the trap that it's just literally about saving money, making smart money decisions, which is a half truth. Yes, there's a lot of truth to that. But I believe if you're only thinking about financially savvy travel in terms of saving money and spending less, and even traveling more, spending less and traveling more is a very common phrase we hear all the time, you're missing the totality when it comes to all that encompasses financially savvy travel. So yeah, travel hacks and saving money, spending less, are undoubtedly part of who we are and the things that we do in order to afford travel, but it's not all encompassing there. So that is one of the biggest assumptions that people get wrong about financially savvy travel. The second assumption is that we always go for the cheapest option or we are looking to spend minimally. But the truth is that we are really focusing on optimization. We're focusing on optimizing our spending to align with our priorities and also our travel preferences. So absolutely, we want to spend money wisely. But we want to spend based on the things that matter to us, what's most important. And to skip all the other things that are not important and to, if possible, reduce that to all the way zero. So efficiency, spending wisely, intentionality, mindfulness are all the things that come up for us. as financially savvy travelers, and that's not always the case when you're looking at what's the cheapest thing on the menu. When it comes to cutting corners and spending less, financially savvy travelers aim to eliminate unimportant expenses, which then frees up money for us to have the experiences, items, all the things that truly matter to us. By trimming out that excessiveness in our budget, we can intentionally create more room for those unforgettable moments, whether that's a gourmet meal in a charming, highly rated local restaurant, a guided tour of a historic landmark, or a day trip to a hidden gem. So yeah, we don't always go for the cheapest option. We're optimizing, we're aligning our priorities and our travel preferences. And yes, we are spending wisely. Another misconception that people have is that they label us as budget travelers. And I think budget travelers is what we kind of get boxed into because it's a popular term. And a lot of people, that's all they know. They know budget travel, they know luxury travel, but there's this middle ground. And this is where financial savvy travel fits in. While we definitely have some similarities with budget travelers, we have a lot of overlooked differences, which I outline in my book, We Are Financially Savvy Travelers. Another thing is that financially savvy travelers may not be on a tight budget. We do weigh the pros and the cons, and we consider the opportunity costs of paying for something versus not going with it. But the truth is that we actually are willing to spend more on comfort and convenience as long as it's within our means. And this to me in the book writing process was a very important point and a big revelation is because when I think about eight years ago when I first started traveling, I had to say no to the things that I actually love and enjoy because I just did not have the funds in my budget to do much when it came to traveling to different destinations. But fast forward to today, when I look at myself as a financially savvy traveler, I do still have a finite travel budget, but the majority of my budget is going to be put aside for those items and experiences that I want. and everything else is going to be zero or minimal spending. So there's differences, there's nuances here that I think a lot of us overlook. And again, that's why I think this book was so important to write and to really reflect and think about like, what does it mean to be a financially savvy traveler? Because All of these little nuances and all these little things make us unique and make how we approach travel and money so different from all the other types of travel. Okay, here's another thing that people get wrong. Unlike other travel types like budget travel and luxury travel, our mindset, our thought process, our finances, are going beyond travel. Financially savvy travel has a travel component, but it has a very strong financial component. So sure, we want to have incredible travel experiences, but not at the detriment of our personal finances. So for example, it's unlikely that a financial savvy traveler may be willing to accumulate credit card debt for vacations, for example. Or if they do accumulate credit card debt, it's going to be very, very little. And they're going to have a plan of how to pay that credit card debt off, for example. So although for us traveling is a financial goal, it's not our only goal. We focus on travel, but life doesn't stop because we're planning a vacation. You can set aside money for travel while also investing aggressively for early retirement, while also funding a master's degree, while also preparing for parental leave. A big portion of this financially savvy travel mindset is travel is a piece of the pie. It's one of many goals that we are pursuing at any given time. And I've always known this because my whole platform is all about travel and building wealth. But it's true. It's really true that we are financially conscious. We are aware and we are in control of our spending at home and also while we're on the road. So sure, if we had a spectrum and you're looking at budget travel on one end and luxury travel on the other, we are in the middle. There's also this very important financial piece where, yes, we wanna be smart and we wanna travel, we got goals. And we also have things that we're working on to better our life. So there is a very strong financial component. And that's one of the things I think people miss. When I first started with the podcast and traveling, it was all about, OK, how do I spend less? How do I just get out the door? But there is an important piece of like, OK, I want to travel, but there's also other things that I want to do in my life, too. And I have to find a balance. I have to find where it makes sense for me and I can pursue all the goals that I have. Alrighty, so as a recap, here are the biggest things that I've noticed that people get wrong about this type of travel, financially savvy travel. People assume that we're only focusing on money-saving strategies. We're doing all these travel hacks to spend less and travel more. And sure, that's a big part of what we do, but it's not It's not what defines us. It's not the whole entire picture. Secondly, we don't always go for the cheapest option. We focus on optimization, aligning our spending with our priorities and our travel preferences. Our goal is to spend wisely, but not always going for the cheapest option. We're labeled as budget travelers because it's popular, but there's a lot of things that are overlooked. A lot of our mindset, our habits, and our beliefs are overlooked when you kind of lump us into budget travel category. Also, financially savvy travelers aren't always on a tight budget. Again, we're looking at the pros and cons. We're weighing the pros and cons. We're looking at opportunity costs. We're looking at optimization. And we are oftentimes willing to spend on comfort and convenience and spend and splurge, quote unquote, splurge on the things that matter to us. Unlike other travel types like budget and luxury, we go way beyond just the travel sphere. We are also looking at our finances. We have all these other financial goals and travel is one of those goals. But we may be thinking about investing and going back to school and funding our parental leave. There's just, again, so many goals that we have. And I really do believe that financially savvy travelers have this, like, duality of, sure, travel, but also this strong financial component. So if you enjoyed this episode and you are excited as I am about transforming your wanderlust into a lifetime of travel adventures using financial principles like mindfulness and intentionality, then I encourage you to grab a copy of We Are Financially Savvy Travelers for how to make smart savings and spending decisions aligned with your values and your money goals. There will be a link in the episode description and the show notes where you can grab a copy, whether it's on Amazon, Rakuten Kobo, Apple Books and anywhere books are sold. So definitely go ahead and grab a copy of We Are Financially Savvy Travelers. Now, that is all for this episode. I will chat with you in the next one.
Misconceptions About Financially Savvy Travel
Table of Contents
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1. Financially savvy travel is more than spending less.
While saving money and finding great deals are important aspects of being a financially savvy traveler, there is a lot more to it than that.
Personally, financially savvy travel was born out of a lack of funds. As a broke college graduate with a passion for travel, I wanted to find ways to make it possible despite my limited income. I became curious about being more efficient with my finances in order to afford travel. Initially, my goal was to travel once a year, but as I got bitten by the travel bug, I started wanting to travel as often as possible.
Eight years later, travel has now become a big part of my career as a travel creator, writer, podcaster, and author. While saving money and spending less are important guiding principles, I have since expanded my view on what it means to be financially savvy.
2. We prioritize financial optimization over cheapness.
One of the biggest misconceptions about financially savvy travel is that we always go for the cheapest option. Financially savvy travelers understand optimization is key. This means we focus on making the most out of our travel experiences by aligning our spending with our priorities and travel preferences.
Essentially by identifying our travel style we can allocate funds to what matters most to us and ditch the rest. We don’t simply go for the cheapest option or aim to spend minimally across the board, but rather spend wisely and intentionally based on our values. This may involve reducing unnecessary expenses or eliminating them altogether. The goal is to create efficiency and mindfulness in spending, finding options that best align with our priorities and travel preferences.
Learn how to determine your travel style by listening to this episode.
3. We aren’t budget travelers.
Another misconception is that financially savvy travelers are always budget travelers. While there may be some similarities, financially savvy travel goes beyond just being on a tight budget. Mislabeling us as ‘budget travelers,’ overlooks the mindset, habits, and beliefs that define our unique approach to travel and money.
Truthfully, we do not always go for the cheapest options. While we prioritize spending wisely, we also consider the value and quality of our choices. Weighing the pros and cons, we consider the opportunity costs of spending on certain things. As a result, we may be willing to spend more on comfort and convenience if it enhances our overall experience, as long as it is within our means.
4. Travel isn’t our only focus.
Financially savvy travel goes beyond just focusing on travel but incorporates a strong financial component into our lifestyle. We have various financial goals, such as investing, going back to school, and funding parental leave. We understand travel is just one aspect of our financial journey and prioritize our overall financial well-being.
We are aware of our spending both at home and while on the road. We prioritize travel as one of our financials goals, but we also understand that life doesn’t stop because of a vacation. We set aside money for travel while also preparing for other life events. We strive to find a balance between our travel aspirations and other aspects of our lives.
Listen to this podcast episode on Spotify.
In closing, financially savvy travelers prioritize spending wisely and intentionally, aligning our spending with our priorities and travel preferences. It is not just about saving money and spending less, but about finding a balance between enjoying the experiences that travel offers while pursuing other non-travel financial goals.
Enjoyed this perspective? You’ll love my book, ‘We Are Financially Savvy Travelers.’ Discover how mindful spending and defining your travel priorities and preferences can lead to affording a lifetime of travel experiences. This book provides practical guidance on making smart savings and spending decisions aligned with your values and money goals. Available on platforms such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and other places where books are sold.
More Episodes You’ll Enjoy
How I Became a Financially Savvy Traveler – Episode 69
Top Travel Podcasts To Listen To Right Now – Episode 121
Why Every Traveler Should Have a Travel Fund – Episode 2
Danielle Desir Corbett paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27, and has traveled to 27 countries, including her favorites, Iceland, China, and Bermuda. Go here to learn Danielle’s incredible story, from struggling financially and in debt to finding creative ways to earn more and live on her terms. Listen to The Thought Card Podcast, where Danielle shares how you can creatively travel more and build wealth regardless of your current financial situation. Reach out to Danielle by contacting: thethoughtcard (at) gmail (dot) com.